No-Grate Homemade Laundry Soap


Despite all the enthusiasm over making homemade laundry detergent recently…I continue to hear murmurings from those who just can’t bring themselves to grate soap and cook it on the stove.

It apparently just isn’t going to happen. :-)

I’m not naming any names…but my older sister would probably freely admit she didn’t decide to even attempt making her own laundry detergent UNTIL I told her about this “new” recipe I was testing out.

(I know it seems like I’m always “picking on” her…but she called me a “brat” on her blog recently…so she pretty much deserves it. lol).

Once again I have to credit the incredible readers of this blog for my inspiration.


Tiffanie posted this on February 4th….
A close friend of mine has been making laundry soap like this one for years, until just recently she found an easier one to make and passed it on to us.

3 Tablespoons Borax
3 Tablespoons Washing Soda
2 Tablespoons Dawn Dish soap

Put these ingredients in a one gallon jug. Pour 4 cups boiling water into the jug. Swirl until ingredients are dissolved in the liquid. Let liquid cool. Then fill almost to the top with cold water. The bubbles will overflow out of the bottle.
I love this because you can pick an awesome scent with the Dawn dish soap. This dish soap works the best because it gets grease out. :o)

February 4, 2012 8:59 PM

homemade laundry detergent

homemade laundry detergent

As FOND as I am of the soap I’ve been using for over 8 months now…I felt I needed to at least give this version a fair shake. Sooo…I made up a gallon of it and have been using it for almost a week. I’ve used almost the entire gallon and despite my initial skepticism…I have not noticed any difference in it’s ability to get my clothes clean from my current recipe. I use approximately 1/2 cup to 1 cup per load. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s pretty thin and since it’s SO easy and inexpensive to make, it doesn’t bother me.

Of course there are still those items of clothing that will need an extra boost with some Homemade Shout or Homemade Oxi-Clean….but overall I honestly haven’t noticed any difference in it’s cleaning ability.

For those of you concerned with HE washers…I haven’t noticed any more soap suds with this “recipe” either. On a small load I will notice some sudsing…but on a large load…it appears to me to be as low-suds as my previous version.


homemade laundry detergent

So….today I offer up this “new” version of homemade laundry detergent to those who have to this point been reluctant or unwilling to try making their own. A couple of things that might convince you to try…no grating of soap…no cooking…and you can make one gallon at a time in just a few minutes.

If you DO decide to try it…I would love to know what you think. :-)




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  1. Adriel says

    I wonder if you could add liquid shout or resolve to it as an extra stain fighter. So far I love this recipe, but I still use oxiclean with it, because my kids are always a mess lol

  2. Kuuipo F. says

    THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for posting this “NON GRATING” recipe. I’ve always used Dawn Original to wash my dishes as I hate re-washing dishes by hand over and over again. Plus being raised with 5 other siblings washing dishes was a time consuming chore, lol. Well my husband is a Fuel Truck Driver and he constantly deals with oil, gas and diesel. This is the only thing that’ll give a him a good cleaning of his hands and arms as soon as he gets in the door. I will definitely going to give this a go and for trying this as 1 gallon run, it’s worth the price for me as a buy the BIG original Dawn from Costco anyways. Thank you sooo much again.

  3. ashley says

    Hey! I have made about 4 batches and love it but sometimes my daughters soiled clothes still smell a tad bit after washing would you reccomend using a oxi clean? Need some ideas

  4. Chenel says

    Shouting from the rooftops! A million thanks to you! Lol. I make my own detergent and the grating step is the pits. Also, the cooking step is enough to make me skip it and settle for powdered detergent ( which I loathe). So, with that being said: I love you maaan. Lol.

  5. Doll says

    I have not bought laundry detergent in over 3 months. I alternate between this formula and the year worth of powder formula. I love them both. Thank you for your blogs. They are very helpful for this stay at home mum of 3.

  6. Jessie says

    I absolutely love this soap! So easy to make and takes no time at all! We have hard water so I increased the ingredients by a TBS the second time I made it and that really improved it! Thanks for sharing!

  7. JAMES R. says

    I may have posted this already & if I have, I apologize.

    The laundry soap I make you do not “cook” on the stove…you do not “cook” it at all on anything.
    you DO have to grate the Fels Naptha bar soap tho…but you never have to cook it.

    Here’s what I do:


    1 Fels Naptha Laundry soap bar

    1 Cup of 20 Mule Team Borax

    1 Cup of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda(NOT baking powder, that is a totally different product)

    1 Cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda


    Grate the Fels Naptha as fine as you can Then put in a blender/food processor* to make into a fine powder.

    mix all ingredients together & store in an airtight jar or other container.

    1 -2 Tablespoons per laundry load is all you need to get your clothes their whitest & brightest.

    This works just as good, if not better than the commercial laundry detergent for a whole lot less money.

    I have been using this for about 6 months now.

    All items can be found in most grocery stores in the Laundry aisle.

    Hardware stores have been known to carry these items also.

    *I recommend that you not use the same blender or food processor that you use to cook with but rather find a second hand shop & buy a used one for making laundry soap.

  8. says

    I am currently making about 3 gallons of this right now (waiting for water to boil!) and I am using Dr. Bonners unscented liquid Castile soap as I hate, hate, hate the smell of Dawn. It literally makes me gag. And I prefer the unscented for skin sensitivity issues. I will let you know how it goes…or you could check out the write up on my blog later this week! :)

  9. Julie says

    I have been making this recipe I found on your site for a few months now and LOVE it! I have my 2 sisters, my son and his wife, a guy at my office and now my daughters boyfriend making it. It is wonderful stuff!! Thanks a load!! :-)

  10. Alicia says

    I had been loving my powdered versions but wanted to try the no grate recipe.
    (which works great by the way) It was going good then on my third batch making 3 jugs I noticed CRYSTALS when I was using it one day to wash clothes! What happened??? I heard of making borax crystals before lol but what happened why are they in my bottles of laundry soap??? Did I do something wrong?

  11. Erica says

    Hi! Just wondering if it would be okay to put the Purex laundry enhancer in with this recipe? I LOVE for my laundry to smell good and have been looking for ways to accomplish this easily without the scent disappearing over time!
    Thanks for any and all help! :)

  12. FolSac says

    I didn’t realize there were differences in Dawn. I have both the blue and a green apple-scented Dawn. I just checked and sure enough, the green says hand soap. I used the apple because I really like the fragrance for the clothes detergent and not so much for dishes. I might try mixing the two for my next batch of clothes detergent. I just got an HE washer and use 1/4 c of the DIY mixture in my machine. I also add 1/2 scoop of oxiclean to the bottom of the basket before loading clothes.

  13. melissa says

    I have been making your super concentrate laundry soap, homemade scent beads for washer and fabric softener for almost a year now. I love it! Can’t see myself ever buying these items again! I also use your stain fighter and it does the job!! Thanks so much!

  14. Bonnie DeNardo says

    A very fun way to use Ivory bar soap for this laundry detergent. My children love it, put the bar of soap on a plate in the microwave for 2 minutes. Keep an eye on it. It will grow!!!! The kids love playing with it, its like a cloud, but magically it turns to dust once you play with it. So I decided to combine the kids fun with my detergent making and it works out great!!!! This only works with Ivory bar soap though. Try it out!!! Have fun :)

  15. Christina says

    When I tried pouring boiling water into the jug, my jug started melting. So now I mix it all in a heavy duty plastic tub/container or glass bowl, then let it cool and then pour into the jug. :)

  16. Val says

    Thanks for this recipe. Not only is this much easier than grating/cooking the soap, it actually works much better. I have a front loader, and the other soap just wasn’t getting rid of odors/stains. This will be cheaper too as you can get many batches from one bottle of dish soap.

    I found some variations of this recipe online. I just made up a batch and added one extra tbsp of every ingredient. I also used Gain dish soap this time, and it smells really nice.

    I made some of this up for a couple people to try, and I told two other people about it and they are making some too. Thanks again.

  17. Carrie says

    Is there any reason you couldn’t make this more concentrated by adding less water? It just seems like the more you dilute it, the more space it takes up, the faster you run through it and the more frequently you’ll have to make more. If it’s all the same, I would add just enough water to dissolve everything and make it a pour-able texture. What are your thoughts?

  18. says

    I started by making the kind of laundry soap that you have to grate a bar of soap and while it worked well, I really had nowhere to keep a huge tub of soap. Plus it was more working just making it and mine always separated and had to be stirred to refill my gallon jug.

    When I found this recipe, I switched. I love it! I never have to remember to buy laundry soap now. When I run out I just make a new batch. I find the recipe to be very forgiving as to how it is made. I see no difference in how my clothing turns out after being washed in this soap.

    Definitely a keeper. I am sharing the recipe with a friend today as I mentioned making my own laundry soap last week and she wondered how I did that.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  19. donny says

    I use 1 cup of borax, one cup of ajax washing powder and 1/4 cup of regular dawn. works great with my well water. I don’t have a water softener. NOTE: ADD DAWN WHEN POWDERS ARE DISSOLVED AND AFTER FILLING WITH WATER. YOU WON’T HAVE BUBBLE PROBLEMS

  20. Rebeccah says

    My Mom uses your recipe and loves it. I started with the “Chopped soap” version. Started putting a little water, about half a cup in blender, cut up the FN soap for single recipe and added to blender. You should end up the consistancy of homemade eggnog. Pour into container with water, borax, and washing soda and stir. No cooking, grating. Have been using for over a year and will never buy commercial detergent again.

  21. says

    I had made this for the 3rd time this time I used 3 tablespoons of regular baking soda,3 tablesspoon of oxi-clean and a one teaspoon of scented liquid soap from the bath room and it makes your clothes smell nice. Thank you for this laundry detergent recipe. I have a 7 yr old daughter gets alot of grass stains and this has work on her white T-Shirts and her white jeans.

  22. Veronica says

    I didn’t want to make a whole gallons worth of laundry detergent at time. So this is GREAT! Can you possibly substitute the dawn with like a bar of dove soap. I know id have to cook, but, again, I don’t want to make 5 gallons at a time.

  23. says

    I cannot find Super Washing Soda in two grocery stores that I went to. Too bad. Any alternative to the washing soda?

    I’ll also forward this link to my wife so she can try this at home. Thanks and have a great weekend! :)

  24. says

    I’ve been using this mixture in my HE washer for a few months now and love it! We just moved overseas and I used it in the hotel in a standard washer and still love it. It is great for traveling because its easy to pack the ingredients separately (borax & wash inside in zip lock bags & dawn in a small travel shampoo bottle) and mix them in a plastic water bottle on the road :) I have also added Spark Natural’s Essensial oil blend Shield and love it for killing germs-especially if someone has been sick.

  25. says

    I’ve been using this detergent for several months now and love it. It also travels well and the components are easy to pack and smaller amounts can be made in water bottles while traveling :) I have a question though-does anyone know if this is safe for cloth diapers? We are expecting our first and I have to prep diapers and just wanted to check first. We do not have a front loader-we’ll be using a typical whirlpool.

  26. Brenda Y says

    I love your ideas, and help…and I use this with good results. I do one thing different. I heat the dry ingredients, in 1 1/2 c water in microwave safe glass measuring cup, stirring and continuing to heat, until dissolved. I then add the Dawn, let set til not too hot for the jug ( I use a gallon water bottle ) and then add the remainder of the water. I do this because I always had an issue with my homemade washing soda completely dissolving. I thought I would just let you know. No complaints, here, though!

  27. Sue Bishop says

    I have been making this soap for about 1 year now, and I love it very, very much! It is simple to make, and the ingredients have lasted me over a year, so it is very inexpensive to make and use.

    I put vinegar into a Downy ball to the fill line, and my clothes come out wonderfully! In the dryer, I have an aluminum ball, and two sock balls (made out of two pairs of white socks) and have had no problems with static – unless I have put in more than one sweater, but I should be hanging them anyway.


  28. Susan Harrison says

    I make this recipe and I have NO complaints … it does a great job … BUT … I have tweeked the making of it so it is easier and more practical without having to deal with suds coming out the top of the container when mixing the ingredients.

  29. Mandy Jones says

    I have been using this soap for close to a year and I absolutely LOVE IT!!! It is SO cheap. Now I have noticed that if I am not using a fabric softener then if you get sweaty in the clothes they do get a little Mildew smelling. But I use my homemade softener too and it smells lovely!

  30. raji says

    I am from INDIA. can’t find any of the bar soaps you have mentioned, even online. Will any barsowp work? Also, could you pls mention the amount of ingredents needed in gram or kg, esp the weight of bar soap

  31. Jude says

    My daughter and I have been using the no grate recipe for about a year now…It does a great job even on dirty ‘garden/yard work’ clothes. I think I might try one of the recipes for fabric softener and ‘shout’ next!! lol….This is so cost effective and only takes a couple of minutes to mix up a batch. I’ve found that if I mix everything EXCEPT the Dawn dish liquid…add that last and you won’t have bubbles overflowing! I just pour it in, put the lid on and invert a couple of times…


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