Homemade Laundry Detergent:

After we brought my newborn daughter home from the hospital and priced out the leading brand of "good for your baby" detergent, I realized I needed a good "do it yourself" recipe.  We found one we are happy to share with you and have been using it exclusively since 2009.  Maybe you don't have a brand new baby in the house, but can your relate to any of these other reasons to make the switch?


Make Your Own Laundry Soap?  Why?

  • Great low suds option for HE washers
  • Rid your laundry routine of all harmful chemicals = better for you and better for your entire family
  • 4 easy ingredient recipe
  • 2 Varieties (dry or liquid)
  • Zero phosphates and zero fillers so it is the BEST option for your septic system
  • It gives you a sense of joy and accomplishment
  • It SAVES you money!  You can make 5 gallons of homemade laundry soap for approximately $4.00.

Dry Recipe - use 1 Tablespoon per load (2-3 Tablespoons for large or extra soiled loads)

  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer® Super Washing Soda
  • 1 cup 20 Mule Team® Borax
  • 1 bar of shredded soap - (Dr. Bronner’s, Kirk’s Castile Saop, Ivory, ZOTE, or Fels-Naptha
    • I prefer the lemon scent of Fels-Naptha.

Directions - Thoroughly stir together for several minutes and enjoy the results! You can take this a step further and blend the mixture in a blender or food processor to create a powder that will dissolve easily even in cold water. (Just be sure to let the dust settle before removing the lid of your blender or food processor so you don’t inhale the fine particles.) Store in a sealed container with a small scoop.

Liquid Recipe - use 1/2 to 1 cup per load

  • 2 cups Arm & Hammer® Super Washing Soda
  • 2 cups 20 Mule Team® Borax
  • Choice of essential oil for added fragrance - optional
  • Large receptacle to store the detergent.  I use a clean heavy duty plastic commercial kitty liter container with lid.  
  • 1 bar of shredded soap - (Dr. Bronner’s, Kirk’s Castile Saop, Ivory, ZOTE, or Fels-Naptha)  
    • I prefer the lemon scent of Fels-Naptha.


  1. Shred your bar of soap using a cheese shredder.  I prefer the smallest shred option because the soap will dissolve quicker.
    • TIP: consider shredding 2-3 additional bars and storing them for your next batches.
  2. Put 4.5 gallons of really hot tap water in a 5-gallon bucket/receptacle.  Preferably with a lid - kitty litter containers work great.
  3. Add the soap shreds to a large pot containing 8 cups of boiling water.  Keep the heat on medium and stir the soap until it is completely melted – about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the 20 Mule Team® Borax and Arm & Hammer® Super Washing Soda to the large pot
  5. Continue stirring the mixture until is completely dissolved - about 2 minutes.  Do not leave the pot unattended it will boil over!
  6. Add the mixture to the hot tap water and stir well.
  7. Stir occasionally as it cools.  The mixture will result in a gel-like consistency.
shredding soap for DIY laundry detergent