DIY,  Recipe

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent – Easy, Effective and Inexpensive

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Making laundry detergent

I do a ton of laundry between work clothes, school clothes, barn clothes and other.  Our house can easily have anywhere from 5 to 9 people in it at any given time since we are a multi-generational home.  I was spending a fortune on laundry detergent. It was easily getting out of control. There had to be a better solution – well there is! I started making my own.

There are many recipes online if for some reason you don’t like this one but I will tell you why I like this – first it is very inexpensive. Each batch takes one bar of Fels-Naptha soap, 1/2 cup of Borax and 1 cup of Washing Soda (not baking soda). The first batch I made lasted 6 weeks and that is with at least four loads of laundry per day. We now have fewer people in the house so this should last longer – and I am making two batches this time.

Here are your tips

  • For the basic recipe you only need these three ingredients. I use Fels-Naptha bars of soap but you can use any. If you have never used this soap it is kind of a strong scent – some people don’t care for it. I have also used all natural bars of soap that I have been sent to review – pretty much anything.
  • Some people consider adding some scent of essential oil – I do not do that because there are so many sensitivities in the house. But that is always an option.
  • Add some OxyClean and/or Tide Plus Bleach Alternative to the detergent. OxyClean helps for that tough cleaning and Tide Plus Bleach Alternative helps if you have hard water. Hard water can keep your whites from staying white – the addition of this bottle of detergent helps a great deal. I am making a double batch of detergent, so I just split this bottle between the two batches.
  • DO NOT purchase a 5 gallon bucket just to save money and make your own laundry detergent. Just about any bakery will give you their empty frosting, hummus or other plastic buckets. I get mine at Walmart. They are more than happy to give them away and I use their buckets for everything I can.
  • I have children/teens that now do their own laundry.  If I leave the detergent in the 5 gallon bucket it is always a mess.  I save smaller bottles that I get (plastic) – anything from shampoo, juice, water etc… I store the liquid laundry detergent in bottle sizes that are manageable for them to pick up with one hand and NOT make a huge mess requiring my intervention.
  • Another storage option is a plastic (never glass) beverage dispenser for them to just pull the tab to dispense and be mess free.

Grate up the bar of soap


add grated soap to boiling water


Fill bucket 23 full with hot water


add Tide with Bleach Alternative to hot water


Mix it all together

Once it is all mixed together – just let it sit overnight. Without the addition of Tide, the mixture will become very gel like. With the addition of Tide it doesn’t gel much, in fact it looks like regular ole bottled laundry detergent. Add 1/2 cup to each load of laundry and this will last a really long time. Since I made a double batch – it may last us all the way through the summer at this point.

These ingredients can be found on Amazon but you can just as easily find them at your local Walmart. Amazon actually makes it quite easy by just purchasing the full kit – HERE.


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