Earth Day Green Recipe: Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

A while ago I thought why am I spending so much on laundry detergent? I had no clue, so I went on a search and found many different recipes for homemade laundry detergent. I went with one I found on the Duggars website.

I prefer the liquid to the powder for my house. I actually bought a large dogfood container at walmart for $10 to store it. Some use the old laundry detergent bottles but, Ifound that they clog up after a while and so I went with this. At first it was a 5 gallon bucket but the top was a pain to get off and on.

Duggar Recipe: Liquid Laundry Soap

4 Cups hot tap water
1 Bar Fels-Naptha soap 
1 Cup  Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax
  1. Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
  2. Fill a 5-gallon bucket half full with hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.
  3. Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap container half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
  4. Optional: Once soap has cooled, you can add 10-15 drops of essential oil (lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil, etc) per 2 gallons.

For top load machine, add 5/8 Cup of liquid soap per load (makes approximately 180 loads).
For front load machine, add 1/4 Cup per load (makes approximately 640 loads).
Makes 10 gallons of liquid soap

*Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent – It must be sodium carbonate.
You can get all these at the grocery store and you can call and have them order it because I have found they don’t always have them in stock. Most places are super nice about ordering stuff for you and they call you in a couple days when it’s in. Instead of running around to ge things around town.
Remember these are low sudsing formula’s. You can add essentail oils for scent or some Dr Bronners castile soap( peppermnit is my fave).
So go ahead, try this out. Here is the cost breakdown:
$1 Fels naptha
$2.99 box of wshing soda
$2.99 box of borax
I only used a cup for the washing soda and 1/2 cup for the borax each and this recipe lasts for months at my house. Super cheap and I only need the $1 bar next time so It  costs about $2 for 100 loads, 1/4 for the HE washer! 1/2 cup for the regular washer.
Love to hear what you think,


  1. Amanda N. says:

    I’ve been using a similar (if not the same) liquid recipe for most of a year now and it’s been working pretty well. Although, I seem to get some odd grease spots on my clothes sometimes. I think it’s because the liquid stuff gels up and I don’t give the water enough time to break down the clumps before I throw the clothes in.

    I just ran out of the liquid, though, and I’d won some powdered detergent in a giveaway 5 or 6 months ago, which I loved, so I’m open to powdered detergent now and went ahead and mixed up a batch of homemade powder instead of liquid this time.

    I used one bar grated Ivory soap (my preference, Fels Naptha is usually listed as the soap, but most anything will do), 1 cup borax, and 1 cup Super Washing Soda for this powder mix. 1 tbsp is supposed to do 1 non-HE load (I didn’t look into HE, but I’d be shocked if it wasn’t just cut in half), so we’ll see how it goes. *fingers crossed*

Speak Your Mind