DIY All-Natural Laundry Detergent

Just as we take care in the food we put inside our bodies, I also feel that it’s very important to feel good about what we’re putting on our bodies. Of course this includes beauty products… but what about the detergent that you use to wash our clothes? Today I have a very simple recipe for a homemade laundry detergent that uses just three ingredients.

DIY laundry detergent


1 cup Borax
1 cup washing soda
½ cup grated bar soap (anything natural is great – like Dr. Bronner’s!)

Washing soda and Borax can be found in the laundry section of most grocery stores. Washing soda is made from common salt and limestone, and is also found as deposits in nature. Borax is a mineral that occurs in nature, made up of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. I just want to note that although it can be found in many natural soaps found on the market, there are still conflicting views as to whether or not it is a safe ingredient. I think it’s best to look around and gather as much information as possible before making a decision. To help you along, there is a post on Crunchy Betty that may offer you some guidance!


You can grate your soap using either a hand grater or a food processor. Once this is done, measure out your ingredients, combine in a large bowl, and mix well. Store in an air-tight container – mason jars work well for this.

DIY laundry detergent

Because of the varying sizes of the particles, be sure to shake or mix well before each use! About 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup should be all you need for each load of laundry. :)

DIY laundry detergent

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7 years ago

Hmmm….I may have to try this. Detergent is so darn expensive!

7 years ago

FINALLY, a recipe that does not involve making a mess on the stove. I have been wanting to try homemade detergent, but the recipes always seemed like such a hassle.

7 years ago

Awesome! It is so important what kind of detergent we use because it all ends up in our oceans. I have been using the company seventh generation for a while (and their great) but it is kind of expensive. I will give this a go because it’s looks soo simple! And make you use all natural glycerine soap too! =) You guys rock!
xoxo Annejelina

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7 years ago

Just wanted to share something…. I’ve been making my own laundry soap for years and one part that I dread is the grating process! I found a neat trick, you microwave the soap, which dehydrates is, and it literally just crumbles between your fingertips after it’s cooled. Then is it added to your borax/washing soda mix.

Further direction on the dehydration process here….

7 years ago

Using soapnuts is an easier alternative for fresh, organically clean laundry. I just soak a few in cup of warm water for 10 minutes, then throw the bag & the water into the wash with a few drops of essential oil. You can also buy soapnuts in a liquid form.

7 years ago

“the EWG gives Borax a rating of F for reproductive and organ toxicity – yikes. Apparently, it does not harm the environment, though, which is good. I use the EWG (Environmental Working Group) to research the safety of many products, so this was quite a find.”

Here is a recipe for a borax-less recipe without having to grate soap. we use this recipe and our clothes look great! we also have to be extra careful since we are on septic. just keep scrolling until you hit the borax free part.

7 years ago

I definitely must try this! My son and boyfriend have the most sensitive skin! Thanks:)

7 years ago

this is the recipe i have used for a while now. i always triple the ingredients and put it in my enamelware container with lid. i use feels-naptha soap and love it.
after reading dianes EWG rating , i’m going to have to check out the other alternative .
thanks for always sharing homemade recipes. i try to stay away from plastic , so i enjoy making my own stuff~
finding old glass jars or enamel wear is fun and great to put stuff in :)

Becca McNabb
7 years ago

I have made laundry detergent with these ingredients, but cooking with water to make a liquid version. I love the simplicity of this, but… Can you use it dry with front loaders?

7 years ago

Just something to add from someone from the other side of the world, it’s that Borax is illegal to rinse down the drain in Scandinavia (Sweden). So if you wanted to try this, like I did before i read about the ingredients on the internet, try to change borax to something else instead, or just buy normal laundry detergent in the shop. Sad but true. Care about your environtment!

7 years ago

Well, i have tried myself doing detergents this way. It is working pretty good but takes too much time, so i prefer buy some instead

5 years ago

I’m going to give this a try I hope it doesn’t take to much time. I’m sure it will be worth it. Thanks for posting this.

4 years ago