Homemade Laundry Detergent – Trial Size Version

trial size homemade detergent

I think today’s post was simply meant to be! About a week ago I was thinking about homemade laundry detergent and how more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon to make it! Which I think it fantastic! I would love to see the whole world making it! :-) It’s really just one of those things that until you’ve tried it, you just won’t know how great it is!

I won’t bore you with all the reasons I LOVE making my own laundry detergent. You can read all about that HERE, HERE, and HERE if you’re so inclined.

OK…I’m getting off track, as usual. The reason I think this post was meant to be is because while I was pondering all these people making their own detergent I realized that not everyone will have need for a HUGE batch. Families with kids…sure. But for singles, young couples, empty-nesters, etc….that’s a whole lotta soap!

At the same time I got a comment on my post about making a year’s worth of laundry detergent from Sarah who asked if I could come up with a “trial size” version of the recipe so she could try it out before committing to making “the big batch”. I can respect that sentiment!

So that’s what I’ve been up to…scaling back the “big batch” to a more manageable amount. It’s roughly 1/3 the original recipe and the thing I really like about it is that you can throw it all in a large jar and shake it up! Can’t do that with the “big batch”! :-)

Homemade Laundry Detergent – Trial Sized Version

  • 1 bar grated Fels Naptha soap
  • 3 cups Borax
  • 2 cups washing soda
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups oxygen bleach
  • 1 cup (heaping) fabric softener crystals – store-bought or Homemade (optional)


trial size homemade detergent

Grate your bar of Fels Naptha either with the small holes on your cheese grater, in your food processor, or, if you have a powerful enough blender, use that! I have to say, this is the first time I have tried using my Blendtec for soap-grating and I was astonished at how well it worked! I thought I liked my Blendtec BEFORE…now I’m convinced it’s worth its’ weight in gold! ;-)


trial size homemade detergent

Then add all the ingredients in a large container, preferably one with a lid so you can shake it all up.


trial size homemade detergent

Like I said, this was one of the unexpected perks I discovered of making this size batch…being able to mix all the ingredients without having to resort to the “trash bag method”.


trial size homemade detergent

This amounts to roughly 100 ounces of laundry detergent and using 1/2 cup per load you should be able to get approximately 25 loads of clothes clean with it! I’d say that’s a pretty good “trial period”. :-)

Update: 2 Tablespoons per load is actually recommended.

trial size homemade detergent

Thank you Sarah for the inspiration for today’s post…I really hope you, and others, will find this helpful!


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  1. says

    Awesome. I’m definitely one of those single people who was wondering if I could make a small batch. I realize I have all the measurements wrong as I just did one cup of each thing and one bar of soap. WHOOPS! Also, I noticed you said use a half cup per load…I thought it was two tablespoons!! I’ve been using 4 tbsp for big loads which I guess is a half cup anyway…

  2. JamieLee says

    My homemade detergent is a lot like this one but i refuse to use Fels Naptha soap. I use Dr. Bronner’s bar soaps instead. I have read that Fels Naptha contains stoddard solvent which is a mixture of multiple chemicals made from petroleum. Repeated or prolonged exposure to high concentrations has resulted in upper respiratory tract irritation, central and peripheral nervous system effects, and possibly hematopoetic, liver and kidney effects. Of course it has also been used for at least 100 years so i guess you can use at your own risk.
    Btw i love your site! It is on my tool bar and i visit it at least once a day!

  3. JamieLee says

    It is fine for HE, but i would only use about 2 Tbs. If you use oxi clean the little blue scoop that comes with it is 2 Tbs so it makes it a little easier for you to measure it out. My clothes always come out nice and clean and smell great.

  4. Zoquara says

    I don’t use anything except Fels Naptha, Borax, and Washing Soda in mine. I think it’s something like 1 bar FN to 2 cups each borax and washing soda, and I only use 1-2 tsp. (I keep a recipe card in my “excess bucket” for when I need to make more.) If I have something that has a smell that needs extra “oomph”, I add about 1/4-1/3 cup baking soda to the wash. I wash in straight cold water, and it dissolves fine. I don’t feel the need for any extra scent added to my laundry… I use a dryer bar in my dryer (Yes, I’ve thought about making my own fabric softener and sheets… the dryer bar is easier to remember!) and that’s enough for me. Then again, I’ve stopped using cleaners that are heavily scented and chemically, so now I’m super sensitive to things that DO smell!

  5. Mary D. says

    I’ve been using this for almost a year now. I have been using 2 t. But my washing repairman said 1 t. Is better. He also said too much detergent is the #1 cause of washers needing repair. So I have been doing 1t. For a few weeks now, works great.

  6. Denise says

    I have found that if i put 3-5 drops of my doTERRA essential oils in the load, then I don’t need a fabric softener. :)

  7. says

    This is so great! Detergent is so expensove nowadays, this is a great alternative, and thanks for posting this trial size version!

  8. says

    I’ve been using this recipe for a while now, and love it. My only difference is that I use my own homemade soap instead of the store bought. I also don’t add the fabric softener part because I use my own homemade dryer balls.

    I’m still using my first batch, which was much larger than I thought it would be. So, I sent some to my daughters to use, who also love it. :)


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