It’s been years since I originally created this recipe for DIY laundry detergent. It’s a powder concentration, not liquid.
Anyway, much like my DIY dishwasher detergent, I came up with this powdered version of laundry detergent for two reasons.
One, this was back in our frugal days, so I wanted to save money.
And, two, I wanted to see if I really could make homemade powder laundry detergent.
And I did.
3 ingredients for DIY laundry detergent powder
Since dry or powder DIY laundry detergent seemed to be the easiest to make, that’s what I did all those years ago.
There are just three ingredients in this recipe. You can find them easily at the supermarket.
Or, more conveniently, at Target or Amazon.
Those three ingredients are:
Where to find ingredients in the store
If you decide to buy your supplies in person, keep this in mind: washing soda is not the same as baking soda.
Whereas baking soda is in the baking aisle, washing soda will be in the laundry aisle.
On the other hand, Borax may be in the laundry aisle. Or, it could be in the cleaning aisle.
Finally, you should find Fels-Naptha Soap in the laundry aisle, too.
My take on Fels-Naptha stuff is that it is like an old-school stain-removal stick except it comes in bar form.
DIY powder laundry detergent recipe
My plan was to store this DIY detergent in a reusable Rubbermaid 10-cup container with a lid.
So as I went through the steps for this recipe, I mixed all of the ingredients right in the container. It was so easy.
- 2 parts washing soda (I did this quite literally and started with two cups of washing soda)
- 2 parts Borax (again, the literal approach with two cups)
- 1 part grated or chopped Fels-Naptha soap (I’d read that some people put the soap in a food processor to get it into tiny bits; I just got out my cheese grater and put it to work)
- Mix all ingredients (I put the top on the container and gave it a couple of shakes. I could have stirred it with a spoon)
- Do laundry (I dropped a 1/4 cup measuring spoon into the container for doling out the detergent. Most of the recipes I’d read recommended using anything from 3 tablespoons to 4 tablespoons of detergent in the wash. I figured why not just measure out the 1/4 cup–which equals 4 tablespoons–and be done with it)
It took me five minutes only to put this all together. Really, only five minutes. Grating the soap is what took the longest.
DIY detergent works in all kinds of washing machines
Since creating this DIY powdered detergent years ago, I’ve used it in all kinds of washing machines.
One house had a front-loading washing machine that required HE or high efficiency laundry detergent. Guess what?
My DIY laundry detergent recipe worked. That’s probably because it doesn’t make a lot of bubbles like traditional laundry detergent.
Then we moved and the house had an old-fashioned top loader machine, with an agitator in the middle. Same outcome–laundry detergent worked.
Finally, that washing machine died and we got another top loader–this time without the agitator in the middle.
And once again, success. I can confidently say that, for me, this powdered laundry detergent works well in all kinds of washing machines.
Works great on body odor
I do Peloton every day. So, I sweat a lot.
Also, I’m always washing my workout clothing.
I need a laundry detergent that can get BO out of my clothes.
This easy DIY recipe works on that, too.
Final thoughts on my DIY laundry detergent
Here’s the upside to my DIY laundry detergent powder.
One, I can say that I made my own laundry detergent.
And, two, I’m saving money.
The one downside to my DIY dry detergent? I’m still scarred by those “ring around the collar” Wisk commercials from the 1970s.
Therefore, I’m pretty anal about trying to get those rings out of my husband’s work shirts.
In the past I would pour the liquid detergent on the “ring” and then sprinkle some Borax on it. Usually just water and Borax didn’t do the trick, which is why I added the liquid detergent to the mix.
However, I did find a laundry hack that works–clarifying shampoo. It does a great job getting out that ring around the collar.