A simpler life: DIY laundry detergent

I’m a big fan of simple. I’m also a big fan of affordable. What I am not a fan of is the smell and price and content of most laundry detergent. Sadly I am allergic to certain chemicals which also makes laundry detergent hunting complicated. This lead me to looking into making my own detergent. I have been successfully doing so for over a year now.

Here is a tutorial of how I make mine.You can play around with it and find what works for you.

First you will need:

a large bowl

a mop bucket or other similar bucket

a grater

1 or 2 barss of Zote or other bar laundry soap

4 lbs of baking soda

1 box of Borax

1 container of Fabric softener crystals (Purex or Downy etc)

1 container of an oxy cleaner of come kind (I’ve used Sun, the actual Oxy clean, the dirty jobs version)

Optional: 1 box of Super Washing Soda

baking soda bowl

I have learned that grating the Zote soap by itself allows it to make a crumpled mess so I grate it in with baking soda.

DSC02235Next you grate the whole bar of soap mixing into the Baking soda.

DSC02237 DSC02238 DSC02242 DSC02243

When you have all of your bar soap grated it is time to start mixing it in the bucket with the other ingredients. I try and layer everything a little bit at time mixing as I go.




other ingredients


Mix and mix and mix

Try not to breath over the bucket. I angle it if possible.


Isn’t it pretty!


This is my “long day and now I am making detergent look”. I rock it I know. 😉



This made about 15 lbs of detergent. Now, I will say that I had heard a lot of mixed reviews about how people find that this works. It has been excellent for my family. My husband even loves it. I haven’t had any problems with it not dissolving etc. It smells great and cleans better. Fabric softener doesn’t have to added to it. I personally like it better with the fabric softener. It is much more of an all in one cleaner that way.

Here is my cost breakdown:

Borax $3.38

Oxy cleaner $5.47

Softener $8.96

Baking soda $2.08

Zote soap $.98

Total cost 20.87~

or $0.08 per load

I can get between 250 and 300 loads out of this. You only need to use about a tablespoon (more less depending on personal preference) per load.

Normal liquid fabric softener

Downy for 250 load is about $17.00

Numbers based upon cost of http://www.walmart.com/ip/Downy-April-Fresh-Ultra-Concentrated-Fabric-Softener-90-oz/14574631


All detergent, 250 loads is about $24.00


That is a total of $41.00

or about $0.16 per load

So your home made alternative is half the cost as well as being awesomely home made. If you liked my tutorial let me know.

Have a great weekend!



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