Super Concentrated No-Grate Liquid Laundry Detergent

homemade liquid laundry detergent

After I posted the Homemade Laundry Detergent – Trial Size Version recipe last week, I had several requests for a concentrated version of the LIQUID Laundry Detergent I am fond of as well.

Since it has been awhile since I’d made up a batch, I figured I’d give it a try. It actually was embarrassingly easy, but I’m going to post about it anyway. :-)

To make a CONCENTRATED batch of No-Grate Liquid Laundry Detergent I started with a smaller container. I used an 89 ounce juice container, which is roughly 30% smaller than the gallon size.

 

homemade liquid laundry detergent

homemade liquid laundry detergent 2

Then I added:

1/2 cup of Borax
1/2 cup of Washing Soda
1/2 cup of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (I have used both the Original and the Ultra and haven’t noticed any difference between the two)

 

homemade liquid laundry detergent 4

Add to that:

4 cups HOT water to dissolve the ingredients, then fill the container the rest of the way with cold water. The ingredients do tend to settle at the bottom between uses, but I just give the bottle a good shake before adding it to the washer.

The ingredients in this recipe are a little more than double the amount from the original. Combined with 30% less water I decided 1/4 cup per large load of clothes should be sufficient.

 

homemade liquid laundry detergent 7

Over the last few days I have done probably half a dozen loads of clothes using this mixture and have been, once again, completely satisfied with the results. Since this liquid version doesn’t contain the oxygen bleach component that my DRY version does, I add some of that to my white loads.

Just another option in our fight against dirty laundry!  :-)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

NOTE: Since this question comes up so often in the comments…I thought I should address it in the actual post. This laundry detergent should work perfectly fine in front loader (high efficiency) washers.  It has very little to NO suds.  Many, many, many readers have commented in past posts that they use it in their HE washers with great results! :-)


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Comments

    • Tessa says

      Karen, I have made this mixture with both castille soap and Seventh Generation dish soap. As far as performance goes, I think they both work equally well. That said, I prefer the dish soap only in that the mixture seems to “mix” better. It’s kind of hard to explain but when I use the castille soap there’s a lot more separation and I have to do more shaking, but with the dish soap I just turn the bottle over once and it’s good.
      And for anyone wondering, I will add to all the others that this does work just fine for an HE.
      Jillee, I’m wondering a little bit about the amounts here though. I guess I’ve always made a concentrated version based on comments I read from the original post. I use the original amounts of 3 Tbs. each borax and washing soda, and 2 Tbs. dish soap but only 4 cups water. And I’ve only ever used 2 Tbs. per load. And it works great! Just thinking you don’t need these larger amounts?
      Thanks for all the great info!

  1. Linda F says

    Love that this one is sooo simple! My fiance’ still doesn’t “get” WHY I would make laundry detergent! I also wonder about the quantity for a HE machine – but seems like 1/4 cup is so little, that it would be fine?

  2. Debbie says

    I have been using the borax, washing soda, and fels naptha soap for years. On my husbands oxfords, I have used Dawn, a full strength dab of it, for a pretreat on greasy spots. It works very well, but I’m going up try your detergent today. I bet it will be super at tough stains.

  3. Emma says

    Never one to leave well enough alone (or so I’ve been told) I wonder how well the ingredients dissolve in our washing machine if they never completely dissolve while in the bottle?

    • Bell says

      I’ve wondered the same thing after recently making a small batch for my brother. I boiled the water, mixed in the ingredients then let it cool for awhile. There was residue in the mixing container and there is residue in the bottle.

    • Gwyn says

      Maybe adding the two powders and the hot water and shaking/stirring to dissolve everything first then adding the soap and the rest of the water would help. I’m not 100% sure but might be worth a try. That way you aren’t dealing with suds by shaking vigorously when it’s in there as well as using hot water to help dissolve them. Just a thought.

    • says

      Emma…my ingredients DO completely dissolve…they just tend to settle (in their dissolved state) at the bottom of the bottle when they sit on the shelf. Giving it a quick shake before dispensing fixes that.

      • cty says

        Keep in mind that if the ingredients dissolve in water, they are water soluble. That remains true even for cold water. Here’s my high school chemistry (testimony to Mrs. Muzik, my HS Chemistry teacher). Hot water dissolves more because the molecules are further apart and there is more space for the ingredients to “fit”. The ingredients will also dissolve in cold water–it just takes more water because the molecules are close together.
        Also once the ingredients dissolve in water they will not “undissolve”. The only thing that will pull the ingredients out of the water is heating high enough to boil away the water. If you have bits that don’t dissolve—your water ratio needs to be increased (or perhaps the hot water used could be hotter). If the items “layer” in the bottle it is just because the ingredients has different densities.
        Soooo if you are washing your clothes in water (even cold) the detergent will dissolve.
        Also just because the soap will not “undissolve” doesn’t mean it will stay in the clothes. There is more water so the detergent is way diluted, the initial wash water is emptied, there is a rinse cycle to dilute further & is also emptied; any minute residue there is left will be rinsed out if you use white vinegar in the rinse cycle. The vinegar is also a fabric softener.
        If you have the hardest water ever–using distilled water to make your detergent should help heaps (its because the mineral salts are taking up all the space between the molecules).
        Mrs. Muzik was the best teacher ever! My oldest had her in HS too. She was stunned to see me at Back to School Night. She was one of my sons favorite teachers.

        • Dinger says

          My ingredients dissolved completely when I made the laundry detergent, but I, too, can hear chunks in my bottle, now. I, also, have an issue with the detergent not rinsing completely out of the clothing. That being said, I just had the thought that my husband was the one that put those loads of clothes in the washer. I am wondering if he LOADED the washer too full. Hmmmmm……
          By the way, Jillee, I love your site! Thank you for being the guinea pig so all of us may reap the benefits!

    • Trixie F says

      I don’t know what kind of machine you use but I use a top-loading HE washer and have been using the dry laundry soap for months now with no problems. My Mom had the old-fashioned top load washer with an agitator and she would just add her soap to the drum after the water started filling up and stir it for a few seconds with an old broom handle just to be sure it completely dissolved. I think that was more for her peace of mind but she never had a problem either.

  4. says

    Far out, I see Dawn in everything!! LOL
    In Australia we have no such thing. Can someone PLEASE help me out with a substitute?
    I’m missing out on so much!!
    Cussons? Fairy Liquid? Trix? Palmolive? Earth Choice?

    I have a fairly new frontloader, and I’m too scared to experiment with it!
    Jillee, you are an inspiration to us all xxxx

  5. Michelle says

    Just wondering…I’ve been making this for a few months but have always wondered…do you wait to add the cold water after the foamy bubbles disappear or fill it up and let the bubbles run out of the container? Thanks for the great recipes!!

    • Sue says

      I am very concern the use of Dawn dish soap. To our bodies ans well as the enviroment. Since you said you use it for the grease fighting properties. Is there a Natural way or better for the enviroment? Has anyone tried it with a seventh generation or an earth friendly dish soap? Or another?

      • says

        Yes, I too am concerned about Dawn. I like to make homemade cleaners, soaps, lotions to get away from all the nasty chemicals. Another commenter said they use Dr Bonners. I have Dr Woods on hand (cheaper and just as good) and don’t see why it won’t work. I hve been using the Grate version with bar castille soap for at least a year now and it works wonderfully so i don’t see why the liquid castille soap wouldn’t work.

      • Megan says

        I use seventh generation lavender in mine, and it works great. I have two little boys who test it to the max most days. My oldest has extremely sensitive skin and this hasn’t bothered it yet and I’ve been using it almost a year. I’ve use the fels naphtha, ivory, and now seventh generation, and it’s my favorite! I feel like I’m helping the environment as well as my family. Good luck! :)

        • Tara R. says

          Hi Megan – do you use the Seventh Generation dish soap to mix? I am interested in that as well and would like to try that instead of Dawn. What do you use for stains? Thank you!

      • Celeste says

        Dawn is very safe. Your hands are getting exposed to Dawn (if you use it) every time you wash dishes so thousands of times throughout a lifetime. If environmentalist people use Dawn on animals in oil spills, it’s safe for us.

        • Kuuipo says

          I AGREE with CELESTE. I’ve been a daily user of Dawn for the past 33 years and still going. I was raised on this dish soap & now in more ways then one. I support Dawn because of what they do for our environment, plus the oil, gas & diesel spills that can happen on our roads they use Dawn on it down here in HI. I have sensitive skin & it can dry out easily, plus my husband uses it on himself daily as he is a fuel truck driver and deals with these on a daily. It’s excellent & I trust Dawn completely.

  6. says

    Thanks sooo much for the wonderful recipe! I have made this and used it and have passed it on to my children! My youngest son works for a steel company and beleive me, his clothes get black! I mixed this up and gave it to my daughter in law and she was AMAZED at his clothes! They are clean and ready to go! I will praise your name and tell EVERYONE about this! Thanks sooooo much!

  7. Katy says

    When I first found your no-grate laundry soap recipe last spring I began using it. I altered it on the second batch and made it more concentrated and have been extremely happy with it. I use an old Tide laundry detergent bottle I had to make it easy to pour and measure for all of the people in my house that do laundry. I use 1 capful per load and our clothes always come out clean and with 6 boys and a husband who gets very dirty at work and play this has saved me a ton of money. Not only does it only cost us about $.80 per gallon it saves me from having to buy new clothes all the time. Thank you Jillee for your blog, I don’t know what I would do without you, all of my household cleaning supplies have come from recipes you’ve posted saving me about $100 in the last year!

  8. Carole May says

    I wonder why you can’t add Oxy to the liquid mix…does it alter its effectiveness? I too have a front loader and I see no reason why it wouldn’t work if used in the same quantity as HE Laundry products.

  9. Teresa says

    Every time I use borax in the laundry I itch all over, I must be sensitive to it. I found a super easy homemade laundry soap recipe… Maybe you should test it.

    It’s 3 cups of washing soda, 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of oxi-clean. Shake it up and you only use 1 Tablespoon.

    I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and it seems to do a good job.

    I got the recipe from luvuhunny on youtube. http://youtu.be/csebaPJrIAY

  10. says

    I was making the tablespoon no grate, but will definatily try the 1/2 cup mixture. I don’t use dawn, I use 7th generation or earth friendly and love it. The only thing is my juice containers are only 64 oz not 89? Should I just use a gallon water jug but not quite fill it to the top?? Thank you. Linda

    • Michelle says

      I altered Jillee’s original recipe after seeing some of the posts on it. I use 1/4 c. borax, 1/4 c. washing soda, and 1/4c. dish soap and dissolve in 2 cups of hot water. Then I add another 5 cups of water. That way it doesn’t matter as much to the size of the container. I use 1/8 to 1/4 cup of my homemade detergent. I have been very pleased with it. By the way I use a dish soap that has the bleach alternative in it. I think it cleans better because the bleach alternatives include enzymes that help clean. I hope that helps you.

    • Mindy says

      I don’t know that it is hypoallergenic, but I have very sensitive skin and both of my sons and I have eczema. I use Jillee’s cooked laundry soap and never have had a problem. In fact, my clothes are in better shape than with the brand name laundry soap and our skin is usually clearer.

    • katie says

      I have been using this recipe(non concentrated) for awhile and I haven’t noticed any problems in my sons excema or allergies. With store bought detergent he breaks out really bad in a rash and I figured I would give this a try and it works awesome! Also the clothes smell nice and fresh but it’s nice because it isn’t scented with any nasty scents.

  11. Tiff says

    Have you posted this recipe on here before? It seems like you have or I saw it on Pinterest. It didn’t work near as good for me as my homemade concentrate laundry soap. I like the simplicity of it so maybe I’ll try another batch and see. Also do you wait for the bubbles to settle before filling with water or let the bubbles bubble over? ;)

  12. Jackie says

    Jillee, years ago, my hairdresser told me Cascade Liquid dishwasher detergent contained bleach. She used it full-strength directly on clothing on which she had gotten hair dye, as have I, and it works well. I believe it is color safe but cannot positively remember because it has been several years since I used it. If it is color-safe, perhaps it could be used?

  13. Cathi Hammonds says

    I have tried the “whipped” concentrated version (which I didn’t really care for) and just your basic “liquid laundry detergent”. Let me say that I love the “basic” one. It smells wonderful! I add some essential oil and make about 5 gallons at a time. I have found nothing I like better. And I share it with some of my family. I am thinking of trying this version, I bought the ingredients and wanted to try the Gain brand of dishwashing soap. Do you think that would be as good?

  14. Suzanne says

    Can you please make a concentrated version in a gallon size? We have a large family and do a lot of laundry! We are currently using the same version but weaker. We love it!! But the new concentrated version would mean we wouldn’t have to make it as often. Thank you so much for your wisdom and willingness to share all the time. You are such a blessing to our family!!

  15. Jackie Carlson says

    I have used the Fels Naptha grate type of detergent for awhile. LOVE IT! HATE grating!! LOL, running a load of clothes with yours now! :)

    I have to go check out your dryer sheets. Right now I use an old washcloth that I soak in fabric softener and let dry. I use it probably about 20 times before I have to repeat the process. :) Clothes smell good and I save $!

  16. JR says

    Hi Jillee,
    I WANT to like this detergent because it certainly does save a lot of money! I am having a bit of a mental problem with it because of it being so thin. So I have been using it on every other load alternating with the store bought detergent. I figure I am still coming out ahead and maybe it will help me gradually make switch! I know–I am neurotic!

    My question is, would it be possible to add maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup of LIQUID Clorox 2 or OXYCLEAN to the mixture to help with stains? Would it adversely effect the detergent?

    Thanks for your great blog, Jillee! I have used SO many of your ideas! Take care!
    JR

  17. cty says

    I think comments of this post show that cleaning laundry is a global concern. Is it also an indicator that people world wide are tired of high price brands that only work so-so and most aren’t great for the environment.
    Jillee–via the internet you are in the trenches combating dirty laundry world wide. Kudos to you.

  18. Terri S says

    Jillee, I don’t know how you stand it—why do folks ask a question in this ‘comment’ section if they obviously don’t read the comments?!! In the 42 comments left so far, seven people asked about using this in a front-loading washer—that’s one in every six comments asking the same thing. (Yes, I counted!) I noted that you replied to the first two, then gave it up—haha!!
    Feel free to delete this if it’s not appropriate, but I couldn’t resist asking!

  19. stellans says

    I really like your various recipes, but must admit to some frustration with the “clean print” button not working for me. I’m on a Macbook Pro using Firefox for my browser if that makes any difference.

    • Kuuipo says

      I too had that problem w/ Firefox. So I’ve found that switching Search Engines will solve that problem; either Safari or Google. Or if you have Google Drive or the IWork, just copy what you want – paste – edit (if you choose) & then print. Hope that helps!

  20. Kristal says

    I just wanted to thank you for these amazing money saving recipes! I have been using the liquid version for about 8 months. Except I use Dr. Bronners liquid castle soap. I was going through so much that I decided to try the powder version. However, my daughters exema came back and my dark clothes where getting white blotches all over them. I don’t think the powder was dissolving properly in my washer. So, now we are back to liquid and will be doing the more concentrated version! Thanks again.

  21. Dawn says

    I have been making the original version of this detergent for several months now and am very happy. I am excited about the concentrate.
    I have not suffered from any seperation or residue in my container. My method is to use my Kurig for the hot water (you could just boil some water) I put the dry ingredients in a canning jar and add hot water from my Kurig (about 16oz). I put a lid on then shake the jar until it all dissolves. I then use an old vinegar bottle that is a little more than a gallon (gives room for mixing) and fill it with just under a gallon of water. I then add my mixture and the dish liquid (just an eco friendly brand) and give it a few tips upside down and right side up to mix. I have no seperation and no bubble overload. The detergent works very well and is the most simple one I have ever made.
    I also use a 50/50 mix of dish liquid to water in a spray bottle as a stain spray. There is little that I can not get out with this mixture as it cuts through grease and food very easily. I have even had success getting out marker, paint, dirt, and red mud with this spray. I have plenty of stains with two kids and a husband!
    Jillee, Thank you so much for all your great recipes and ideas. They make my life so much easier!

    • Kuuipo says

      I too have used this as a stain spray just tonight! Even on my old oil shirts that you get from cooking, let it soak in there. Forgot about it and it dried in there and just rinsed it out with warm water! Viola it came right out, I couldn’t believe it. GREAT TIPS EVERYONE!

    • Janet P. says

      Dawn’s comment made so much sense – just add the dish detergent last. And, use a larger bottle.

      I made a smal sample size of this and I loved how well it cleaned. I also used a little as a pre-treat, just let it sit on the stains for a few minutes while the washer filled. I am going to make a nice big bottle of this, I saved an empty 100 oz. Detergent bottle!

  22. Lori says

    Is this any thicker than the basic liquid laundry detergent. I tried the basic version and couldn’t get used to how liquidy it was. I love the grated version, but do like to keep things simple.

    I tried the grated dry version and was having a hard time with it leaving leftovers in my washing machine dispenser. Months later I read something somewhere about taking out the little tray if it is dry detergent. So I tried taking the tray out and it worked wonderful. Ha ha, so glad I finally figured that out.

  23. Claudette Durr says

    I love your scented in which you add Downy unstoppable. Should I just double that amount added as well?. Oh by the way is it safe for HE? (Please do not answer just kidding. Saw it in the original before the 10,000 questions.). Love your blog

  24. Alicia says

    OMG….I’ve been using this recipe for over 6 months! I started with the original recipe, but didn’t like using so much liquid. I boil enough water to make 3 batches and stir in the ingredients until completely dissolved. I then fill each gal. jug half full before filling with cold water. I also only use 3tbls. of Dawn per batch.

  25. Dena says

    This may have been addressed in the past, but I have not seen it. I have a HE top-loader. When following instructions for various things, should I follow HE (typically front-load) or normal top-load instructions? Thanks in advance.

  26. Jan says

    I have a front loader washer and it would be nice if you could make up some formulas that could be used in them. For example adding the oxygenated cleaner can’t be added before the clothes because it stains the clothes and your pillow cleaning sounds good too but again you have to add the cleaner to the water.

    Love your site keep up the good work!

    • Jo says

      Hi Jan,
      Most of Jillee’s recipes and ideas have HE instructions included. I have an HE washer and I just have to adapt them. With the pillow cleaning I just use her recipe but soak them in the tub or a large pail. Then I wash them as usual. Works great! With the oxygenated cleaner, I just add this to the bleach dispenser…perfect! You just have to get creative and adapt it to your particular washer.

  27. Mary says

    Hi Jillee: I am fairly new to your site but just love all the homemade cleaning solutions you make. I have been looking for a cleaner that works on computer moniter and TV screens and other plastic products that have the same type of properties. If you have such a recipe already, please tell me the name and/or date when it was posted. Thanks again, Mary

    • Beka says

      I hope you don’t mind me interjecting… We’ve been using a 50/50 mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol on our computers and TVs (all are newish LCD/LED screens). The alcohol evaporates quickly so the screen doesn’t stay wet and it’s virtually steak free. I’m no expert on green cleaners, so I don’t even know if the alcohol is what you’re looking for (or something else), but it has worked well for us.

  28. Galilee says

    I’m so glad you have a recipe for liquid detergent… I’ve made your dry recipe and while it works just fine, the ‘dust’ gets in my lungs and chokes me something awful… [I should have never mixed in the softener].. I gave my daughter half the mixture to begin with but now I’ll be giving her the rest and make up the liquid version.. Thanks Jillee for all your wonderful recipes and research… [ And particually your paitence's with all the redundant questions.]

  29. Jane Thatcher says

    JIll, I’ve never been able to find the Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda in my grocery stores in SoCalif. And I’m not even sure they still carry the Borax. I’d like to try this sometime but can’t without your ingredients!

    • Stacy says

      Jane Thatcher,

      You can make washing soda in your oven from baking soda, see Jillee’s laundry recipes.

      I also couldn’t find either the washing soda or borax today, usually my Walmart carries it and they were out, so I went to another and they don’t carry it. I was told by a worker that you could ask for it to be ordered in or if it is on walmart.com you can have it shipped for free to your local store, within a day or two. You might want to check out that option.

      Jillee your site is awesome, thanks for sharing all your great ideas.

  30. Carla says

    I am curious if you could put liquid peroxide into this mix? Since the oxy clean is a powdered form of peroxide. I have seen several people will add the liquid peroxide to their wash loads anyway. I am just not sure if it would do any harm to darker loads?

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