Love, Pomegranate House


Homemade Laundry Detergent {Improved}

Homemade Laundry Detergent {Improved}

Eight months ago I shared a recipe for homemade laundry soap. And since I needed to make another batch this week, I thought it was time for me to give you a little update on how it has been working. Well, in one word… GREAT! I don’t think I will ever go back to buying laundry detergent! Seriously! This stuff smells amazing and cleans wonderfully! Plus it lasts such a long time! I made my first batch back in August 2012 and I just made my 3rd batch. Craziness. This time I decided to try a slightly different and improved version of my Homemade Laundry Detergent.

Homemade Laundry Detergent {Improved}

Here is all you need:

  • 1 bar Laundry Soap Bar {either Fels-Naptha, Zote, or Ivory}
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Washing Soda {found near the laundry detergents in your grocery store}
  • 1/3 cup Scented Laundry Crystal
  • 1/2 cup Powdered OxiClean

Grate your bar of soap with a cheese grater into a large bowl. {I promise your grater will be just fine!} Pour all the other ingredients into the bowl and stir them together. The ingredients may separate a little when placed in a container. Just give it a good shake before each use! If you don’t like the separation, toss it into a blender or food processor and blend well {that is what I did this time around}.

You only need 1-2 tbsp per load depending on size of load and dirtiness of clothes. And this detergent works great with high efficiency washers because it has zero suds.

I only switched up two little things on this recipe. I decided to add OxiClean at the recommendation of my darling friend, Kati. How brilliant was she to add OxiClean!? Now my brights stay bright and my whites get even more white! I also increased the amount of scented laundry crystals because I wanted a little more of the great scent!

Homemade Laundry Detergent {Improved}

Again, like my first batch, this recipe is great for people who don’t have space for a giant 5 gallon batch. Sure, you still have to store the boxes but those are much easier to store than a 5 gallon bucket! This recipe is just enough to fill a large mason jar. And a single batch will last for about 32-50 loads… that is about 4 months around here. I love this stuff! It is wonderful!

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it is significantly cheaper than buying brand name detergent. I haven’t had to buy anything else since my first batch 8 months ago, with the exception of the OxiClean and another bar of soap. I think it comes out to around $4 per batch of homemade laundry detergent compared to around $9+ for store bought detergent. Who doesn’t love cheap and thrifty!? No one. That’s who!

Have you ever made homemade cleaning supplies?? Any recipes you want to share?


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42 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Detergent {Improved}

  1. I made some today and just finished my first load! I love it! I doubled the recipe (family of 5 here). I grated one bar with my Pampered Chef grater mentioned above and one with a small grater. I like the smaller grater better. It mixes up better. 🙂 I also shared this in the comments on my Facebook. I hope that’s okay since I’m not a blogger.

  2. I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for over a year now, and I agree! I will never go back to buying detergent from the store!! I’ll definitely have to try adding the scented laundry crystals like you do! Thanks so much for partying with us at Time to Sparkle Tuesday : )

    xoxo Liz
    Liz Fourez recently posted..Time to Sparkle Link Party #4My Profile

  3. Is the laundry crystal just for scent or is that a fabric softener too? Would it change the dynamic to leave it out?

  4. Would Downy “Unstoppables” work instead of the Purex crystals? I love the smell of them! Although I’m not sure how the measurements would change.

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  6. Just wondering… Do/Can you use this in a cold water cycle? Or does it need to be warm to make sure that it dissolves properly?


  7. I’ve made the homemade stuff before when I needed to use up slivers and small bars of random soap. I think it worked out Ok, but I always return to using the Purex pods – I get good coupons for them and buy from Walgreen’s. However, I now have a collection of soap bars that need recycling, so I will make it again! It’s fun and I love to use thoe crystals that make the wash smell soooo good.

  8. Can you use any bar soap? I have a bunch of different kinds that r in my closet but I dont like bathing with prefer body wash. Also instead of oxi can u use the dirty jobs oxygen powder?

    • You really should only use a bar of laundry soap. It cleans your clothes differently than body bar soap does. But yes! you can definitely use Dirty Jobs oxygen powder as a substitute!

  9. This recipe sounds heavenly! I have an HE washer. Do you just put the powder in the regular pull out drawer, no water added? I’ve had soap get hardened there. I’ve read on other blogs that you can add laundry soap directly to the drum as well? What’s your suggestion?

  10. We moved into an apartment with an older than dirt washing mashine…would you just put that right into the drum after its filled with water or during?? lol im use to HE and i dont want a soap explosion everywhere lol

    • I’ve got a top loading washing machine and I put it in as the water is filling up! The great thing about this detergent is that it doesn’t get all sudsy. That iw what makes it great for HE. It won’t explode! I promise! 😉

  11. Im making a basket of homemade laundry and cleaning supplies for a wedding shower gift. I was super excited to find this recipe and even more excited when I realized how inexpensive it is to make!! Thanks for posting this! I can’t wait to wash MY first load with homemade laundry detergent 🙂

  12. I have a quick question…what is the difference between the borax and the washing soda? Is there enough of a chemical compound difference between those two items and the oxiclean? I only ask, as I can’t seem to find the arm & hammer washing soda where I live.

  13. I have been making laundry soap for a few months, and I recently noticed that my white clothes are smelling funny after I wash them. My ingredients are just the fels naptha, borax, and washing soda. I have looked online and seen other people with this problem as well. Would oxi-clean or the crystals help with this problem?

    • I’ve used my laundry soap for 9+ months and I never had that problem! I’m so sorry you had that issue! It could be the scented crystals that help with mine! They really do smell amazing and make my clothes smell just as great! I think they could definitely help! Good luck!

    • Please understand that I’m not questioning your laundry process, but possibly one of two things that I’ve seen happen in the past that can causing laundry not to smell as we expect. HE especially, make sure that you clean your machine as directed because the water can and does create smell issues due to build up of products used over time. Two possibly leaving laundry in the washer longer than you should. Typically I will not start a load unless I can switch from washer to dryer within an hour or two of the cycle completing. Since living by these two rules I’ve not noticed any problem with unsavory smells. I just found a pin on here that also tells how to solve mold problems with the HE machines that I’m dying to try. On HE machine if I’m going to be away for any length of time I also put a dryall in the machine to dry up any water to keep the water from becoming skunkey. Hope this help!

    • Here is the recipe I found on for cleaning HE washers if that is the type you use~Once a month, add a cup of Distilled White Vinegar 1 Cup of Baking Soda directly into the drum and use HOT water for washing. Then, I add about cup of vinegar into the fabric softener compartment and cup of baking soda into the detergent compartment. Set the wash on Quick Wash with HOT water and High Spin Cycle. If the mold situation is really bad,use bleach instead of vinegar and baking soda. But make sure you run a few empty cycles just with hot water before doing a load of wash.

  14. My store only had Zote and after grating it and mixing
    It with the other ingredients it all smelled of Zote, and only Zote
    The bar was huge compared to fels-Naptha. If anyone
    Else uses Zote I highly suggest using about a half
    A bar.

    • I think you can use about 1/3 of the Zote bar for this recipe! That is what I plan to do when I need my next batch. I used the fels-Naptha for my first but have a Zote bar also!
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  15. Just made this…so far works great, but I can’t get the smell to last after it’s dry. Have any ideas? Would love to have scented clothes again. I’ve tried essential oils and vinegar in fabric softener in washer dispenser, but no luck.

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    • I have used this same recipe minus the scent crystals in my HE machine using only cold water for 2 years and love it. I use the scoop from an old dollar store oxyclean tub to measure out the amount. 1 scoop for my house full of men and boys nasty stinky clothes works great. I also pulse the soap in my food processor with the washing soda to get a finer powder for my HE machine.

  17. I heat my bar of soap up in the microwave…then run it through my food processor. I think the whole thing took about 10 minutes from start to finish. It sure beats a food grater. LOVE the recipe!

  18. I’ve not noticed anyone mentioning bleach. With this recipe, does bleach become a thing of the past or can you still use or do you need to use with the oxi-clean? Too funny the the Fels Naptha is part of the recipe. I live in a small town that I finally got our local supermarket to begin carrying a number of years back because I could not find anywhere. My kids laugh, because any stain anyone would get in their clothes they would say “my mom swears by Fels Naptha use it or lose it”! Still swear by this rule today. Always have at least 10 bars laying around….can never have enough

  19. Hi, just curious about your ingredient amounts as far as the laundry bar goes. I love this soap recipe, we omit the laundry crystals and use our own homemade laundry bar to make it all natural. I went to make an other batch and didn’t have anymore bar soap so I decided to try store bought. I noticed one Bar of Fels naptha is 5.5oz and a Zote bar is 13oz. I have been using 5.5oz just because your photo has a fels naptha bar and I googled to see how big the bar is but I would think that would make a big difference you would either be lacking in soap or have way more than you need.