Ridiculously easy DIY laundry detergent

I truly never thought I’d go this far.  Never imagined I’d be using baking soda to clean a bathtub or vinegar to make my stainless appliances shine.  However gradually it happened.  One by one the name brand bottles are being used for my homemade brews.  And I have my eye on the ones that remain.  Their days are numbered…

But laundry detergent?  Grating soap was simply not going to happen.  A line was clearly drawn and I was not going to cross it.  Then a wise and resourceful friend (yeah Juliet!) shared a recipe for no grate laundry detergent and well, it looked ridiculously easy.  I decided to give it a go.

With every recipe tweaks are made to draw them more in line with what works for me and this one was no exception.  I’m not the biggest fan of Borax so out it went and by doing so this product has made it permanently into the rotation.  I’ve been using it for about two months now and there is not one sign that it is any less effective than my name brand alternatives.

So if you’ve been waiting to take the leap it can’t get any easier or more cost effective than this.

Ridiculously Easy Laundry Detergent Recipe

  • 6 tablespoons washing soda. I use Arm & Hammer. For those of you okay with Borax you can use 3 tablespoons of each.
  • 3 tablespoons Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap.  I like the lavender scented however unscented will do the job just as well and  you can simply add a few drops of your favorite essential oils.  Dr. Bronner’s doesn’t use synthetic fragrances so no worries there if steering clear of those nasty hormone disrupting chemicals is a priority.
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • Cold water

Yields 1 Gallon


  • Pour two cups of the boiling water in your 1-gallon jug.
  • Add the washing soda.  If you’re using Borax combine the two beforehand, mix well and pour into your container.
  • Add liquid soap.
  • Shake well.
  • Pour in remaining two cups of boiling water
  • Shake well to thoroughly combine and dissolve.
  • Fill rest of container up with cold water.
  • Allow suds to subside and fill with more cold water.
  • Place spout back into your jug.  First time I made this I didn’t pay attention when I put the spout back in and did so facing the wrong direction.  I was stuck since they are so difficult to remove when soapy wet!  So word to the wise, be mindful when reinserting it so that it pours as you need it to.
  • Cap and you’re ready to go!

I use two 1/2 gallon jugs simply because that’s what I happen to have.

Helpful tips:

  • Shake well before each use.  Expect it to be watery and sudsy, not thick like your regular liquid detergent.
  • Use 1/2 – 1 cup depending on load size.  I usually use a cap full for a regular load in my HE washer.
  • Can be used in regular and HE washers.
  • Pour a dash of white vinegar in after the detergent for an extra boost of cleaning power.  You can either pour the vinegar in the regular soap dispenser or where you would add your non-chlorine bleach.  And no worries, I’ve never had a load of laundry come out smelling like pickles!

And the bonus?  It cleans your washing machine as it does your clothes.  No more heavy detergent buildup especially if you’re adding vinegar.  I have yet to experience a downside to making the switch.  Enjoy!

Clean ingredients and reusable containers.

Clean ingredients and reusable containers.



Remove the spout.

Remove the spout from your jug.

Add half the boiling water before the powder & liquid soaps and half after.

Pour in half the boiling water.

Add the washing soap.

Add the washing soap.

Add the liquid soap.

Add the liquid soap and shake well.

Add half the boiling water before the powder & liquid soaps and half after.

Pour in remaining boiling water and shake again.

Fill rest of the jug with cold water.

Fill rest of the jug with cold water.

Reinsert the spout, cap, shake and you're good to go!

Reinsert the spout.

Looks can be deceiving.  Bye, bye Seventh Generation...

Cap, shake and you’re good to go.  Bye, bye Seventh Generation…

2 Responses

  1. Heather
    Heather Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 8:35 am | | Reply

    Sounds great Jake! I’m even going to make some this weekend…I too was stuck at the soap grating!! Asher will love it. He’s made all his own cleaners he uses around the house and at neighbors:) we put sweet orange oil in as a treat.

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