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Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

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Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent prices are always climbing and even with coupons, it can still be expensive. The good news is homemade powdered laundry detergent is easy to make and it will save you a ton of money! Plus, if you have allergies or skin sensitivities you can customize this detergent and make it entirely fragrance free.

Just to compare, the average laundry detergent price is .20-.25 per load but with homemade powdered laundry detergent, you’re looking at only .07 per load. Those pennies add up over time!

All of these ingredients can be purchased at your local grocery store. This recipe will fill up one mason jar, feel free to double or triple the recipe and make extra to keep on hand.

Powdered Laundry Soap


  • 1 cup Borax

  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

  • 1 Bar of Fels Naptha Soap (or Ivory Soap) Shaved

  • Essential Oils (optional) (Lavender is a good one)



Start by grating one bar of soap, you can use either Fels Naptha soap or Ivory. Do not use “lotion” soaps like Dove or other brands, they will not dissolve well in the water and could leave a residue on your clothing.

In the same bowl, add Borax & Washing Soda. Be sure to mix well. At this stage, you can sprinkle some essential oils (found in natural food stores) or add a couple tablespoons of OxiClean for an extra kick if your skin sensitivities allow it.

The trick to homemade laundry detergent is letting the washer fill up with water and dissolve your detergent BEFORE you add your clothing. This will ensure that the soap dissolves completely.

Use only 2 TBS per load. This works well in HE machines too because it is a low-suds formula. If you want an easy liquid fabric softener, simply add 1 cup of white vinegar to the wash in your liquid fabric softener dispenser.


This formula is gentle enough for allergies and even babies. Next time you run out of detergent, skip those high prices and make it from scratch instead!

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About the Author

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Melissa Garcia AKA The Consumer Queen has been featured in All You Magazine,Wall Street Journal,Ladies Home Journal, The Today Show, Oprah radio Network & More. Melissa is also now blogging full time from home as a career.

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  • bridgit November 19, 2013, 12:33 PM

    Where do you get your Felsnaptha? I used to get it with subscribe and save for 85 cents a bar. Now they don’t ship it with subscribe and save, so I’m looking for another cheap source of felsnaptha.

    • Mario November 22, 2013, 9:01 PM


    • Consumer Queen November 25, 2013, 12:16 PM

      Fels Naptha is located at Walmart or most grocery stores in the laundry aisle.

      • mary January 5, 2014, 8:15 PM

        I doubled my recipe because there was so much left in the powder boxes. I used one bar Ivory and one bar laundry soap. When grating the Ivory powdered up nicely. However the laundry soap actually looked like grated cheese. Did I use the wrong side of the grater?

  • cindy November 19, 2013, 4:16 PM

    this won’t work in an HE type washer will it?

  • Irina November 19, 2013, 7:50 PM

    Hi, quick question. You said to let the top load washer fill up with water to dissolve your detergent first before adding your clothing. How about for the HE washers?

    • Consumer Queen November 25, 2013, 12:14 PM

      Letting the water fill in the washer just works better but if HE machines don’t do that, then it’s not a big deal. It works either way.

  • Mary November 22, 2013, 10:30 AM

    I am interested in trying my own DIY/Homemade washing powder. I’ve been scared, but after this post, I think I am ready to try it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Mario November 22, 2013, 9:01 PM

    I found everything sitting together at walmart


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