The Frugallery

A Gallery of Frugal & Fun Ideas!

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for years.  I’ll share with you the recipe.  Give it a try, it’s amazingly simple & one batch lasts a long time!

What you need:  Borax, Washing Soda, bar soap, a cheese grater, a storage container, and a spare scoop.  I’ve been able to find these products easily in stores.  Smaller grocery stores may not have the washing soda-it tends to be the more difficult to find.








Use the cheese grater to grate the bar soap.  My grater does not have a “fine” option, although I’ve never had a problem with larger slivers of soap.  Add in two parts soap, one part borax, and one part washing soda.  Use two tablespoons per  load.

This is what the final product looks like:








I found all of the ingredients at Wal-Mart.  But here are some links to where the items can be purchased online.

Borax: Found at Wal-Mart for $2.98 for a 76 oz. box ($.32 per cup)

Washing Soda: Found at Wal-Mart for $2.98 for a 55 oz. box ($.43 per cup).  Below is a link to the least expensive online option I could find.

Bar Soap: I prefer Dial which can be found at Wal-Mart for $3.98 for 8 bars. ($.50 per cup)


How do the costs stack up?

The above recipe costs FIVE AND A HALF CENTS per load (assuming you use two tablespoons).

I found a large box of Tide Powder on for $33 including shipping.  This was enough detergent for 80 loads of laundry.  This equates to $.41 per load.

If you do ten loads a week, your savings is $3.55 per week! 

I especially like this detergent because besides cleaning well, it does not contain any dyes or perfumes (unless you add in scented soap).  The only downside I have found is the box of Borax is larger than the box of Washing Soda so I run out of them at different times.  I’ve also added a little OxyClean to a load if I’m concerned about colors.

Give it a try–I’d love to hear your opinions!


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3 thoughts on “Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

  1. So, in your opinion this cleans as well as commercial brands? Do you still use fabric softener? Does it work in High Efficiency washers? How annoying is it to grate the soap? 😉

    • Yes, I am just as happy with this as typical brands. I don’t use liquid fabric softener but I do use a dryer sheet (although a home-made one; I soak an old washcloth in liquid softener, let it dry, and you can get about 5 uses out of it before you need to soak it again). I don’t have a high efficiency washer, so I’ve never tried this homemade detergent in one. But I found a website with a similar recipe that states they use it in their HE washer. My advise would be to try using 1 tablespoon and watch it closely to make sure everything’s okay. I would be interested to hear if it works (if you try it!)

      • Fortunately/Unfortunately I have a giant bottle of detergent that will probably last me until the summer. With only doing laundry for 1, the biggest size will last me about a year! I’ll have to keep this in my back pocket until then.

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