How To Make Laundry Detergent On The Skinny

by Suzan Ferreira
How To Make Laundry Detergent On The Skinny showing detergent in glass container

Making your own homemade laundry detergent is simple, quick, and cost-effective.  In our efforts to become more conscious and sustainable,  several years ago our family made the decision to go as chemical free as well.  I began to make as many of our homemade products as possible.  Cleansers, lotions, shaving cream, and laundry detergent to name a few.  This laundry detergent method is one I’ve been using for several years, works well, is safe for HE washers and most importantly, cheap!

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By making my own products I am able to go as organic and natural as possible, reduce our plastic consumption, tread a little more lightly on the earth and save boatloads of cash in the process!  The choices we make have an impact.  This quote by Wendall Berry sums it up pretty darn good as to why I do what I do. 

The Earth is what we all have in common.

-Wendall Berry 

The process of making laundry detergent is quick and easy.  I will list a printable recipe card at the end of this post for you.  The ingredient list, comprised of only three ingredients, are readily available.  Borax, Washing Soda and soap.  These are the two soaps I often use:  Kirks Castile Soap/Fels-Naptha.  I also like to add Oxi-Clean as well just for an added boost of cleanliness.  If you would prefer a detergent that has a scent, you can add your favorite essential oil or scent booster of your choice to the mix.  I find the clothes have a nice crisp, clean scent with just the ingredients needed, especially when hung on my clothesline to dry.

There are varied opinions on the use of Borax.  Katie Wells over at wrote an excellent article on this very subject.  “Is Borax Safe To Use For Natural Cleaning?“.  Please check it out if you have concerns with the use of this product.

To make, finely grate your soap(s) of your choice either with a food grater or my preferred method, with my Cuisinart Food Processor, easy peasy! 

Laundry Detergent

Grating Soap

Once grated add all ingredients together and mix well with a wooden spoon.  I always make a double batch which stores well in a glass jar in the laundry room ready to use.

When making a double batch I like to add a bar of each of the listed soaps.  Feel free to add your soap of choice.  Many with skin sensitivities will add Ivory Soap instead. 

As with any homemade product, this makes a wonderful gift!  Think college student or housewarming!  Simply make detergent, place in a unique or glass jar, and add a copy of the recipe card tied around the jar with raffia or twine.

Wondering if this is cost-effective?  This recipe costs an average of about 1/3 of conventional laundry detergents.  I would say that’s a chunk of savings over the course of a year!  Give it a try! 

How To Make Laundry Detergent On The Skinny detergent in jar with logo
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Simple ingredients, 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Author Suzan Ferreira


  • 1 Cup Washing Soap
  • 1 Cup Borax
  • 1 Bar Kirk's Castile Soap/Fels-Naptha
  • 1 Cup Oxi-Clean


  • Finely grind soap(s) of your choice with grater or food processor.
  • Combine remaining ingredients with ground soap.  Stir to combine well.
  • Add essential oil or scent booster if desired.  Mix well.


  • Add 2-4 Tablespoons to wash depending on load size according to your washer instructions.
  • To save time, make several batches at one time.
  • Store in glass container with 1 Tablespoon measure for ease of dispensing.

Made it?  Let me know how you like it!  Comment below and feel free to like or share at will!

Be Well,


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1 comment

Morayma February 20, 2023 - 6:58 pm

5 stars
I am bookmarking this because I am a huge fan of all things natural and living a cleaner lifestyle…so important! I do buy plant based, natural detergent and have always been a bit intimidated by DIY detergents, but this looks very do-able. Thank you for sharing!


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