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How to Make Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent


If you are concerned about what chemicals are hiding in commercial laundry detergents, you can make your own. Five simple ingredients are all it takes. And depending on your previous detergent, you can save about 30 cents per load of laundry. Homemade liquid laundry detergent is safe to use in front-loading or he washers.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 20 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Using a regular cheese grater, grate a bar of pure soap - Ivory, Zote, Kirk's Castile or Fels Naptha soaps. One 5.5 ounce bar will make about one cup of flakes.
  2. Add the grated soap to a large saucepan with 4 cups of water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
  3. In a large, resealable container, combine melted soap flakes, 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate), 1/2 cup borax and twp gallons of hot water. Washing soda is caustic to the skin and you should wear rubber gloves.
  4. Stir detergent mixture until everything is dissolved. Cover and allow to sit overnight to thicken. If using at this stage, use 2 tablespoons of your homemade liquid detergent per load. This is appropriate for both HE and regular loads.
  5. For easier use, fill a smaller container with one half liquid soap mixture and one half water. Shake well before each use. Use 1/4 cup per load which equals two tablespoons of detergent and 2 tablespoons of water.

    Specific questions? Just ask here.


  1. Washing Soda is manufactured by Arm & Hammer - Church and Dwight. If you can't find it locally, visit their Web site or call 800-524-1328 for where to purchase.

What You Need

  • Bar of Soap or Soap Flakes
  • Baking Soda
  • Washing Soda - sodium carbonate
  • Borax
  • Water
  • Saucepan
  • Measuring Cup
  • Resealable container
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