We’ve been using this detergent recipe for a few years, and it works great!
Here’s the “recipe” in this video (written details are also listed below)…
What you need –
-5 gallon bucket with lid
-long paint stick (can get from the paint dept. when you get a bucket & lid)
-bar soap (5.5 oz) that is not perfumed (look for hand-made soaps in local shops or farmers markets; you should be able to find soaps that contain only: “Saponified Oils of Palm and Coconut; Glycerine”)
-1/2 cup of Borax
-1 cup Washing Soda (not Baking Soda but by Arm & Hammer – buy it in the laundry aisle)
Cut bar of soap into small pieces or grate. I strongly recommend GRATING because it will melt so much faster!
Cook soap pieces in 4 cups hot water on cook-top – medium heat; stirring frequently until fully dissolved.
Fill bucket half full with hot tap water
Add the dissolved soap/water from cook-top.
Pour in the Washing Soda & Borax and stir until dissolved
Fill bucket with additional hot tap water – to 5 gallon mark and stir.
Place lid on bucket and let sit overnight to gel.
The next day, stir and pour solution into smaller containers. (Just use old liquid laundry detergent bottles, half gallon or gallon milk/juice/water jugs).
This solution is a concentrate, so be sure to add it to your machine water BEFORE adding clothes. Also, this soap will not form suds – don’t worry, it’s not the suds that do the cleaning; it’s the components of the soap 🙂
I give my jug a quick swish before each use, but vigorous shaking is not necessary.
To add to your wash, pour 1/4 cup per load for top load machines (320 loads) or 1/8 cup for front load or high efficiency machines (640 loads). Some folks have even used only 1 TBSP with front load machines and it worked fine (1280 loads)!!!
**I’ve been told that by adding 1/4 – 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle, this makes the clothes super soft and keeps your washing machine hoses clean as well as helps eliminate any odors on clothing….AND……fabric softener sheets in the dryer can be replaced by simply adding vinegar to the rinse cycle. If you don’t have a liquid fabric softener spot on your machine you could use one of those Downy balls and fill instead with vinegar.
Does this apply to HE front load washing machine? If so, can you tell me the measurement of it? Thanks!
Yep. Use 1/8 cup for HE front load machines. Although, my cousin tried half that amount (which is 1 TBSP) and it’s been working fine in her HE front load for years!
Hi Christy! I’ve tried my own homemade laundry detergent and had trouble with it leaving spots on clothes. It was a powder though. Do you have that problem with this recipe?
I’ve never had that problems with this recipe…I can bring you a sample when I stop by with your Grocery Guide 🙂 That way you can test it out for yourself before making an entire batch 🙂
Cool! I will accept your sample 🙂 .
This recipe works absolutely amazing, thank you. I have shared this with dozens of people who also love it.
Super! Thanks so much for the feedback. It’s always nice to know when someone found something useful 🙂
I’ve read contradictory things about borax. Have you read anything about Borax that would help me understand what it is?
Making your own laundry detergent is awesome! Been doing the powdered one for years (just use 1tbl spn per load, 2 if super super icky). I did try the liquid and it was just too much hassle in the kitchen. =( Now I just store all my supplies for the powder in the big bucket and make it every 2-3 months when I’m out.
Made this-absolutely in love, will never go back to store bought! Quick question though approximately how many months does this last you?
We only do 2-4 loads per week and we have a high-efficiency washer, so it’s been well over a year since I made my last batch 🙂
I also have used HM detergent, but only the powder. I am also seeing spots on some of my loads. They appear to be “oil” spots. Has anyone else had this problem?
Mine hasn’t gelled up? Any advice? Can I just use it anyways?
I’ve heard from other folks that there’s didn’t gel but that it works fine anyway 🙂
My soap did not gel, is this a problem? Wondering what I did wrong and if I can still safely use it?
That’s never happened to me, so I can’t speak from experience. But MANY folks have reported to me that theirs didn’t gel, and it still workded great!
Does it make a difference if I use hard or soft water?
Not sure…we had soft water at our old house and hard water at our current house….haven’t noticed any difference, though.
Can you recommend a soap brand ?
Would Ivory work or would Tom’s of Maine soap be better?
Not sure. I’ve never used either of those. I know lots of folks use Fels Naptha brand, though
Could you be so kind to clarify some things for me so I can try your recipe? I live in Bosnia and Herzegovina so:
– borax had to buy on ebay
– washing soda couldn’t find in stores that I looked in (have been in 4 large stores) but found some recipe to convert baking soda to washing soda (by baking it in oven for some time)
– bar soap (this is the real question) – is it bar soap for washing hands or bar soap for laundry?
I want apologize for my English (I never really learnt it in school and it’s not my maternal language) and maybe it’s the reason I don’t understand this thing with bar soap.
We use bar soap for hand washing but many folks use the laundry soap bars, instead