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Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent – Have you done it?

So first of all, I’m curious if you’ve ever tried making your own laundry detergent?? If you have I’d LOVE to know your thoughts. Did you make the powder kind or the liquid? Did you like it? Did you save a lot of money? Leave comments with your thoughts please.

I ran into the nicest lady, Val, at the grocery store the other day and we got to talking about couponing and our money saving ways. She passed this homemade liquid laundry detergent recipe along to me so I thought I would share it with all of you! If you try it please let me know what you think! I’ve only seen powder recipes before and not the liquid. She says it works just as well, if not better than any brand at the store.

Lidia’s Liquid Laundry Detergent


Measuring cup
plastic stir spoon
large stir stick
5 gal bucket with lid (at Wal-Mart with lid for under $3.00)
1 gal empty water or milk jug
cheese grater
medium size pot


1 cup Borax ($2.49 at Winco)
1 cup Super Washing Soda ($2.49 at Winco)
1 bar of soap your choice (She prefers Fels Naptha found at Winco for $1.29)

**The box of Borax and Super Washing Soda will last close to a year since you are only using 1 cup each for every bucket you make.

Fill pot with water about 2 – 3 cups, bring to a gentle boil.  While waiting for the water to come to a boil grate the whole bar of soap.  When the soap is completely grated and water is gently boiling start adding small handfuls of the grated soap, stir until that handful of soap is melted.  Cont. to add small amounts of soap, making sure it melts before adding more soap to reduce the chance of clumping.  Once the bar of soap is all melted, turn off the stove and set the pot of soapy water aside.  Add four gallons of extremely hot tap water into the 5 gallon bucket, (an easy way to fill your buck with four gallons of hot tap water is to take the empty on 1 gallon water or milk jug and fill it with the hot tap water, then add to the bucket) then add one cup Super Washing Soda, stir for a couple minutes then add one cup Borax, stir for a couple minutes then add the super soapy hot water to the 5 gal. bucket then stir for a couple more minutes.  Then put the lid tightly on the bucket and let sit over night.  Then in the morning you will have a 5 gallon bucket full of jello-y looking detergent, just add one cup of detergent to your washing machine. 


This recipe does approx. 68 loads of laundry.
This recipe should NOT be used with the newer machines.
Which ever bar of soap you choose to use, that is what the color of your detergent will be.

Liquid fabric softener:

Small bottle of distilled vinegar (under $1.50 @ Winco or Wal-Mart)
optional: 40 – 50 drops of essential oils of your choice found at health food stores. Val recommends the lavender.

She recommended buying a small bottle of vinegar for the first use so the bottle could be reused by buying the econo size jug of vinegar ($2.49) and just keeping the small bottled filled at all times for easier use.

Add one cup to the rinse cycle.

****SAFETY NOTE:  NEVER use bleach and vinegar together b/c the combo. causes toxic fumes*********
Val buys the MRS. STEWARTS Concentrated Liquid Bluing instead of bleach for whites. This can be found at Winco for $2.49 for an 8 oz. bottle and is safe to use with the vinegar fabric softener.

Thanks Val!!

About the author

Emily Buys


  • Yes, I’ve made my own detergent now for about a year. I love it and the clothes are cleaner and I save alot of money. It is so worth it ;0)

  • I have never made my own detergent, but have always wondered how. Thanks for sharing this recipe, it really seems very easy!

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