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How To Make A Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe?

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Laundry is one of the chores that is never-ending. Laundry detergent is an important product that is required on a daily basis, whether you are hand washing any clothes or machine washing. The conventional laundry detergents available in the market are full of chemicals and toxins. But you need not worry. In this post, an easy DIY homemade laundry detergent recipe has been discussed.

Homemade laundry detergent is simple to make, takes a few minutes, and is cost-effective. Another advantage of homemade laundry detergent is that it is toxins and chemicals-free and will not affect your skin negatively. Also, you can customize your own laundry detergent and add your desired scent to the detergent.

Making your own laundry detergent is no rocket science, and with the help of the below guide, you can easily make detergent at home. DIY laundry detergent is always a better option as compared to store-bought detergent. Read below to learn about the recipe for homemade DIY laundry detergent, and how to use essential oils in laundry detergents.

Ingredients Required To Make Homemade Laundry Detergents

Some key detergent ingredients necessary for making homemade laundry detergents include washing soda and borax, baking soda, essential oils, soap bar, detergent containers, and castile soap, either in the form of a bar or liquid castile soap.

Washing Soda: Washing soda is also known as sodium carbonate. It is one of the strongest cleaning agents that can be used in laundry detergents to remove stains. This ingredient can be found easily at all grocery stores.

Borax: Borax is also known as sodium borate. It helps soften the water and boosts the detergent's cleaning power. It also helps eliminate odors from your clothes.

Bar Soap: You can use a laundry soap bar in making laundry detergents. Soaps like castile soap, ivory soap, etc., can be used in this process.

Essential Oils: Essential oils have a natural scent, and they can be added to add extra scent to your laundry. A detailed list has been provided below.

Water: Water is required to dissolve all the ingredients properly.

How To Make Your Own Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe?

You can make any liquid or powder detergent at home. You can choose depending on your preferences, needs, and requirements. Both the liquid and powder recipe has been provided below.

Recipe 1


  • 1 cup borax
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1 soap bar (You can use any soap like castile soap, ivory soap, fels-naptha soap, etc.)
  • 30 to 50 drops of essential oils
  • 5-gallon bucket


  • Take the bucket and add 1/2 gallon of water to it.
  • Add borax and washing soda to the bucket and stir well.
  • With the help of a cheese grater, grate the soap, shred your bar of soap and then melt the grated bar of soap in 1 cup of water on a medium flame and stir continuously.
  • Add the melted soap to the bucket and stir thoroughly to mix all the ingredients.
  • Add essential oils to the bucket.
  • Now fill the bucket leaving 2-3 inches from the top rim. Stir thoroughly to mix all the ingredients.
  • Secure the lid properly, let the mixture sit overnight, and then give a good final shake to the bucket.
  • For convenience, transfer the detergent to small laundry containers. Shake well before every use.
  • You can use 1/4 cup of detergent per a load of laundry.

Recipe 2 - Laundry Detergent Powder Recipe

To make this detergent, you will require the below ingredients


  • Borax
  • Washing soda
  • Soap bar
  • Box grater
  • Measuring cups
  • Rubber gloves
  • Container with a tight lid
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring spoons


  • Use the bar soap and start by grating the bar soap with the help of a box grater. You will need around one cup of soap flakes for this recipe. In place of this, you can also use ivory snow or zote flakes if you want to.
  • Now measure and mix the ingredients in a container that has a tight-fitting lid. The container should be large to occupy around 5 cups of the mixture, and still, there should be some space.
  • Now add 2 cups of borax, 2 cups of washing soda, and 1 cup of soap flakes. With the help of a wooden spoon, stir all the ingredients properly.
  • Close the container properly. Your homemade powdered laundry detergent is ready to use.
  • Remember to shake well before every use. You can use 1 tablespoon of this mixture per load of laundry. You can increase the quantity depending on the extra loads that you have.

You can keep the above laundry detergent recipes for over a year, provided you take all the necessary precautions.

For How Long Does Laundry Detergent Last?

The shelf life of homemade laundry detergents is shorter than commercial detergents because they do not contain any preservatives. You can use commercial detergents for about 2 years. You can use a homemade laundry detergent recipe for several months; it usually lasts for six months up to a year once it is opened. After some time, it is believed that the detergents lose their potency, though this does not mean that the product will spoil after this point.

The shelf life of homemade laundry detergent highly depends on the ingredients used and the recipe that you have used. Ingredients like borax and washing soda have a longer shelf life if stored properly. An ingredient like castile soap has a shorter shelf life.

Though, to increase the shelf life of the detergent, you can take certain steps, like storing the detergent in an airtight container to protect it from moisture and other contaminants.

Store the detergent in a cool and dry place that is away from direct sunlight and moisture. The detergents should not be stored in damp or humid conditions.

If you witness any strange odors or signs of spoilage, it is best to discard the detergent and make a fresh batch of laundry detergent. It is advised to utilize the DIY detergent within a few months from when it is made.

Difference Between Liquid Laundry Detergent And Powdered Laundry Detergent

Form: As the name suggests, liquid laundry detergent is liquid in the state, and powdered laundry detergent is powder in the state.

Dissolving: Liquid laundry detergent dissolves easily in cold water. Powdered detergent does not dissolve easily in cold water.

Measurement: Liquid laundry detergent is measured in volume, and powdered detergent is measured by weight.

Cost: Liquid laundry detergent is expensive compared to powdered detergent.

Storage: Liquid detergent is easier to store, and it also takes less space as compared to powdered detergent.

Effectiveness: Both types of detergents are effective. It depends on the personal preferences and choices of people.

Usually, people consider powdered detergent because of its cost-effectiveness, storage, and simplicity. On the other hand, liquid detergent takes a longer process, requires more storage space, and is complicated.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Homemade Laundry Detergents?

Following are some of the benefits of using homemade laundry detergents:


This is one of the major benefits of making anything at home. If you make your own laundry detergents, you can customize the ingredients depending on your preferences. Like you can add essential oils depending on your desired scents. Or you can use any variety of soap. Also, you can adjust the quantity of the ingredients.

Cost Savings

Another major benefit of making homemade cleaning products is that it is highly cost-effective and saves a lot of cost in the making process. People spend a lot of money per year on laundry detergents. According to a study, homemade laundry detergent can cost you up to 75% less than the store brought detergents [1].

Environment Friendly

Homemade laundry detergents usually use all-natural ingredients that are biodegradable in nature and do not contain toxic or chemical ingredients that are usually found in commercial detergents. Hence, these recipes are less harmful to the environment.

Free From Synthetic Fragrances

For fragrance, you can add essential oils that contain natural scents and are safe for use. The store-bought detergents contain synthetic fragrances, which can be irritating to the skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. You can also suffer allergic reactions. This is not the case with homemade laundry detergents.

Does The Homemade Laundry Detergent Ruin The Washer?

No, homemade laundry detergent does not ruin the washer.

Best Essential Oils For Homemade Laundry Detergent

Following are some of the best essential oils for laundry detergents:

Tea Tree Essential Oil: Tea tree oil is one of the most effective essential oils that can be used in detergents as it has natural cleansing properties. Tea tree oil laundry detergent helps in removing stubborn stains and odors from clothes. Adding tea tree oil to laundry detergents will also make your clothes smell refreshing.

Lavender Essential Oil: Lavender oil has a great floral scent. Adding this oil to your laundry detergent will add a floral scent to your detergent.

Wild Orange Essential Oil: Wild orange has a great sweet and citrusy scent. Using this oil will add a fresh and refreshing scent to your clothes.

Peppermint Essential Oil: Peppermint oil has a rich minty scent that is very refreshing. It will add a nice fresh scent to your clothes.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil: This oil also has a strong minty aroma that will freshen up your clothes and add a long-lasting scent.

Roman Chamomile Oil: This oil has calming properties along with a floral scent. It will give a fresh scent to your laundry. You can use this oil in making homemade laundry detergent and it works great with very dirty clothes as well.

Cedarwood Essential Oil: Cedarwood has a woodsy scent, and it is an effective oil that can be added to your laundry products. Men usually like the cedarwood aroma.

Lemongrass Essential Oil: This is another essential oil whose aroma is liked by even men. It has an earthy scent and a tinge of citrusy hint.

Patchouli Essential Oil: This is also an effective oil with a nice scent that can be added to your laundry. Try making homemade laundry detergent with the essential oil of patchouli.

Jasmine Essential Oil: Jasmine has a strong floral scent. Using this oil in your laundry detergent will help in adding a long-lasting scent to your clothes.

DIY Essential Oil Blends For Detergents | Laundry Essential Oils

Following are some of the essential oil blends that you can try for detergents:

Floral Notes


  • 10 drops of lavender oil
  • 10 drops of jasmine oil
  • 10 drops of lime oil
  • 5 drops of grapefruit oil

Citrus Notes


  • 15 drops of wild orange oil
  • 10 drops of lemon oil
  • 8 drops lemongrass oil
  • 5 drops grapefruit oil

Kid-Friendly Notes


  • 15 drops of lavender oil
  • 10 drops roman chamomile oil
  • 5 drops of rosemary oil

Odor Control Notes


  • 15 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint oil
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 5 drops of lemon oil

Make your own essential oil laundry detergent using these blends.

Some Tips To Consider

  • Always measure the ingredients in quantity, ensuring you get the perfect laundry detergent.
  • Ensure that the detergent is not exposed to any moisture or that it will spoil.
  • Borax and washing soda and other detergent-making ingredients can be found in the laundry aisle of most grocery stores.
  • Add baking soda to your recipe to increase the cleansing power of your homemade detergent.
  • Add essential oils to your laundry detergent to add extra fragrance.


Making your laundry detergent at home is a cost-effective idea that is an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional detergents. Homemade laundry detergent can be made using simple and easily available ingredients like washing soda, borax, and bar soap.

Homemade laundry detergents work as effectively as commercial detergents. These ingredients will help you in keeping your laundry clean. It will help in removing stubborn stains. You can also add essential oils to add a natural scent to your laundry. Try these home made simple detergent recipes, and let us know which recipe or blend is your favourite. These laundry soap recipes, or detergent recipes are easy to make and are much more effective than the store bought detergent.

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