There are few items at the drugstore that are more expensive than laundry detergent. Save big bucks by making your own laundry soap at home. With only minimal ingredients (three, to be exact), you can have a regular supply of detergent for just a few cents per load of laundry. On top of that, making your own laundry soap is a great way to go green. Since you won’t be using harsh chemicals to wash your clothing and linens, your indoor air quality will improve.

Ingredients and Materials

You’ll need the following three ingredients to make your own laundry soap:

  1. Bar soap, regular or scented.
  2. Borax
  3. Washing soda

If you have a hard time finding borax and washing soda at the drug store or supermarket, call a couple of hardware stores to see if they carry them. These items can be a little tricky to find.

You’ll also need a cheese grater and an airtight container, like a Mason jar. It should go without saying that you shouldn’t use the same grater you rely on in the kitchen. Cheese and soap don’t mix well! Keep the two graters separate.


  1. Finely grate the bar soap. You’ll want to end up with two full cups.
  2. Mix the grated soap with one cup of borax and one cup of washing soda. Make sure to mix well.
  3. Store the mixture in the airtight container.
  4. When washing laundry, you’ll need to use two tablespoons of the mixture per regular-sized load.


  • It’s normal for the soap to not get very sudsy when washing laundry. Don’t add more soap!
  • This soap works best in high efficiency washing machines.
  • Since the soap doesn’t suds up much, pre-treat tough stains.

Making Liquid Detergent

Even though powdered soap is extremely easy to make, some people still prefer liquid detergent. If you’re one of those people, you’re not required to spend $10 or more for one container of detergent that’ll only last a few weeks. Instead, make your own liquid detergent at home.

You’ll need two cups each of grated bar soap, borax and washing soda. Sounds similar to the powdered soap recipe, right? You’ll also need a quart of boiling water. Follow these steps to make liquid detergent:

  1. When the water boils, add the grated bar soap. Lower the heat and stir until the soap is completely melted.
  2. Pour the soap and water mix into a clean pail.
  3. Add the borax and washing soda to the pail. Stir until the ingredients are dissolved.
  4. Add two gallons of water and stir until everything is mixed together.
  5. Keep the pail covered.
  6. When washing laundry, use 1/4 cup of the detergent for each regular-sized load of laundry.

If you’d like to make the detergent scented, you can add a few drops of aromatic essential oil to the mixture once it’s cooled down. Every time you use the detergent, you’ll need to mix it first.

Sharron Easley is a professional blogger that enjoys providing information on do-it-yourself candles, lotions, soaps and cosmetic supplies. She writes for the Chemistry Store, the best place to buy essential oil blends and buy fragrance oils.