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What laundry detergent gets stains out the best?

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

If you have a large family, you’ll most likely do more laundry than you would with a small family. The cost of purchasing laundry detergent for all the piles of white, dark, and delicate clothes in your laundry basket could be a lot. Also, determining the best laundry detergent that will get those stubborn stains out can be daunting. This is why most persons embrace the option of a homemade laundry detergent because they can control the chemical measurements and decide on what suits their preference best after experimenting. For some, why they haven’t done a DIY detergent is cos they do not know where to get homemade laundry detergent recipe.

Homemade laundry detergent recipe is simple to make and requires a few ingredients that are much less expensive to purchase independently, rather than by the already mixed version. The homemade laundry detergent recipe that will be provided below is quick and easy to put together and not to worry, it cleans just as effectively as the store-branded ones.

Homemade Laundry detergent

Why Switch to Homemade Laundry Detergent?

Conventional laundry detergents contain chemicals like sulfates, fragrances, phenols, and petroleum distillate which has been linked to some serious illnesses. Luckily, your homemade laundry detergent recipe needs only a few basic ingredients to make which is less complicated and saves time.

Does Homemade Laundry Detergent really work?

If you do a lot of manual labor around the house like hauling firewood, tending to your garden, or mowing the lawn, you’ll most like end up with dirty clothes and a homemade laundry detergent will come in handy. The end goal of determining if your homemade laundry detergent recipe has worked well for you is if your clothes come out clean.

This to a large extent is relative and will depend largely on what your definition of clean is. For some, clean means no smell and no dirt and the homemade recipe below does the trick. However, if the definition of clean means “heavy scent” to you, you might have to consider adding fragrances to your homemade laundry detergent recipe in order to achieve that.

If you are having concerns about using borax as one of the ingredients for your laundry detergent, the homemade laundry detergent recipe provided below gives you the option of making yours with borax or without.

Homemade Laundry detergent

Homemade laundry detergent recipe with borax

Equipment/Tools You’ll need:

  • Box grater
  • Measuring cup
  • Rubber gloves


  • Borax
  • Washing soda (sodium carbonate)
  • Pure bar soap/castile soap or soap flakes
  • Container with a secure lid


  1. Grate the Bar Soap

If you are using pure bar soap, grate the bar into flakes with a box grater as depicted in the picture below. You might need more than one bar based on how much detergent you wish to make.

  1. Mix the Ingredients

In your container with a tightly fitting lid, mix together 2 parts borax, 2 parts washing soda, and 1 part soap flakes to create the laundry detergent. You can make as much as you’d like at once; just make sure to keep the ingredients in this proportion.

  1. Store the Laundry Soap

Keep the laundry detergent in an airtight container out of the reach of children and pets to avoid poisoning.

Note: Use up to 3 level tablespoons of this homemade laundry detergent recipe per wash load. Use 1 tablespoon if you have a high-efficiency washing machine.

Homemade laundry detergent recipe without borax

Equipment/Tools Needed

  • Large glass measuring cup or bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Spoon


  • 14 cups very hot water, divided
  • 1 cup baking soda, divided
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 cup unscented liquid castile soap
  • 30 drops lavender essential oil, optional, for scent
  • Gallon-sized jug


  1. In a large glass measuring cup or bowl, combine 7 cups of the hot water with half the baking soda (1/2 cup) and half the salt (1/4 cup). Stir well until completely dissolved. The mixture will start out cloudy and fizzy, but when it’s completely dissolved, it should be mostly clear. Pour the mixture into a gallon-sized jug.
  2. Repeat step one with the remaining water, baking soda, and salt, and then add the mixture to the gallon-sized jug.
  3. Add in the liquid castile soap and essential oil, if using. Swirl gently, close, and label.

Your detergent is ready to go!

Note: We break up the baking soda addition mostly because people don’t usually have a 16 cup measuring cup! It also seems to help get the baking soda to dissolve properly. This recipe uses almost the max amount of baking soda density that can dissolve in water, so make sure not to add more baking soda or use less water.

If you are having trouble dissolving the baking soda, heat the water, salt, and baking soda in a large pot over medium heat until completely dissolved.

Please remember: Shake the container to mix ingredients, then either pour 1/2 cup (you can use more if it’s a particularly dirty or large load) of the solution into the washer while it fills or place it in the soap cup provided in your washing machine.

This recipe has NOT been tested with a front-loading high-efficiency washer. I use it in my top-loading HE washer just fine though.

Was this article helpful? Find out how to make Homemade Lube here


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