Easy DIY Laundry Detergent

Sweet Potatoes and Social Change DIY Laundry Detergent

Easy homemade laundry detergent will both save you money and is a great way to start become more environmentally conscious. Photo By Samantha McClellan

I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for a few months now, but this past weekend it was time to restock so I thought it may be a good time to share the process with all of you. With the start of the new year I began reevaluating how to make my life less wasteful financially and more environmentally sustainable. One of the first practical ideas that surfaced in my research was homemade cleaning products. I have not done a personal cost comparison on homemade laundry detergent vs store bought but many people have, and they have found the the homemade type comes out to pennies per load and beats the store bought type hands down. In terms of environmental sustainability, knowing what is in your detergent is not unlike knowing what is in your food. When you make it at home you can rest 100% assured of what products you are interacting with on a daily basis. However, when you buy it in a store you are at the mercy of manufacturers who are, quite honestly, only out to make a buck regardless of whether your clothes get clean or our water supply stays unpolluted. This homemade laundry detergent recipe only uses simple, environmentally friendly, ingredients and its easy on your clothes, gets them clean, and doesn’t contain any harsh skin irritants or allergens.  It takes all of about 5 minutes to make and it lasts a long time. If you are interested in trying to make small manageable steps towards environmental sustainability and saving money I highly recommend this as a starting point.

Photo By Samantha McClellan

Photo By Samantha McClellan

Homemade Laundry Detergent:


1 Cup of Borax (Find in the laundry Aisle of your Grocery Store)

1 Cup of Washing Soda (Find in the cleaning aisle of your grocery store or make your own with Baking soda. Find instructions here)

1 Grated Bar of Ivory Soap


In a large bowl combine all of your ingredients, mix well and funnel into a container. Use 1 TBS of powder per load of laundry, a little more if it is a particularly large load. 

6 thoughts on “Easy DIY Laundry Detergent

  1. Lise

    I’ve been considering making my own laundry detergent for a while, how do you find it performs cleaning-wise compared to store-bought detergent? Does it leave white marks on dark clothes? Does it work well in cold water? Thanks!

    1. Samantha

      In my experience it works just as well! It has never left any spots on clothes and I only ever use cold water. In fact, to save water and energy I only use cold water and the light cycle which uses less water and the clothes still get completely clean. Just yesterday I washed a white scarf that had an orange set in food stain and it came out spotless with no pre-treatment or anything. I’d be honest if I felt that there was a trade off but I’ve been using the homemade detergent since January and I haven’t had any problems.

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