Homemade Laundry Detergent

As promised, here is the step by step on making homemade laundry soap!

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Before testing the soap I made sure to run my washer with one cup of white vinegar, one tablespoon of lavender essential oil and hot water just to get rid of anything funky. Then afterwards I ran a load of laundry and truth be told I am more than impressed with the strength of this detergent. Not only are the children’s clothes a total mess all on their own, but my boyfriend is a mason and comes home absolutely filthy on a day to day basis. Having any detergent that can tackle these kinds of messes is a wonder, but having that detergent be homemade and safe to use is amazing.

You only need to use about 1/8 cup of soap for an entire load of laundry, which is phenomenal and will prove to make this soap extremely cost effective. At the bottom of this post I will put together a cost comparison per load.


First things first. You’ll need to buy your ingredients, as mentioned in Homemade What Now? you will need baking soda, washing soda, Castile soap and essential oil (this is optional, I used lemon and a smidgen of grapefruit). 

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Washing Soda – 12 cups (6lbs)

Baking Soda – 16 cups (8lbs)

Castile Soap – 6 bars (24oz)

You’ll also want a large cheese grater to shred the soap as well as a bucket, whisk and large spoon for mixing.

The easiest part, dump all of your baking soda into the bucket followed by the washing soda. Then, still easy but much more time consuming, get to grating up your soap.

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Once you’ve grated all of the soap into your bucket, give it a good mix. I added the essential oils in bit by bit at this point so that I didn’t end up with uneven amounts throughout the jar. Add about 1/2 tablespoon per layer (six layers) and scoop the detergent into your container as you go.

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Like I said before, you only need 1/8 cup per load of laundry. The formula we buy for baby comes in a box of a couple refills and each box has a washable scoop. I stole a scoop from there for my jar but using a regular measuring cup would work fine.

After everything was done I have a little over fifteen pounds of laundry soap and if my math is correct (which it probably isn’t) that means I have enough detergent for about 240 loads of laundry.

All of my ingredients only cost me $19.48 (after tax)!

That’s only $0.08 per load of laundry. Let’s compare:

All Free & Clear $11.97 per 113 loads, is about $0.11 ($26 for 240).
Gain HEC in all scents $14.97 per 96 loads, is about $0.16 ($38 for 240).
Tide HE Original $17.97 per 96 loads, is about $0.19 ($45 for 240).

When you’re comparing something in cents it doesn’t really seem like the price difference is such a big deal. But when you look at the bigger picture you can save anywhere from $10 to $30 on your laundry every couple months and that’s pretty neat.


I’m so excited to get away from the sneaky chemicals in laundry soap and I also realized that I really like Castile soap. Of course in grating it, I got plenty on my hands and it smells nice and makes your skin really smooth. Plus, it’s not full of nasty chemicals! I’ll be going back to the store for more of that for sure.


If you have any questions about anything at all, leave me a comment below! Until next time, thanks for reading!!

4 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Detergent

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