Homemade DIY Laundry Detergent (Save big $ and avoid perfumes)

This is obnoxiously easy to make and it smells wonderful!  Not to mention how much money we saved!! I couldn’t believe it! This soap is also good for people who have sensitive skin. I have sensitive skin and I have friends with skin issues (eczema) and they use this and swear by it.

I’ll explain how to make it (with pictures!) and then I’ll do the math section for the money saving.

Ingrediants: 1 Box (76oz) Borax 2 Boxes (55oz ea.) Washing Soda 8 Bars (5.5oz ea.) Fels Naptha

1 Box (76oz) Borax
2 Boxes (55oz ea.) Washing Soda
8 Bars (5.5oz ea.) Fels Naptha Laundry Bar Soap

First things first, find a good size container (this recipe will make 230 ounces of soap) and pour in your Borax and Washing Soda. Make sure you break up any chunks that might be in the boxes, you want it nice and smooth. Try not to inhale all of it while you’re at it.

Run the bars through a cheese grater as fine or chunky as you like.
Run the bars through a cheese grater as fine or chunky as you like.

Run the bars of Fels Naptha through a cheese grater. This is really easy, they are much softer than they look and it doesn’t take a lot of effort. You can grate these as fine as you like, we put them through the biggest section of the grater, so we ended up with very cheesy looking soap. At this point you can also add 1-2 Tbs. of any essential oil to your mix, just make sure you stir it in thoroughly. Personally, the Fels Naptha smells fantastic, so I chose not to add essential oils.

The total mixture.
The total mixture.

Mix it all together in your container (I’m using a small storage tub, probably 10-18 gallon or so). It’s very IMPORTANT to make sure you stir the mixture 3-5 times a day over the next week. The soap is not completely dry at this point, so it could cause your mixture to turn into a brick, which will cost you a lot of effort breaking it apart.

And that’s it! You’re done! You should use 1/8 cup soap (depending on preference, we like to save) per normal laundry load. Just put it right in the wash with your clothes!

Alright money savers, it’s your turn.

So, I did some number crunching. I bought my supplies at Meijer, which is a little on the expensive side. These ingredients could probably be found at dollar stores for much less. But here’s what I came up with after some research.

Brand:                                                                                                      Cost:

Homemade Soap                                                                         /ounce

“All” Brand                                                                          18¢/ounce

“Gain” Brand                                                                   23¢/ounce

“Tide” Brand                                                                                              25¢/ounce

So, I made 230 ounces of soap, which cost me $18.40.

All Brand:$41.40

Gain Brand: $52.90

Tide Brand:$$57.50

If I were to go with the next cheapest name brand, it would have cost me MORE THAN DOUBLE to buy as much soap as I made in 15 minutes with very little effort. This homemade soap could save us over $200 a year easily, if not much, much more because we used to buy Tide and Gain and we thought we were clever using coupons!! HA! I’ll just make it from now on.


I hope you found this useful and interesting! Look for more things coming your way like this as I learn to homestead before actually getting on the homestead. Getting prepared!

As always, may the odds be ever in your favor!


Handmade Candles, winter knits and pottery at my Etsy Shop!


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for posting this. I’d like to try it as I -really- dislike the strong smell of most commercial detergents. I’ve got one of those newfangled high-efficiency washers (our old one died and the HE ones seem to be the only ones available now) though…

    1. This soap does smell like laundry soap and it’s strong, but it’s not unpleasant. It’s a very nice, clean smell. When we were grating the soap it got a little overwhelming, but not that it’s been sitting and the soap has dried, it smells considerably less. I’m slightly allergic to perfumes in soap and this one doesn’t bother me at all! Glad we could help you out. We’ll be posting more stuff like this all the time!

    2. We just did a batch of laundry and even though the soap had a very soapy smell, the clothes have no smell at all. They just smell freshly clean!

      1. Excellent! Thanks 😀 😀

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