Money Monday: Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Money Monday: Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe


One of the most expensive liquids at the grocery store for your family is laundry detergent. One trend taking off online is homemade laundry soap, which will save you some money.

The initial cost to buy the ingredients will be around $10. Each GALLON will cost you between $0.25 to $0.50; depending on which materials you choose to buy.  Maggie Howes, creator of, shares her recipe with WAFB.

Recipe for 1 gallon of homemade detergent (can be used with high efficiency machines):

  • 3 Tablespoons Borax
  • 3 Tablespoons Washing Soda
  • 2 Tablespoons Dawn Dish soap (whatever scent you choose)

Add all of these ingredients to a 1 gallon jug

Add 4 cups of very hot water

Swirl the jug until all of the ingredients are dissolved

Fill almost to the top with cold water (bubbles will overflow a little out of the bottle)

Use 1 cup for each load of laundry in a regular washer, or 1/2 cup for high effeciency washers. Stir the soap each time you use it

You can make more of this at a time if you want. It stores easily in closeable containers.

If you prefer the dry laundry soap, you will need the following ingredients:

Powdered laundry detergent:

  • 2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated – you could also try the other bar soaps listed at the top)
  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Borax
  • Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
  • Use 2 tablespoons per full load.

*For the bar soaps required in the recipes, you could try Fels-Naptha, Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk's Hardwater Castile, and Zote. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps.

*Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry and cleaning aisles.

*Some people with really hard water or well water may have to adjust the recipes if the clothes look dingy.

*Although several of the recipes have the same ingredients, the measurements are different–some contain a higher soap to water ratio. Test and see which works best for your laundry needs.

*You can make huge pails of this at once, or smaller quantities. Also if you can get your hands on a few empty liquid laundry detergent bottles they work great for storing the detergent. Just make a big batch and pour in bottles, cap then use as needed–shake before use.

*Some of the recipes call for large amounts of water. Check with a local restaurant to see if they have any empty large pails from deep fryer oil–that's how many restaurants buy the oil. See if you can have one or two of the pails after they've emptied it–just wash them out really well before using. They're big, heavy plastic and very sturdy when stirring the soap

Howes' website,, is a great website for some money-saving tips.

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