DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe and Step-by-Step Tutorial

DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe and Step-by-Step Tutorial

Today we bring you a DIY laundry detergent recipe and tutorial to help you make powder laundry detergent at home. In addition to learning how to make DIY powder laundry detergent, you can find the costs associated with this recipe.

You will be happy to know that by switching from store-bought washing powders to DIY natural laundry detergent you can reduce your annual costs significantly. Moreover, DIY laundry detergent is a great environmentally friendly choice. Most store-bought alternatives contain harmful chemicals which may cause allergies and skin irritations. In addition, the additives, artificial fragrances, phosphates, and preservatives take a toll on your health and that of the environment.


Ingredients for DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe

The product you will obtain using this DIY laundry detergent recipe and tutorial can also be used in high-efficiency (HE) washing machines. Thus, with just a short of list of ingredients you get not only a powder laundry detergent but also a DIY HE laundry detergent.  Here is the list of ingredients you need in the process.

  1. 2 (two) bars of natural soap. Pick the natural soap bars in the detergent aisle or order them online. One of the points to making your own DIY dry laundry detergent is to steer clear of any toxic chemicals. Examples of soap bars you can use:
  1. 1 (one) box of borax. Borax is a natural boron mineral chemically dubbed sodium tetraborate. While it is used in a number of environmentally friendly and safe recipes for DIY laundry detergent, some users fear potentially harmful side effects. Read more about borax here. Here are some brands selling borax:
  1. 1 (one) box of washing soda. Washing soda works as a detergent booster, freshener and stain remover. In addition, it is used to neutralize and remove heavy smells from your clothing staples. Here is a list of washing soda products:
ingredients for DIY laundry detergent


Optional Ingredients for Homemade Laundry Detergent

  1. Optional: 1 (one) box of Oxi Clean. Oxi Clean is another detergent enhancer working on the stain-removal side. It’s toxic chemical free and doesn’t have any added fragrance or perfumes.
  1. Optional: 1 (one) box of baking soda. Baking soda is an effective cleaner and mild disinfectant. As such, we recommend adding it to your list of ingredients, although it can be left out. Our brand:
  1. Optional: essential oils. As the ingredients presented here are fragrance-free, you may want to add some essential oils to your DIY laundry detergent. Lavender, orange, lemon, lime, you name it. Add about 10 drops per load and your clothes will smell amazing.

How to Make DIY Laundry Detergent

Here is the step by step guide on how to make washing powder detergent. Trust us, you don’t need more than 10 minutes to make your laundry detergent at home.

  1. Start by grating the natural soap bar. In fact, this may be the most time-consuming step. Use the fine part of a cheese grater to shred that soap bar to pieces. Alternatively, you could use a food processor to create a fine soap powder.
  2. Layer smaller amounts of each ingredient on top of each other and start mixing. You can, of course, throw all of them in at once. Nevertheless, that will make the mixing part considerably more difficult as all the ingredients listed here are mixed in a large container. It also depends on the sizes of the boxes you choose.
  3. Stir and mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Place a part of the DIY laundry detergent in a tight lid jar.
  5. Cover the rest and store it in a dry place.
  6. Use two to three tablespoons per wash load. We know, it sounds like it’s too little. Trust us, it’s not. That’s the beauty of DIY laundry detergent. In addition to being inexpensive, it’s also more economical in the long run.

DIY Laundry Detergent Cost Breakdown

Now, let’s compare the prices for store-bought detergent and this DIY laundry detergent recipe. Let’s say you use a powder detergent like Gain. For 172 ounces and 150 loads (according to the package), you shell out approximately $23. No coupon included. If like us you also wash four times per week, this will last you for approximately 37 weeks, give or take. So you will need more detergent.

Remember, this is just the classic powder detergent, without softener or fancy fragrances. If you normally use liquid detergent, the price tag is even higher. Also, take into consideration that is one of the largest available sizes for a box of detergent. You’ll probably get smaller ones, raising your cost even higher. Add fabric softener to the mix and you easily round up the annual sum spent on laundry cleaning products at approximately $70.

With this DIY laundry detergent recipe, the prices are as follows:

  • Fels Naptha Soap Bar – approximate price: $1.76
  • 20 Mule Team Borax – approximate price: $3.47.
  • Arm and Hammer Washing Soda – approximate price: $4.64.

These are just the primary ingredients which make for the perfect DIY laundry detergent. Overall, you’ll pay $9.87 for a load of homemade laundry detergent that will last for about half a year. That’s about $20 for one year of super soft, super clean clothes, all with natural ingredients.


DIY laundry detergent is a cost-efficient alternative to store-bought laundry detergents. With just a few ingredients, this DIY homemade laundry detergent recipe is a money-saver. Moreover, this is a DIY HE laundry detergent that’s safe to use with your baby’s clothes as well.

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