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Make your Own Detergent in a Flash with this Easy DIY

This DIY laundry powder is an easy and quick way to switch to a more natural and affordable product in your home. It’s simple to make, uses inexpensive, widely available, and multi-use ingredients, and is easily adaptable to your preferences.


The ingredients for this laundry powder cost under $15 at a local Fred Meyer, coming out to around $0.10 a load, which is a little more than half of what it costs per load of store bought natural laundry powder. This laundry powder works great in regular washing machines and should be fine to use if you have a HE washing machine, but you should double check your machine’s instructions just to be sure.

By my estimation, a grated bar of soap is about 3 cups. If you use the full bar of soap as your basis for measurement, a batch of laundry powder will be 15 cups. Using ⅛-¼ cup per load, you’ll get at least 60 and as many as 120 loads out of a full batch of prepared laundry powder.

To make your own laundry powder, you’ll need:

  • a grater or food processor

  • a measure of whatever size and unit you choose

  • a container to store your laundry powder

  • borax (20 Mule Team is a common brand)

  • washing soda (Arm & Hammer can be found at most stores)

  • a bar of soap (Dr. Bronner’s Hemp and Almond soap has a great scent, but you can use your preferred brand or whatever you have on hand)

  • (optional) essential oils of your choice for fragrance

Set aside:

  • 1 part grated soap

  • 2 parts washing soda

  • 2 parts borax

Use whatever measurement works for you, just be sure to use the same measure for each ingredient so that the parts are equal.

Finely grate or food process the bar soap so that it’s close in size to the grains of the other ingredients.

In a large bowl, or directly into the storage container, mix all of the ingredients together.

If you’re using essential oils for fragrance, add 20 drops to a full batch of the laundry powder and mix well.

Label and store with a scoop for portioning out your loads, and you’re done!

To improve the stain-fighting and whitening properties of this laundry powder, add a tablespoon of an oxygen booster to the load as needed.

Besides the savings, the best thing about this DIY laundry powder is that the ingredients all have many uses other than laundry detergent. You’ll have plenty of borax and washing powder leftover even after making a full batch, so try incorporating them into your other chores. Washing soda is great for getting rid of grease and grime on pretty much any surface (but be careful, as it can remove paint), and borax is a safe and naturally occurring pesticide that can help to deter insects and rodents from around the home.

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