How To Make Your Own Laundry Detergent (Powder & Liquid)

    Store-bought laundry detergent adds up over time. It’s not uncommon that these contain several harmful toxins and ingredients that can cause skin irritations and even lung issues. Whether you want to make your laundry detergent for yourself or your kiddos, it’s a great move. 

    But where do you start? We have a few recommendations for DIY laundry detergent recipes that come both in liquid form and powder just for you! Let’s take a look. 

    How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent Powder

    When it comes to making your own laundry detergent powder, the process is not complicated. The fewer ingredients, the better. Now, keeping in mind the fact that you want to be able to have fresh-feeling clothes, we have a few tricks up our sleeves for both the smell and the cleaning part. 

    Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe 1

    If you are wondering how to make laundry detergent with baking soda, then this powder recipe is for you. It takes a little effort but is well worth the benefit of clean clothes at a fraction of the cost.  

    What You Need:

    • Baking Soda
    • Borax Powder
    • Castile Soap
    • Super Washing Soda

    Major Tip: Choose your soap bar carefully. Laundry detergent soap bars can be incredibly bad for you and your clothes. Head down to the FAQ section to find out more. 


    1. Start with the hardest part first. Grate your soap and leave it in a bowl. Grating soap with too many oils and other ingredients can sometimes cause the grater to clog up. That’s why choosing a Castille soap or something with minimal ingredients is important. 
    2. Mix baking soda, super washing soda, and Borax powder in equal parts to create the rest of the mix. You can add as much or as little as you like, but you only need two tablespoons per load. It’s easier to make in larger batches, so you don’t have to grate soap continually. 

    What does each product do?

    Baking soda works to neutralize any of the odors your clothes have. This is more effective in some cases than bleach or detergent, which is why it’s a great homemade solution. 

    Borax powder works to get rid of oil stains because it has extreme alkalinity to it. If you deal with sticky stains like tomato sauce or mustard, extra Borax is your friend. Since its pH is 9.1, it’s also great for making your white clothes whiter. 

    Castille soap is a great natural solution for cleaning your clothes. You don’t have to worry about harmful toxins that can irritate your eyes, skin, or lungs. 

    Super washing soda does it all. It makes your clothes smell fresh, but it also fights tough stains. It’s particularly great at dealing with grease. 

    Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe 2

    We couldn’t just stick to one solution so that’s why this is a great alternative for those who don’t feel the above recipe. 

    What You Need:

    • Borax Powder
    • 1 1/2 cup salt – Epsom salt.
    • Baking soda.
    • 20-30 Drops of Essential Oils of choice
    • Super Washing Soda

    Another Tip: The same needs to be said for your essential oils as your choice in a soap bar. Not all essential oils are clean, so be sure to read the ingredient list first. 


    1. Start by mixing together your Borax powder, baking soda, and super washing soda in a bowl. They should be equal parts. Considering we will be using a decent size portion of Epsom salt, we recommend doing 2 cups of each to make a larger batch. 
    2. Next add in your Epsom salt and your 20-30 drops of essential oils. Mix together well so that the scents are equally spread out. Then you can use no more than two tables spoons for your laundry.

    Recommendations for Epsom Salt and  Essential Oil Scents 

    There are a number of options on the market, so be sure to choose a natural product with the least amount of ingredients. Some of the best scents that work well with laundry include

    • Lavender
    • Rose
    • Lemon
    • Eucalyptus
    • Peppermint
    • Tea Tree oil
    • Lemongrass

    Some people like to mix and match a few scents. If you select the right combinations this can be wonderful but be wary that some scents make for an unpleasant combination. 

      How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent Liquid

      If you are looking for the best homemade liquid laundry detergent recipe, you have come to the right place. A lot of the liquid recipes mimic some of the above, but some people prefer to pour it in and then have powder potentially flying everywhere. So let’s take a look at these natural homemade laundry detergents. 

      Amish Laundry Soap Recipe

      This is a great Amish recipe that works wonders on your clothes and as a spot treatment for nice shoes (such as your Yeezys). Let’s dive in.

      What You Need

      • ½ cup washing soda (Arm and Hammer works)
      • 1 ½ cup of Borax
      • 1 Bar of Fels Naptha Soap
      • 5-Gallon bucket completely cleaned out
      • Stove pot
      • Medium bowl


      1. Take your Fels Naptha soap bar and grate it completely into your stove bot. Add three quarts of water and heat over medium while the soap bar dissolves. 
      2. Take your five-gladdon buck and mark a line at the 4-gallon point. Now pour 1 ½ cups of Borax into  the bucket with two quarts of cold water. 
      3. In another bowl, mix ½ cup of baking soda with two quarts of water. 
      4. Mix all of the ingredients from the three separate bowls and add cold water till the 4-gallon line you marked. 
      5. The mixture should set for 24 hours. During those 24 hours, you can stir it occasionally to mix.
      6. Then you can use ½ cup for laundry, or if you have a front load washer, ¼ cup. 

      Remember that front load washers and top load washers handle their detergents slightly differently. 

      Benefits of Homemade Laundry Detergent

      There are a lot of benefits when it comes to making homemade laundry detergent, regardless of whether you choose powder or liquid. Let’s dive in. 

      • If you are wondering, “Is it cheaper to make your own laundry detergent?” This method is incredibly cost-efficient. Let’s look at the cost of some of these recipes compared to store-bought options. 

      Keep in mind while some of the ingredients may originally cost more to buy in bulk, you are only using a fraction of them. And typically speaking, you get fewer loads out of commercial-bought laundry detergent. 

      Laundry Detergent
      Homemade Recipe #1
      Homemade Recipe #1
      Amish Recipe
      Commercial Bought Laundry Detergent


      If you are going to opt for buying something from the store or Amazon, consider this list of the best eco-friendly detergents. 


      There is a lot of information floating around on the web about washing your clothes and what detergents you should use. That’s why we’ve dedicated this section to your most frequently asked questions. 

      Why homemade laundry soap is bad?

      You may come across some websites that talk about how laundry soap is bad, especially if you make it at home. This can be true for some circumstances and not others. Generally speaking, store-bought laundry soap can get a bad rep for the toxins it may have. But the other big problem is that soap bars tend to make clothes sudsy rather than well-rinsed and clean. 

      When it comes to using a natural soap to make a home solution like the ones we have illustrated above, this is a great product to make your DIY detergent. As the major tip noted, selecting the right bar of soap can make all the difference in your final product. 

      How much homemade laundry detergent to use per load?

      Typically speaking if you are dealing with a powder, you will always use about two scoops. If you are using a liquid, it is normally around ¾ of a cup. You can use extra if you are dealing with particularly messy clothes, but the best way to approach it is to spot-treat it before throwing in more. 

      Take any stained clothes and put liquid detergent directly on the spot before throwing it. You may need to rinse and wash a second time to really get the stain out. That tends to be true when using a more natural solution. 

      Is homemade laundry detergent safe for washers?

      Absolutely! The only thing that people need to be aware of is grating down the bar of soap well enough. You don’t want chunks to be found in either your powder or liquid. While it is likely to break down in the washer, don’t run the risk of anything getting lodged or stuck in your washing machine. Both the powder and liquid options should be incredibly smooth. 

      What are the 3 ingredients in homemade laundry detergent?

      The most common ingredients you will see used in a homemade laundry detergent are baking soda, soda wash, and Borax. Combining all of them together makes a powerful cleaning detergent without all the risks of harmful toxins. As a friendly reminder, all household cleaning supplies should be considered “clean.”