Mommy's Kitchen - Recipes From my Texas Kitchen: Improved Homemade Laundry Detergent {Powdered}

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Improved Homemade Laundry Detergent {Powdered}

New and improved DIY Laundry Detergent with the addition of Laundry Booster Beads. 

Several years back I shared a recipe for Homemade Laundry Detergent. I love making my own laundry soap, because it's so much cheaper than store bought. With just one large batch recipe I roughly have enough laundry soap to last an entire year (depending on how many loads of laundry I do a week) for around $20.

Since sharing the original recipe I've found an improved version that I like even better. The current laundry soap I've been using cleans really well, but it doesn't leave much of a scent. Having laundry that smells like fresh daisies is the one thing that I miss when using store bought detergent.

I was poking around on Pinterest awhile back and found an improved version that I love! The only difference in the two recipes is the addition of laundry booster beads which is genius!!! I don't know why I didn't think of that. I also switched soaps from using Fels Naptha bar soap to using the new Zote's Laundry Flakes.

By using the Zote flakes it eliminates grating any soap by hand which is a huge time saver, and it smells wonderful. Homemade laundry detergents are low sudsing, so you won’t see a whole lot of suds in the wash. No worries, this is normal and your clothes will still come out clean. You only need to use 3 -4 tablespoons of laundry soap per load, so roughly it comes out to about 1/8 cup. 

I just save the cap from the Purex crystals and use it to measure out the detergent. The cap has lines on the inside and the top line is just at 1/8 cups, so it works out perfectly. Making you own laundry detergent is a personal preference and some people think it's a big hassle, but the $avings is huge in my book.

If you want to try your hand and make a batch of homemade laundry detergent you'll need: 20 Mule Team Borax,  Arm & Hammer Washing Soda,  Zote Laundry Flakes or 3 bars Zote Laundry Soap, and Purex Crystals or Downy Unstopables laundry booster beads, and one three pound box Oxy Clean (optional but good for work & sports uniforms).
After getting all the ingredients together everything is really just dumped into a container and mixed. It's as easy as that. 

I store my laundry detergent in a large jar with a scoop inside, but a plastic container works just as well. To use just measure out 1/8 cup of detergent for each load of laundry. 

Large Batch Improved Homemade Laundry Detergent 
(approx $22 = 320 loads)

2 - 17.6 oz boxes Zote Laundry Flakes or 3 bars Zote Soap, grated 
1 - 3 lb 12 oz box  Mule Team Borax  
1 - 3 lb 7 oz box Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
2 - 18 oz bottles or 1 - 55 oz bottle Purex Crystals or Downy Unstopables laundry booster beads 
1 - 3 lb container of Oxy Clean, optional 

Combine all ingredients in a large container and stir well. Place detergent in sealed container or jar. Measure out 1/8 cup per load of laundry. 

3-4 tablespoons is = to about 1/8 cup. I use the lid that came with the Purex crystals for easy measuring and use the top line on the lid.  

Small Batch Improved Homemade Laundry Detergent
(Approx. $15 =160 loads) 

1 - 17.6 oz box Zote Laundry Flakes or 1 bar Zote Laundry Soap, grated 
1 1/2 - cups Mule Team Borax
1 1/2 cups Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1 - 18 oz bottle Purex Crystals or Downy Unstopables laundry booster beads
2 - cups Oxy Clean, optional

Note: all of the items can be found in the cleaning and laundry isle at you local grocery store. Keep in mind that homemade laundry detergent is low sudsing, so it is normal for the detergent to have little to no suds when using. If you have quite a few sports or work clothes I recommend adding the Oxy Clean. I have included a few helpful links with facts and information about homemade laundry detergent. 

If you're looking for a homemade and frugal fabric softener recipe you can give this DIY fabric softener a try. Click here to get the recipe. 

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Ranch Wife said... #

I've been wanting to switch to a homemade laundry detergent, but I've been skeptical.We have really hard well water plus we ranch so clothes get extra dirty. Still,I guess its worth trying. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

Arul said... #

Thumbs up!!

Anonymous said... #

Can I use this in my front-loading HE washer? I would love to try it, but afraid I am only suppose to use liquid? Thanks!

Tina Butler said... #

@anonymous I have included a link toward the end of the post for information on HE Washers.

Mary said... #

So the 1/8th cup of detergent is what you would use in a standard, top loader? Does that apply to large loads?

Colleen said... #

Love, love, love making my own.
I have been making and using homemade laundry soap for years now and won't go back to buying the other. I keep my old grater right inside the tub that I mix everything in so that way I don't have to go hunting for it when it comes time to make my next batch.
I use roughly right around 3 T. per load but it's just myself and my hubby so don't really have large loads cause I do laundry more than once a week.
Thanks Tina and hope you have a wonderful day

Gloria Patri said... #

What do you recommend for homemade detergent in lieu of a commercial sensitive skin formula? I would love to try this recipe but am hesitant as I have extremely sensitive skin and am prone to irritation from the Borax. I currently use Tide Free and wonder if there are any fragrance free formulas! Thanks ~

Darlene Stinson said... #

Very low suds. I've been using this recipe in my HE for a couple years now. Love it.

Marsha Baker said... #

What a great idea! I have used your recipe for liquid fabric softener for years.

Christina Swanson said... #

I have extremely hard water and do not have a whole house water softener. I am on the hunt for something I can make or use. I'd hate to go spend a bunch of money for something I might be able to put together myself.
Thank you in advance for any/all comments.

Dawn said... #

I have hard water and this is the only thing I use for laundry. A few weeks ago I was my husband's work clothes in regular store bought detergent. I ended up rewashing it in my homemade detergent. The store bought detergent left it smelling not so nice and definitely not as clean!

Catherine Willis said... #

Interesting, I guess I'll try to make it. Many thx!

Nicole Murray said... #

I like your blog page! This recipe seems very easy, cheap and eco friendly - that's why I think I have to try it! As a mother of a baby girl, chemical-free products are most appropriate for my family members. Greets!