DIY Laundry Detergent – Yes, It Works!

Generally when describing myself the word “hippie” isn’t one of the first that comes to mind. But there are two things I’ve started doing over the past year that I think qualify as “hippie-ish.”

1 – I don’t use shampoo anymore. (I still wash my hair, don’t worry!)
2 – I make my own laundry detergent.

I’m happy to go into more detail about my no-shampoo life in another post but I’m here today to share how easy and cost effective it is to DIY yourself some detergent. I can’t take credit for this myself – my sister-in-law found the recipe on Pinterest and passed along a sample to me to try after she made it. I was a little leery about using powdered detergent vs the liquid I was used to but after one wash I was a convert! I think I was nervous about it because I had never used powdered detergent before and also I’m a creature of habit. ūüėČ

This is now the second time I’ve made the detergent in probably close to a year. I can’t remember the date of the first time I made it, but I also can’t remember the last time I bought detergent… so it’s been awhile! I marked this last date in my calendar so I can keep track of how long the detergent lasts this time.

This is seriously easy. Are you ready?


Recipe based off of Natural Homestead, with some minor tweaks.

You will need:

The first and most strenuous part of this – grate the Fels Naptha bars. I use my cheese grater and while it’s a pain in the butt to do it, it takes 10 minutes and a little bit of elbow grease and you’re done.

DIY Laundry Detergent from
This may sound silly but PLEASE be careful if you have young children in the house while grating the soap – you can see the soap curls look like shredded cheese. You definitely want to keep it out of reach!

DIY Laundry Detergent from

Next, take the three dry ingredients and mix them together in a large bowl. Then put the shredded Fels Naptha bar into your food processor and add about one cup of the powdered mix to it so it doesn’t stick to the blades. Repeat the process two or three times until the bar soap is fully integrated into the powder.

DIY Laundry Detergent from

And that’s it! You’ve made your own laundry detergent!! Some people add essential oils to give the detergent more of a scent/perfume¬†but I never liked scented detergents so I do without it. And I like how the detergent smells on its own anyway.

To use the detergent I keep it on a table next to my washer in a one gallon¬†candy jar I got off of Amazon. To scoop out the soap I use a tablespoon. One tablespoon per laundry load does the trick! I sometimes scoop a little more or less depending on how much laundry I have in the washer, but there’s really nothing else to it!

DIY Laundry Detergent from

DIY Laundry Detergent from

For about 15 minutes of effort no more than once a year (give or take) I can’t say I’d ever go back to purchasing laundry detergent from the store! This saves us money, I think it smells great and I see no difference in the quality of our clothes.


{affiliate links used… yeppers}


  1. […] When I saw this deal on a 6 pack of Borax detergent for under $20 I grabbed it. I use Borax to make my own laundry detergent and this is a GREAT price for six boxes! (And the deal is still […]


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