Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

My friend, Angela, from Hidden Treasures, inspired me with this recipe! Thanks, Angela!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

For a few years I’ve considered making my own laundry detergent, but have hesitated because I am SO happy with the kind I use now, and it seemed a little intimidating and complicated to make my own.  The MelaPower detergent I’ve used for the past 6+ years is free of harsh chemicals, cleans my clothes so well and I love the SMELL.

So why would I choose to go to the trouble of making my own when I’ve been so happy with the kind I’ve been using? ~ the savings!  When I figured up how little it would cost to make and use my own detergent, I simply had to give it a shot.

I have to say that I’m really satisfied with the way it cleans my clothes and the cost is only about $2 a month for our family of 6 ~ and it’s really simple to do!  I will share in the next few days how to add essential oils to your laundry for added smell and to kill dust mites and bacteria.

There are different recipes available, but this is the only one I’ve used.  I may experiment with others someday. This recipe yields 5 gallons.  Some recipes make a much smaller amount, but I like making a lot at a time as a time saver.  It keeps very well.

Homemade Laundry Detergent:
1 Bar of Fels Naptha Soap
1 Cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda :))
1/2 Cup of Borax
4 Cups of Hot Water

Place 4 cups of hot water in a sauce pan and grate bar of soap into it.  Stir over medium high heat until the soap dissolves.  Fill a 5-gallon bucket half full with hot water.  Add melted soap mixture, washing soda and borax.  Stir well until powder is dissolved.  Fill to the top with hot water.  Let it sit overnight to thicken.  I use 1 cup for an extra large load.  I always wash in an extra large load since I always have lots of laundry, and the washer uses the same energy to wash a small load as an extra large ~ which saves money.  Washers hold different capacities, so experiment and adjust the amount for your washer.

*I used a cheese grater to grate my soap.  At first I thought I should buy a separate grater for my cheese, but realized that soap is clean ๐Ÿ™‚ and I only need to wash it off with hot water when I’m done.
*I bought a 5-gallon bucket at my local hardware store for about $7.50, but you can also get one free from a deli – it would just need cleaned out really good.
*I filled my old detergent bottle with the detergent, which makes it convenient to use rather than dipping it out of the bucket everyday.  Shake before each use.

Click below to view my powdered laundry soap version:
Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. This post is for educational purposes only. The information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links. In order for me to support this website, my research, and blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement and/or links to products or services. However, I only recommend products or services I trust.


  1. says

    Tonya Gaither York says:
    Wow!!! Thanks Jill for posting about your homemade laundry detergent. Not only are my clothes super clean and smelling really great, but the house smells fabulous as well!!!

  2. says

    Hey Jill,
    I can’t remember how I found your website..but I am so glad I did. I made this last night and I am so pleased with the cleaning power. I used it to wash my dishes and counter tops and just about everything in the kitchen this morning as I was cleaning up the pot,grater, etc..! It made everything shiny..even cleaned my nails spotless….I believe it will be great in the laundry. My concern is my husband and middle son are sensitive to laundry changes..especially in the groin area. Saying a silent prayer they don’t break out!!!

  3. says

    Well it’s Friday and I am sure they have worn clothes washed with this laundry detergent already…no one has said anything so praying silently all is well ๐Ÿ™‚ I will keep you updated…I just put this in my DISHWASHER…I loved the way it washed the dishes in the sink last week so why not …I am about to run out of dishwasher detergent so before I do I decided to give it a whirl…the consistency reminded me of the dishwasher detergent I already use…so hey a little Fels Neptha laundry soap really can’t hurt dishes!! lol

    • says

      There is no reason you can’t use bleach with this. But I am not a bleach user myself, so I would recommend increasing the amount of soap you use. Washers have different capacities, so yours may just need more. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • says

      I don’t have an HE washer, but I have read of several that successfully use this recipe in theirs. If you have any concerns at all, I would contact the manufacturer. Thanks!

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