Super Fast and Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent!

My initial attempt at making my own homemade laundry detergent started back in July of last year.  I have to laugh at my first post about it because I was so “up in arms” about the high cost, etc. that I finally said “enough is enough” and haven’t ever gone back!

I HAVE however made some tweaks to my system along the way and have shared them as well.

On August 20th, 2011 I revisited my first post with a few more insights into the process because at that point I’m pretty sure I felt like I was an “expert”. ;-)

Then in January of THIS year I posted a Step-by-Step-by-Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial of exactly how I made my detergent for those who seemed to be confused about the process.

And JUST when everyone was finally figuring it all out….the next month I threw you all a curve ball and changed up the whole recipe to a No-Grate method. Honestly, at that point I wasn’t intending to use this recipe exclusively. I was just offering it as an alternative to those who I knew for a fact wouldn’t grate soap…like my sisters. ;-)  Little did I know at the time that this would become my “laundry detergent of choice”….at least for now.  One never knows when something even better will come along. :-)

Which brings us to TODAY! The reason I am bringing up all this homemade laundry soap history is that today was soap-making day and since I was making my usual 3 gallon batch…I thought I would take a few pictures and show you how easy it is!

And just so you know….I have NOTHING against the original recipe I posted. It’s good stuff! It’s just that PERSONALLY this is SO much faster for me to make and my soap-making time is SO limited as of late! It would make much more sense for me to just go back to buying it at the store…but I honestly don’t think I can make myself do that. I am a complete convert to the homemade stuff. :-)

So this is what I do now…and I offer it merely as an idea/alternative for whomever thinks it might be something that would work for them as well.

Jillee’s Super Fast & Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

(recipe amounts are for one gallon and I make 3 recipes/gallons at a time.)

3 Tablespoons Borax
3 Tablespoons Washing Soda
2 Tablespoons Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid

I like to line up my (3) one gallon jugs (old Minute Maid O.J. bottles) and then add the ingredients assembly line style. I use a small plastic funnel for this and it helps to make it all go much faster and with much fewer spills.

Once all three jugs have the 3 ingredients inside, I pour 4 cups of VERY HOT water into each one. I just use water from the kitchen faucet, it doesn’t need to be boiling. Swirl each bottle until all the ingredients are dissolved in the liquid. Then fill almost to the top with cold water. (Bubbles will overflow out of the bottle a little.)




It is NOT a THICK liquid detergent. It’s quite thin in fact. But it works JUST AS WELL! It has little to no suds (just like the grated soap kind) and it is fine to use in HE washers for that reason. VERY low to no suds.

BECAUSE it is thin….I end up using more of it than the thicker “cooked” version…usually AROUND a cup. Sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. But I am fine with that because it is SO inexpensive (and easy) to make! (I’d try and figure out the actual cost…but my brain is WAY too tired right now. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe one of you math whizzes out there will take pity on me and figure it out FOR me! :-)

UPDATE: Lisa took pity on me!! :-)  Thank you Lisa!!

Lisa April 30, 2012 at 7:35 am
Jillee, I love your blog with such useful tips, I figured all the good tips you give me, I’d do the math I’m no mathematic genius but here it goes .. I paid 3.83 for borax at Walmart , 1.99 for washing soda, and $ 2.00 for dawn. Ok I rounded up to nearest whole dollar so 1 box of borax is 76 ounces so it makes 50 gallons of detergent equaling =0.08 per gallon. One box washing soda is 55 ounces which will make 48 gallons of detergent=0.05/load. The dawn was 48 ounces so it will make 36 gallons of detergent =0.04 per gallon. So my educated guess is each gallon cost is $0.17 !! Now that’s one good thing!!!! P. S. I love your cafe rio sweet pork recipe!!!!


I also use this along with the other “weapons” in my laundry arsenal: homemade “Shout”, homemade “OxiClean“, and homemade fabric softener.

I have been VERY pleased with this “system” for my family….of course I’m always willing to learn new tricks! :-)   Let the commenting begin…….


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  1. KK says

    My elderly mother lives with me and it’s hard for her to lift a gallon jug. When I made this for the first time, we just left it concentrated and use 1/4th as much. Also, if you put the hot water in first it’s easier to swirl the water around to dissolve the dry ingredients. We love using this and will never go back!

      • piper says

        No, I think she meant that she makes the recipe as outline by Jillee with the original measurements, but then she stops after adding 4 cups of hot water. So instead of filling the gallon jug up the rest of the way with water, she just uses 1/4 cup of the ‘concentrated’ mixture instead of 1 cup of the version with extra water.

    • Kathy says

      OK, just read some comments regarding making a more concentrated recipe, so to use 1/4 cup of detergent, make 1 gallon of concentrate:

      Pour hot water into a gallon container, less 2 cups or so (leaving room for ingredients)

      3/4 Cup Borax
      3/4 Cup Washing Soda
      1/2 Cup dishwashing soap ( liquid)

      Mix til all is dissolved. Can add hot water to fill to top if wished.

    • Megan says

      i was thinking about making this since i have all the stuff. My thought though, is that instead of using 3, 3, and 2 tbsp i’d make use 3/4c (12 tbsp), 3/4 cup, and 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) and then just add all hot water. Making it a full gallon of concentrated. and just use a quarter cup. :)

  2. Helen Forbes says

    I think I will use my old laundry detergent bottles. They are smaller and easier to handle. I love the homemade fabric softner. I make my own dryer sheets with it and can’t wait to try this laundry detergent. Love the blog. Your ideas have really been fun to try. HElen

  3. Sandy says

    LOVE all your homemade ideas!!! I’m waiting for a homemade alternative to Endust. This is my favorite blog and I can’t wait each day to see what the ONE GOOD THING will be. Keep it up!

    • Amanda says

      Brooke- I bought a huge bottle of lavender scented dish soap from dollar tree a few months ago because I loved the smell. Tried it on my dishes and couldn’t get it to completely rinse off so it stayed under my cabinet for two months. Last month I needed more laundry soap so I pulled it out to try it and it worked!

      Granted, it didn’t work as well so I’m using a bit more of it but my clothes are really soft without using fabric softener and they smell great. So yes, you can use other scents. Even other brands! (But nothing seems to work as well as original blue dawn.)

      • Shannon says

        I have used Dollar Store dish soap before and was very disappointed. I didn’t think it worked well at all (for dishes). I’m curious to try the laundry detergent. I have some Palmolive stuff that’s “gentle on hands” and wondering if that will work for laundry?

  4. Audra says

    Every time I see an awesome pin on Pinterest it seems to be yours! I get to your site and say, “I should’ve known it was Jillee!” Thank you for sharing all your wonderful ideas. I’ll have to try this recipe. I use a powder one right now, but I’m thinking about switching. It works great, but I’ve heard that powders are bad for the machine. (My recipe – 2 c washing soda, 2 cups borax, 2 cups oxyclean, 2 cups Clorox2 and 2 bars Fels Naptha grated. I have a large capacity washer, so I use 3 TBSP’s per load)

  5. Amanda Collins says

    Did you ever come up with a bleach alternative that would be safe with ammonia? I wash a lot of whites for work, which requires the use of bleach for an antibacterial. And antimicrobial.

      • IMO says

        I have been using vinegar in my rinse water for 36 years! To think of the money I’ve saved by not buying fabric softener puts a huge smile on my wallet!
        Here is my thinking on this. My baby used cotton diapers. Cotton is very soft. So why would it be stiff when it’s washed? Answer: Soap residue. So I could either rinse the diapers twice or put vinegar in the rinse water to cut the soap. I chose the vinegar. I just pour it in the fabric dispenser cup in my washer. It worked perfectly. No vinegar smell. Clothes soft and fresh smelling. Freshness remained (sometimes for months!). Worked the same whether I dried clothes in the dryer or on line outside. My dryer doesn’t have the gunky coating from the fabric softener. It also keeps my dark clothes dark and strangely eliminates the ‘lint’ problem. Vinegar is an amazing product!

        • Melissa J says

          I have tried Vinegar, but it seems to never cut down on lint and it also seems like my clothes are still static-y when they come out of the dryer. I have tried Vinegar with the Downy ball, and have also tried it inside my fabric softener dispenser in my machine. What’s going wrong here?

  6. Gennyfer o says

    Would this work in an HE machine? I make my own powdered because it is easier for my visually impaired spouse to measure with the tablespoon, but, the ease of making this and the lower cost is tempting. If I can find a simple way for him to measure it I may switch.

    • Charlene says

      If you have a pool supply store nearby, they probably have a 3 oz scoop for sale. I would imagine if a top loader takes about a cup, I’d start with 3 oz or less of soap, and see how clean your clothes get. Or just use your 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup measuring cups, or even those small scoops from hot chocolate mixes. I’m sure there’s lots of small containers you could find that would work!

      • Nechelle says

        Me also! I use a red, plastic, Folgers coffee container (several for the powered version) and a scoop from Muscle Milk Protein powder, which is very slightly less than 1/3 cup (for the powdered version I use half a scoop for lg load and approx. a quarter of the scoop for smaller loads), that I leave in the Coffee container. I can also use a black sharpie to label it.

  7. Amanda says

    I’m going to give this one a try after my last batch is done. I got my recipe from another blog and it’s been working well, but lately it seems like just isn’t removing stains as well.

  8. Lisa says

    Jillee, I love your blog with such useful tips, I figured all the good tips you give me, I’d do the math I’m no mathematic genius but here it goes .. I paid 3.83 for borax at Walmart , 1.99 for washing soda, and $ 2.00 for dawn. Ok I rounded up to nearest whole dollar so 1 box of borax is 76 ounces so it makes 50 gallons of detergent equaling =0.08 per gallon. One box washing soda is 55 ounces which will make 48 gallons of detergent=0.05/load. The dawn was 48 ounces so it will make 36 gallons of detergent =0.04 per gallon. So my educated guess is each gallon cost is $0.17 !! Now that’s one good thing!!!! P. S. I love your cafe rio sweet pork recipe!!!!

      • Shereen says

        I got the Hypoallergenic Dawn because everyone in the family has to have sent free and dye free everything due to sensitive skin, so it cost a little more bringing the Cost per gallon to $0.25 per gallon but I am still saving about $100 per month!

    • Amie says

      Using Lisa’s pricing. I figured 16 cups to a gallon, so it would come to a penny $0.01 a load!

      Around here the Borax is about $3, the dawn is closer to $4, and the washing soda is about the same at $2 give or take, rounding to the nearest dollar on all of them.

      I am looking for a good quality soap that is good for sensitive skin, as we’re allergic to everything but Free and Clear All. $0.13 cents a load

  9. Mama T says

    I tried this recipe the day you posted it. Like you, I have been making my own detergent for quite a while now(going on 2.5 years!) I was sick of grating, and thought this would be worth the test run. I love it! Instead of Dawn though, I bought a bottle of Gain dishwashing liquid, and use that. It smells wonderful, works just as well as the grated version, and the Gain was cheaper than Dawn.

    • ChristyK says

      I also used Gain (bc I had a ton I had gotten free with coupons – lol). I did add 2 Tbsp of OxyClean to the mixture though bc I have dogs, kids, a garden and a messy husband……
      It lost its color (my daughter was disappointed bc it was pink when we first made it), but it worked great. My dogs had both had injuries and so we had blood on dog beds. This got the blood out with no pre-treating.
      It also smells great – I love to open my linen closet now :)

    • Amy says

      I have been using the Borax, washing soda and Dawn for a while now. Our clothes get clean. And they are brighter, it is awesome. However, lately I have decided I want a cleaner smelling scent. And that gain dishwashing liquid may just be what I need. Thanks!

      • Nancy Wenz says

        Purex Crystals are not bleach, they are a clean smelling product to add to your soap mix. You will find it in the laundry area of your store. I add one half cup to a 2 gallon batch. It makes your laundry smell wonderful, and also your house when making it. I also use the crystals ( dissolved in hot water) to make room deodorizer . Hope this is a helpful hint.

    • Mama Pickles says

      When my current batch made with Dawn runs out, I planned on using liquid castle soap. When I made powder laundry detergent I grated a castille bar so I see no reason why liquid castle wouldn’t work here.

  10. says

    Just curious… Did you put 1 Tbs in each of the 3 bottles, or 3 Tbs in ea? I am pretty happy with my laundry soap version but I notice weird greasy spots on shirts once and a while. I am thinking the Dawn would definitely stop that issue. Can’t wait to try it!

      • Sarah says

        Are you adding the laundry detergent in before you add your clothes, or pouring it on top? If you’re pouring it on top try starting your washing machine, adding the detergent, and then adding the clothes. I used to have this same problem when I would pour the soap on top of our clothes.

        • Laurie says

          Actually my daughter has a top loader and we add the detergent first and I have an HE and add the detergent to the dispenser. We both have the same problem. We are now going to try the Liquid with the Dawn and hope that take care of the problem.

          • Kindall says

            I had the same problem. I started adding the water and the detergent together and manually turning the middle a few times to mix it. I haven’t had a problem since. I then rewashed to spotty clothes in just water a few times and they came out. Its because when you add the liquids on top on the clothes they soak into that spot directly and it doesn’t even out, its too concentrated on that one area to wash out.

      • Leslie says

        Regarding the greasy spots showing up… Are you using a fabric softener, also? I have an HE and I’ve noticed the occasional greasy spot. It’s my fabric softener. Since my machine doesn’t fill up with water, it just ‘pours’ into the drum. If the fabric softener lands on the clothes and then doesn’t immediately get hit with water also, it leaves a grease spot. Since the rinse cycle is the last one, there is no soap to wash the grease spot away. I have started diluting my softener a little bit when I pour it in the dispenser at the beginning of the load. I especially make a point of this when I’m washing a dark load, as the spots seem to be more pronounced on them.

        Just a thought!

          • Jess says

            Add some vinegar to your fabric softener section or to your rinse cycle – this eliminates any residue, brightens the colours, softens the fabric and boosts the cleaning ability. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, try adding a few drops of lemon juice. If washing colours, only use a little lemon (or some essential oils) but if washing whites, add maybe a whole lemons worth – this lightens your whites brilliantly, especially if you hang them in the sun to dry!

            • Alisha says

              I’m not sure about preventing those greasy spots but baking soda will take them out. Just pour a lot of it on the spot and let it sit for a while and let it absorb the grease. And then wash as normal. I have done this with cooking stains so I’m sure it would work the same. It even works if you have washed and dried the clothes already.

  11. Georgann G says

    Love this stuff! My family makes fun of me, but I feel good about using it every time. I’m calling my local animal shelter to see if they would be interested in using this. I know they accept/use detergent as a wish lit item. I hope they see the benefit of this too. Keep the good things coming!

  12. Sue says

    If you left it at the first 4 cups of water, leaving it concentrated, I wonder how much you would use per large load? Anyone have an idea?

    Absolutely love your ideas. What a help you are to us homemakers.

    • kim says

      well, since there are 16 cups in a gallon, if you left it at just the 4 cups you’d need to use 1/4 cup. I imagine though that this isn’t an exact science and you need to tweak it for the size of loads you do.

  13. Laura :) says

    Wow, talk about timing!!!! My very first batch of homemade detergent (grated) is about to be gone and I need to mix up more _today_!!! Imagine my delight to visit today and see this recipe!!! And, I don’t need to grate soap…and it can be done right away!! This truly is one of my very favorite-est blogs!!!! Thank you, Jillee!!!! :D

    • crazywoman says

      You should be able to use any GOOD dish detergent. Why don’t you just try one jug (or cut the recipe in half or even 1/4 of it, and give it a try before making a full recipe. But, I’m sure if you are happy with Seventh Generation dish soap, it would work just fine.

  14. Nicole says

    If I made this detergent concentrated, using just the 4 cups of hot water, 3 tbsp borax and washing soda and 2 tbsp of dawn – is the mixture thick like store bought detergent?

  15. Theresa Stouder says

    I saw your post on pintrest and decided to try the laundry soap over this past weekend. Let me tell you we go to Sams twice a month and buy Tide (I am allergic to most detergants so Tide always worked best for me) each time. Its about $20 a container. So $40 a month. I will NEVER buy it again! I love the homemade detergant! We calculated it and we are saving over $400 a YEAR! What a difference. It has also inspired me to see what else I can make at home. I am now doing the no “poo” shampoo and I make my face wash. I am also doing my own house cleaners. I love this. Thank you so much!

      • Judy says

        I too am allergic to most detergents and have used Tide for over 25 years and tried your soap and have had no problems at all. My daughter is super super allergic to everything so she was my biggest concern and we have had absoluately no problems at all with her skin. I was a little nerves to start with so I only made one gallon and it works great and neither one of us has had a break out! Thanks so much Jillee for the great blog. Can’t wait for the Downey fabric softener to be gone so I can try another one of your recipes.

  16. Deyon says

    Hi Jillee, I LOVE your site – thanks for all your tips, they really are the best! I have yet to try any of the recipes for homemade laundry soap, but this one sounds great. I was wondering if you have any trouble with fading. I have to do a lot of gentle and was wondering if this would be okay to use. Thanks

  17. Stace says

    Hey Jillee, love your blog. Not to long ago when I came across your homemade laundry arsenal I was intrigued. My first mission was your laundry soap. My mother goes through laundry detergent like my daughter goes through diapers…. When I told my mother about doing this she thought I had lost my mind but I figured this was be an amazing money saver, and it is! I do concentrate it a little more as I have 2 little ones under 5 but it works great. My mother is impressed and hasnt even touched her half filled jug of commercial stuff. Thanks so much!

  18. says

    SO excited to try this! I have another recipe for homemade laundry detergent that I used for a while and gave up, and it’s just sitting there beside my store bought stuff that I use now instead! haha! it just wasnt cutting all the grease stains from my messy cooking! lol ;D This looks GREAT!! :)

  19. Sharon Murphy says

    I live in the UK and love your blog, I look forward to the posts each day. I have been building a collection of things to start making some of them and researching what the Uk equivalents are. I am now about to make my firtst batch of Laundry detergent and am sure I will love it. I am going to use Fairy Liquid dish soap with Aloe Vera and hope that will be OK. I will also keep it more concentrated and use less as I am limited on storage space. Will let you know how I get on. Thanks x

  20. Nancy says

    Jillee, LOVE your blog! I started making my own laundry soap years ago since I seem to be allergic to everything. I tried this version, but the Dawn makes me itchy :( so I will have to stay with my grated ivory soap! Everything I have tried on your blog works – just cleaned my shower of soapscum yesterday, it was a miracle! Can’t wait to make my own cooking spray!

    • Jules says

      Just a thought, don’t know if it would work. Jillee has the recipe for homemade body wash, just bar soap and water. Use that , but use a little more water to make thinner. I do the ivory soap bars. Just love it! Also try the microwave instead of grating. 90 seconds in microwave, it puffs up like a huge marshmallow and melts faster in that hot water than grating it, would never go back! Prob. less additives than the liquid Ivory dish soap!

    • mdoe37 says

      I use bar ivory in my powdered homemade detergent. But for some cleaning tasks I keep a bottle of Ivory dish soap. Maybe you could try a batch of the liquid detergent with that. I did just make up a batch with the Dawn that is actually in the washer right now. My test will be the smell and if the Dawn is too strong, I’ll try the Ivory.

      As an aside, since I don’t care for fragranced laundry, I use straight white vinegar in the dispenser. Clothes are very fresh and, no, don’t smell like a pickle. I’ve heard, though, that you could add fragrance too the vinegar.

  21. Lynn M says

    Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!! I must say you have impeccable timing!!! I’ve been doing the homemade laundry soap for several months now and love it, but I’m sick as a dog today and need to replenish my soap supply for the mountain of laundry I have. I was not looking forward to dragging out the food processor/etc. to make my usual large batch, so this recipe is perfect and quick. It will hold me over till I can make the other….. or who knows, this may become my new fav!!

  22. says

    I was just thinking that I need to make another batch of laundry detergent. I will try this recipe but just make 1 gallon to see how I like it. I love the results of fels-naptha and I grate mine with the food processor so the grating isn’t a big deal, but it is time consuming to cook and wait for it to cool. Thanks for sharing!

  23. says

    I can’t wait to try this. I’ve been making the grated homemade kind for years but it’s nice to be able to only make a gallon at a time; takes up less storage space and easier way to transport to laundry mat if you need to go there.

    • crazywoman says

      I make the grated soap kind, and I only make about 1 gallon (maybe a little more,,, I use an old detergent bottle which is just over a gallon). I cut the ingredient by 1/3 using 1/3 bar of soap at a time. I’ve actually only made it once, but will be making my next batch soon. I will not dilute it nearly as much next time I make it as I did the first time!! I prefer it thicker.
      I may decide to try this recipe someday, but not until I’ve used up my Fels Naptha that I have bought I don’t think. (I’ve already bought another bar, and my daughter-in-law has offered me a bar she bought & didn’t like the scent of.)
      Not trying to get you to not try this one, just saying the other recipe doesn’t have to be made 3-5 gallons at a time.

      • Carmell says

        I just want to mention I use Fels Naptha Bar right on stains. My son has played baseball since 4yrs old and this gets the grass and red dirt stains right out! Just wet your stain, wet your bar and give it a good rubbing….wash as usual. Just a tip.

    • Toni says

      Thank you so much for this new recipe. I too, don’t want to grate or blend my soap. I am afraid I won’t be able to get the soap smell out of my blender pitcher. It is plastic. I am 65 years old and this is so much easier. I will use Ivory liquid soap also. I would like more of your tips. Thank you.

  24. Charlene says

    I’m excited to do this in small batches, because it’s a pain in the nose to have a five gallon bucket sitting on my dryer filled with liquid soap that still needs to be thinned down before using. :)

  25. Sharleen says

    My daughter and I have been making our own laundry soap with the grated fels naptha bar and I grate it in the food processor. It’s easy and fast! I just put the food processor in the dishwasher when done. I use the same disc blade that I would use to grate cheese. This is a good alternative to hand grating that hard bar of fels naptha!

    • crazywoman says

      I use my food processor to grate my Fels Naptha too! But I used it to try to grate some REALLY hard soap, and have messed it up. It now tries to come apart every time I use it. I usually have to hold it together to get it to work! :>( And it is a fairly new processor! So be careful everyone when trying to grate VERY hard soap!
      So far my bars of Fels Naptha have not been nearly as hard as what I was trying to grate that time.
      Some soaps will actually crumble when put in the microwave. I plan on trying this with my Fels Naptha one of these days. Not sure if it will work with it tho. Maybe it is mainly Ivory (which I do NOT like!).

      • Autumn says

        Has anyone tried to just stick the whole bar of soap in a pan with water and keep it on a low heat for a while? Would it eventually melt all the way? I would think if you are going to be home cleaning anyway, this might be a more reasonable way to do it……if it works.

        • Patricia says

          A really easy way to grate the Fels is to nuke it in the microwave. I do it at 30 second intervals and it will bubble. Let it cool completely and then you can break it apart with your hands, it makes a fine dust. I then put it in the food processor with the borax and w.s. and just pulse it all together. I use it for the dry detergent version.

          • Carolyn says

            It’s very easy to make the whole thing in the blender. I put 1/4 bar of roughly chopped Fels Naphtha in the blender with 1/4 cup of washing soda, 1/4 cup of borax, and 1 1/2 cups of HOT water. Blend on low till smooth and add to 1 gallon hot water. Let sit 24 hrs (it will gel up) and add 1 gallon cold water and wisk. I don’t know if it needs the 24 hr rest period. Anybody know why that would be important?

        • Christy says

          I always do… Never understood the grating. Also lately the fels naphtha just isn’t cutting it. Wah now what? Clothes do not smell clean at all after 1 year of use. Back to arm and hammer for a while.

  26. Ali Michalove says

    Just to let everyone know you can make washing soda from baking soda by just baking the baking soda. I have done this and it works quite well. This would give further savings. Just wanted to mention that.

    • Autumn says

      I have found washing soda in every grocery store that I have been in that sells laundry detergent. I think people are just unfamiliar with it so not sure where to look. But it’s there.

      • says

        I found that many of the grocery stores around my way do not carry Washing Soda or Fels Naptha soap. I found this really strange because they all carried Borax but I guess they don’t want people making their own. After visiting 2 grocery stores and another large retail store the only place that carried them both that I found was WalMart.

        • crazywoman says

          Vizoco, I don’t think it is a matter of their not wanting people to make their own laundry soap, but rater a case of supply & demand. I doubt they have had many sales in the past. Especially for the Fels Naptha. I don’t think MOST people these days even know what it is!! The stores aren’t even used to people making their own I’m sure.
          I’m just glad I have a WalMart, and that my store carries all the ingredients. I’ve only looked at one other store in my area, and didn’t carry any of them. It was a Family Dollar. Haven’t looked in the grocery stores, as I found it at Walmart.

          • Debbe says

            LOL once “they” discover we’re all making our own, the prices for the ingredients will surely skyrocket! LOL

            I had NO clue what Fels-Naptha was, I had to Google it! LOL

            I found them all at Target, but they were significantly less expensive at good old Walmart…and easier to find, all right there next to each other!

  27. Amanda says

    Does anyone know if this would be okay to wash cloth diapers? I know the homemade powder/grated version affects absorption because of the baking soda. I wonder if washing soda does too.

    • crazywoman says

      I have read several people who have used it (one very similar using same ingredients), and been very happy with it.
      But looking down, I guess you have answered your own question. :>)

  28. Amanda says

    Wow. After doing more research on baking and washing soda for cloth diapers, I found that baking soda can be a great additive to help clean them. Washing soda is as well, but since it doesn’t dissolve very easily, it’s abrasiveness can damage fabrics. It seems like this is the perfect solution since the washing soda is dissolved pre wash :)

    • says

      So, which did you determine was best for cloth diapers? I’m sorry, I’ve read your comment a couple times and get confused on which you’re saying is best. I have TWO in cloth diapers and am always cautious about which detergents I use to wash them. I would LOVE to make my own!

      • Debbe says

        I understand Amanda as saying baking soda and washing soda are both about equally good for helping to clean cloth diapers, but since washing soda is more abrasive and harder to dissolve, it would be more likely to damage the fabric than baking soda would be. HOWEVER, since washing soda is dissolved before using on the fabric, it is as safe as the baking soda. They are both equally good.

        I haven’t researched it myself, that’s just my interpretation of what Amanda said.

  29. Stephanie says

    I am new to this blog…and boy do I LOVE it already! I do have one question about this. You state you use 1 cup…is that in a top loader or HE machine? I just want to be sure I use the right amount when I make it. I have made the grated powder kind and love it but this does seem so much easier! My kids laughed at me and told me I was becoming a hippie! I think that’s a pretty good compliment myself!

  30. Marissa says

    We made this tonight and we’re very happy with the way it turned out. The smell is great too! We’ve also made some of your fabric softener and I’m sure the two are going to be a great combo!

  31. lyn king says

    My figures, if correct:

    Borax $3.38 (76oz) =0.04 cents/oz
    Washing Soda $3.24 (55oz) =0.06c/oz
    Dawn $2.83 (24 oz) =0.12c/oz
    Water free!

    T:oz conversion is 2:1

    Recipe is per gallon:
    Borax 3T=$0.06
    Washing Soda 3T=$0.09
    Dawn 2T=$0.12

    So for ONE gallon = $0.27
    ONE gallon = 16c….1cup per load = $0.016 per load.
    That equals less than $0.02 cents per load.

    I use Dr Bonners liquid soap which adds 30 cents per gallon, but I feel safer.

    THAT’S MY $0.02!! (2 cents)

  32. KK says

    So, Jillee, is there a reson you dilute yours with the second addition of water? I’ve only made this once so far (very small family) and left it concentrated because it seemed easier and it isn’t thick when concentrated.

  33. says

    I’ve been cooking up my own detergent thanks to your blog for a few months now and planned today to make some more. I usually make 3-6 gallons at a time so I decided to procrastinate a bit and read up on your blog and I’m glad I did.

    It took me just a few minutes to whip up 3 gallons of this new recipe. Thanks!

  34. Rinske says

    Hi, I was wondering if any one can help me with the measures. I am from Holland and we work with gramms and kilo’s and not with cups and gallons… Thanks and you have a wonderful blog!!

    • Gloria says

      Rinske, these measurements use volume rather than weight. There are 16 American tablespoons in 1 cup and 16 cups in 1 gallon. You could use any spoon/scoop/measure you have for the chemicals. For instance, if you use mililitres (or is it centilitres?), use 3 of borax, 3 of washing soda, and 2 of dish detergent. Doing the math, you would add 64 of that same size measure of very hot water to dissolve everything. You could stop there and use 4 of those measures per load of laundry, or you could dilute it with 184 more parts water for the original formula. If you do that, you would use 16 of that measure per load.

      • Mary says

        Hi living here in Ireland I have the same problem with measurements as Rinske, when you add the 1 litre of boiling water would you still top that up with cold as per the original recipe?

        Have just found this blog and love it. My family is allergic to everything and I can’t wait to try this and the other ideas, particularly the fabric softener.

  35. Christy says

    This stuff is great! It’s going to take some getting used to with the consistency because it is thin, but it did a fantastic job on the 2 loads of laundry I did this afternoon. I can’t wait to find a decorative container with a spigot on it so I can make a big batch & have on hand right above my washer. I used this in conjunction with the Homemade Fabric Softener (Conditioner/White Vinegar/Water) and was very pleased with the end result of both. I also liked the low suds factor with this detergent recipe. I added the Downy scent pellets to the wash load & not only can I smell the Downy pellets on the items washed, but I can also smell the hair conditioner from the softener! I’ve wanted to make a homemade detergent for a while now but avoided it because of either having to grate up or cook product to do so. This is perfect & definitely gets the job done! Thank you for posting such great homemade products for us to try! Now the only question is.. which goodie do I choose to make next? :)

    • Sherri says

      I bought all the ingredients to make this at Walmart yesterday and made my first gallon this morning. I’ve washed two loads with it so far and am very happy with it. I am only using 1/2 cup at a time but I don’t have really dirty or greasy laundry most of the time.

      I bought a clear plastic container with a spigot at Walmart to use for this. It’s a 1 1/2 gallon container and is very thin so it fits well in tight spaces. It was in the aisle with the plastic kitchen containers.

      Based on my calculations for the price of my ingredients I am spending around .01 a load! Whoo hoo!

  36. Nicole says

    I have to say – I found your site via Pinterest & love it! I think I’m addicted :D I made the laundry detergent last night & have done about 4 loads of laundry with it today. I LOVE IT!! I did leave it concentrated. I found a 2 gallon jug at wal-mart with a spigot on it & made the full 2 gallons of concentrated detergent. I also found some Palmolive with Oxy dish detergent – and thought that would be perfect to use. It’s clear, so you don’t have to worry about any dyes either. I’ve been using between 1/4 & 1/3 cup per load (I like to stuff my machine more than I should)…. I have to say, I’m super impressed! It was sooo easy to make & has a pretty neutral smell. I did by some Gain Scent Crystals, but will save those for when I’ve used up all my scented dryer sheets.

    Thanks for you hard work on all of these! I’m sure I’ll be making all of them!

    Oh- Happy Mother’s Day :D


  1. […] I also ventured into the world of homemade laundry detergent this week.  Sunday is my laundry day, and when I walked into the laundry room to start my first load I discovered that I only had enough detergent for two loads. We’re a little tight on money right now, so I didn’t relish the idea of having to buy more detergent just then, but it’s definitely a necessity. Rather than heading out and buying the cheapest detergent I could find, I Googled homemade laundry detergent and found several good recipes, but the quickest, easiest, and therefore, my favorite, came from none other than my go to DIY site, One Good Thing By Jillee. […]

  2. […] In a one gallon container add the borax, washing soap and Dawn. Then add  4 cups of very hot water. Just add water from the kitchen faucet it doesn’t need to be boiling. Swirl the container until all the ingredients are dissolved. Then fill almost to the top with cold water (bubbles will overflow out a little). Use one cup more or less per load. (Source here.) […]

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