Homemade Laundry Powder

I started greening all of my cleaners over a year ago. When I first started making my own laundry detergent I used the mostly water recipe that seems easiest to find when searching the net. Then as I moved further on my journey to green our home I started finding an occasional mention of a homemade laundry powder. I tried it and have preferred it ever since. I especially love that it is easy to store, takes up less space and I can scent it if i want to. Cleaning wise I feel that it compares right up there with the All Free and Clear that I had always used.

For my whites I still usually throw in a bit of Oxiclean just because I have a lot of it and I think it helps a little bit to keep whites whiter. When I run out of that I plan to start trying hydrogen peroxide. I also sometimes use Mrs. Stewarts Bluing for socks and things that get a little dingy no matter what since I don’t use bleach. I haven’t figured out the cost comparison to the penny but my quick comparison shows that I am saving money by making it myself.

Want to give it a try?

Homemade Laundry Powder

2 cups(finely) grated castile soap*

1 cup borax

1 cup baking soda

1 cup washing soda

I have tried Dr. Bronner’s, Fels Naphtha and Kirk’s brand of these bar soaps. I prefer the Kirk’s(I get it at Hy-Vee) based on price. Dr. Bronner’s has scented ones to choose from but I have been trying different scents of essential oils with Kirk’s to see if we like them. So far, no complaints, it’s very subtle. One and a half .5 oz bars makes about two cups.

Mix everything together and store in an airtight jar. Depending on your water you may need to adjust the sodas a bit and the amount used per load. I use 1/8 cup per load. You may need to give the jar a shake once in a while to prevent the soap flakes from settling to the bottom. I mix a double batch each time to make it last longer.

That and my new handy dandy laundry sorter in our newly cleaned and painted laundry room have made my life with laundry a much more pleasant experience.

This post is linked to Frugal Tuesday Tip over at Learning The Frugal Life.

Check them out for more frugal ideas!


  1. //

    Thanks Maria. I've been wanting to make my own detergent for a while. I have a HE front loader machine. Do you think this recipe will work well for me?

  2. //

    Hi, Marcie! That's a great question and a friend just asked me that this morning. I did a little bit of research and would recommend doing your own too before trying it. From what I understand, the purpose of the HE "special soap" is that it creates a low amount of suds. The concern is that the sudsing agents can clog up the lines. The good news is, this homemade soap does not have a sudsing agent in it so it sounds like it would work fine. Now if you use something like a regular bar of ivory instead of a castille soap, that would probably creat too many suds.
    Using this powder makes it look like there is no soap even in there as the water is running because it doesn't suds up at all. But it cleans!

    Hope that helps! Let me know if you try it.

  3. //

    Love my homemade laundry soap. Never tried the powder form. Glad to know it works just as well.

    On a side note, I have read that you can use this soap (at least the liquid soap) in front loaders. I agree though better do your own research.

    Thanks for linking up!

  4. //

    I had to have my HE washer repaired recently & the repairman said that it would be better to use a powder due to the animal fats & other ingredients that are in the liquid detergents which clog the machine. I did not know that there were options that were dry until this & have not found any on store shelves. Maybe this would be a good option instead. I also was wondering if you would put the detergent in the wash basin or the detergent cup located at the the top of the washer. Ahh, questions, questions!!

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