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!

  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!

  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. kim says

    I definitely need to try this. I’m curious as to why you don’t make it more concentrated and use less.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.


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