Our Favorite Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes

our favorite homemade laundry detergent recipes

When it comes to laundry detergent, one of the best ways (not to mention the most cost-effective) is to go the homesteading route and just make it yourself.

In addition to costs, there are many reasons to stop using commercial detergents.  ​They often contain dozens of chemicals that can irritate the skin or cause allergies.  And sometimes they're just plain ineffective, trapping smells and odors rather than removing them.

In this post, we’ll be showing you how to make your own homemade laundry detergent, and we’ll be taking a specific look at how to whip up batches of standard, disinfecting and stain removal laundry detergent, all from the comfort of your own home.

Why Make Your Own Cleaning Products?​

baby's have sensitive skin

One of the main reasons why folks opt to make their own cleaning products at home is so that they can control which chemicals go into the mix.

Ingredients such as borax, baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide, which might already be stocked in your pantry, are the basic ingredients which can help you make effective and safe laundry detergent at home.

These are all naturally derived ingredients that are much less likely to cause allergic reactions or rashes.  And they can be VERY effective at cleaning clothes!​

While there certainly other alternatives to using store bought laundry detergent, such as magnets (yes magnets! check out our water liberty magnetic laundry system review for more info), homemade recipes are a great way to eliminate any chemicals that might be causing allergy issues for you or your family.

The Best Homemade Laundry Detergent for Everyday Use

use a measuring cup for your homemade laundry detergent

For general washing purposes, try this great recipe:

  • 1 Quart Boiling Water
  • 2 Cups grated bar soap
  • 2 Cups Borax
  • 2 Cups Washing Soda

Grab a large mixing bowl and place the boiling water into it and then add the grated soap to the water. Stir the water until all of the soap has dissolved.

Next, add the borax and the washing soda to the soapy water, stirring the mixture until everything has come together. Add 2 gallons of clean water and then stir until everything is mixed together.

You may wish to transfer the detergent to plastic containers at this stage, ensuring that you properly mix the detergent before every use, and using roughly 1/4 cup of detergent at a time with washing loads.

The Best Homemade Laundry Detergent for Disinfectant Uses?

vinegar is an excellent disinfectant

To make a simple yet powerful disinfectant homemade laundry detergent, try the following:

  • 2 teaspoons borax
  • 3 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar​

Mix the borax, water, and vinegar together until everything is combined. Store the mixture in a plastic container and keep out of reach of children.

You may use this mixture as a pre-wash soak for heavily soiled garments or add 1/3 cup of the disinfectant solution to each load of laundry. For extra disinfecting power, you may add a few drops of any one of the following essential oils: lavender, tea tree oil, or grapefruit seed extract

The Best Homemade Laundry Detergent for Stain Removal

Here’s a simple and effective recipe for homemade stain-removing laundry detergent:

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons dish soap
  • 8 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide

Grab a large bowl or mixing jug and add all of the ingredients, stirring them until everything has come together. You may wish to transfer the mixture to a spray bottle for easy use. Once you have mixed and transferred the stain-remover to your container of choice, you can use the mixture by applying it directly to the stain and rubbing it gently with your finger. Allow the stain remover to work for at least 15 minutes before washing normally with some of your homemade laundry detergents.

What If My D.I.Y Laundry Detergent Does Look Like It’s Supposed To?​

The key to succeeding in making your own laundry detergent at home is to keep in mind that it’s not an exact science. Sometimes people use different brands of soap, which may make the mixture too watery, too thick, too chunky, or even cause it to separate.

In these scenarios you could try adding some more hot water to a mixture that seems like a solid mass, adding more soap to mixtures that seem too thin, and some more borax or washing soda to mixtures that appear to have separated.

How Can I Boost the Smell of My Homemade Laundry Detergent?

Often times, homemade laundry detergent will leave your freshly washed clothes smell like nothing more than cotton. To remedy this issue, you should try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the detergent mix when whipping it up.

Some Final Thoughts

As you can see, there’s really no special set of skills required to make your own homemade laundry detergent, and since you might already have all the basics in your pantry, it’s super cost effective as well. We hope that you have enjoyed reading this post and that it has left you amped to start whipping up your very first batch of homemade laundry detergent, disinfectant, and stain remover!




About the Author Natalie

Natalie V Mason is an ETSY entrepreneur that started her online sewing business in 2012. She specializes in fabric design, sewing, and dying. You can see her work on her ETSY page and on her website. You can also reach her via email. You can also read more about her here.

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