Jackatessa's Blog

This is a collection of recipes, canning projects, crochet, crafts, cakes, and anything else I find interesting!

Powdered Laundry Detergent

on November 2, 2011

So months ago, my sister and I decided that we wanted to try making laundry detergent at home.  We looked up some recipes and there were three basic things that they all called for: washing soda, borax, and some kind of soap.  Easy!  You can get all of that at Walmart for just a few dollars.  So we bought it intending to make it, then life got in the way and here we are 6 months later and I decided I had moved that box of borax for the last time lol!!  This literally took five minutes, and that was spent grating the soap.  It’s easy, it’s cheap, and it smells GOOD!  FYI- you can get the borax and washing soda by the laundry detergent and they are about $3 for each box.  Here’s how I did it:

Gather your supplies:


Washing soda (NOT baking soda!)

Bar of soap

Unwrap your bar of soap ( I used an Olay bar that was Mandarin something or other, but you could use Ivory or Dove or whatever you’d like) and grate it into a container.  I have a special grater that I use to grate soap and wax and stuff that I got at the dollar tree.  I don’t want my cheese to taste like soap, ya know!?

Once it’s all grated, add your borax and washing soda.  I used 2 cups of each.

Mix it all together with a spoon until it’s totally incorporated.


And you’re done!  Just store it in a tupperware or something that won’t dump.  Right now I just poured it into an old Gain box I had kept so that I could mix the homemade detergent with a box of store bought detergent so that it would stretch farther.  I really like the smell of Tide and Gain, but don’t really like that price.  I had gotten a great deal and had stocked up on boxes of Tide and Gain for only 75 cents a box, so I was thinking it would help stretch them out a bit, but to be honest, the soap I put in the homemade stuff is so strong and smells so good, I think I’ll just leave it be. 🙂

The best thing about the homemade stuff is that you only need 2 tablespoons per load!  This batch should last me awhile!  Especially since we only do 3 loads of laundry a week….. Also, one thing to note, there won’t be ‘suds’ like there would be with most commercial detergent.  But that’s ok!  The bubbles aren’t what makes your clothes clean, it’s the soap.

So for a quick breakdown, you could go out and buy a (small) box of Tide for $6, on sale, and it would last you 21 washes(30ish cents a load), or you could go spend $6 and have enough to make 15 cups of soap (approximately) that you use 2 tablespoons at a time….so that’s 6o loads at 10 cents a load.  Woot for saving some money!


2 responses to “Powdered Laundry Detergent

  1. What a great idea!! This sounds very interesting. How does it clean?

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