10 DIY Laundry Detergents, Fabric Softener, Starch, and Scent Enhancer

With the average American family doing 400 loads of laundry every year, the cost of laundry products can really add up: different detergents for certain types of fabrics, fabric softener, stain removers and even scent enhancers. For those who iron clothes, toss in the cost of starch and sizing.

By making laundry products yourself, you’ll save money and avoid last minute trips to the store when you run out of detergent. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what ingredients are being used to wash your family’s laundry.

DIY Powdered Laundry Detergent

S847 / Getty Images

Making powdered laundry detergent is very simple and depending on your previous detergent, around 30 cents per load. Homemade laundry detergent is safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers because the formula is low-sudsing.

What You Need:

Bar of Pure Soap (Ivory, Fels Naptha, Zote ) or 1 cup Soap Flakes

Baking Soda

Washing Soda – sodium carbonate


Cheese Grater

Measuring Cup

Resealable Container

Here’s How:

Using a regular cheese grater, grate a 5.5 ounce bar of pure soap to make about one cup of flakes.

In a large, resealable container, combine 1 cup soap flakes, 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate) and 1/2 cup borax. Washing soda is caustic to the skin and you should wear rubber gloves.

Mix ingredients well. Keep dry. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load of laundry in a standard top load washer. Use only 2 tablespoons in a high efficiency top- or front-load washer.


If you can’t find Washing Soda, you can make your own washing soda from baking soda.

The detergent recipe can be easily doubled. Store in an airtight container. Transfer smaller amounts to a decorative canister to keep handy near the washer.

To boost the cleaning power of your homemade detergent, increase the amount of borax used in the formula.

Prev1 of 9Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *