How To

How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Laundry Supplies

We get it. You’re picky about your laundry detergent. You’ve spent years playing the field – and no small amount of sniffing and snuggling – before finding your beloved brand.

The thing is, your sun-and-stars detergent is probably putting a hurting on your wallet over time.

There’s a cheaper, just-as-lovely option: DIY detergent!

This simple recipe only requires three basic ingredients and costs about five cents per load. That means you’ll only need to spend about $25 per year on detergent (maybe less, if you take the whole “smell test” thing to heart).

That amounts to about $300 saved!

Breaking up is hard to do, but that store-bought detergent will just have to get over it!

What you’ll need:

  • Washing soda
  • Borax
  • Bar soap (we like Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, basil scent)
  • Mason jar or other airtight container
  • Cheese grater

Finely grate 2 cups of bar soap.

We don’t suggest using the same grater that rubs against your favorite cheese (soap and sharp cheddar don’t pair well). But an old or cheap cheese grater is perfect for this!

Measure 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda.

You can find these items in the detergent aisle of most grocery stores and some hardware stores. You might want to call ahead first just to be sure, because they’re not always in stock.

Mix well and store. 

A re-sealable, airtight container works best. We chose an apothecary glass because sometimes we like to get fancy, but a simple mason jar works just as well!

Use 2 tablespoons per load. 

This detergent is low on suds, which is perfect for high-efficiency washing machines.

Because of its low-suds count, you might be tempted to add more soap, but there’s no need! As long as you pre-treat tough stains before washing, you’ll do just fine.

BrightNest is a free site that provides tools and tips to homeowners to help them save money, get organized and keep their home in great shape.