DIY Laundry Detergent

Laundry, laundry, laundry! (You said that like Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, didn’t you?) It’s everyone’s favorite task to hate. I used to, too! In fact when John and I first got married, he did ALL the laundry. I liked to use the excuse that I didn’t want to go to the creepy basement, but that wasn’t really it. It was so annoying to keep the process going, oh and to not forget loads in the washer to mildew or loads in the dryer to get super wrinkly….


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Two words: Homemade Detergent. I’m going to be a little dramatic here and tell you that using homemade detergent has changed my life. Well technically it hasn’t, but it definitely has changed my laundry game! This stuff smells so good, you’ll want to be near that dreaded washer and dryer!

Why do I use homemade, do you ask? Well the only reason is because my sister got me hooked! She and my brother-in-law have been making their own laundry detergent for years! We’ve always loved the smell of their laundry. When the boys would stay over to their house, without fail, they’d come home with the best smell lingering in their backpacks. She always washed their clothes. (I think she’s been subliminally working on me to switch for years…)

Anyway, not only do our clothes smell incredibly fresh, but they feel better, too. Even John has mentioned he’s noticed a difference in our laundry! Both our boys (and John) have sensitive skin. For the last seven years we used ALL Free and Clear because of their skin sensitivities. We have now been using homemade detergent for the last six months and haven’t had any issues with our skin.

So, do you believe me yet? If you’re ready to give it a try, keep scrolling for the recipe and ingredient links!

Recipe adapted from Pinterest, several years ago by my sister so she’s the only one I know to give credit to. Photo credit: Minted Vintage

Recipe adapted from Pinterest, several years ago by my sister so she’s the only one I know to give credit to. Photo credit: Minted Vintage

For those of you visual learners, here are the ingredients listed in the recipe above. Our local Walmart had these products together in the detergent aisle. (All the pictures will link you to Walmart website except the Oxi Clean, they didn’t have the smaller quantity listed on their website.)

I bought two of these small ones to get the 3.5 oz

I bought two of these small ones to get the 3.5 oz

Here are the “tools” you’ll need to get this done!

  1. Cheese Grater for the Fels-Naptha Soap, Walmart has these, if you don’t want to use the one you use for food.

  2. Something to measure your detergent once it’s done. I got a small (2oz) Anchor Hocking glass from Walmart

  3. Large Canister. I bought a glass 2 Gal (pictured) for less than $18, also at Walmart.

You should be able to find all of these items in the laundry aisle at most grocery stores. I actually found them all pretty much right beside each other. We also add a few sprinkles of Gain fireworks to each load for an added scent. That’s totally optional and other brands make those scent boosters as well.

We use 2-3 Tablespoons per load. I know that does not seem like enough but this recipe does not have fillers like the store bought detergent so you don’t need much. This recipe makes at least 400 loads worth of detergent! It lasts our family (of four) six months or more. My total cost of the ingredients was $29.08 (before local taxes). To get that many loads with our former detergent we would be spending around $55 and it never came close to smelling or feeling this good!

We hope you give this DIY a shot! If you have any questions at all, leave them in the comments below.

Happy Laundry-ing!


PS If you give homemade detergent a try, come back and tell us! We’d love to know what you think.

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