How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder

Sharing is caring!

I have entertained the idea of making my own homemade laundry detergent powder many times. I have seen many tutorials that show how to make your own homemade laundry detergent that is powder and HE friendly.

It certainly makes sense from a budget standpoint- it costs less than $27.00 for me to buy the ingredients and this homemade laundry detergent recipe will get me 271 uses! That is $0.10 per load, mama!

I have told you many times that I hate my front load washer. It is only 4 years old and is a nightmare. It gets clogged. It throws errors. It leaks during every single load. I will never buy one again. I am waiting for it to die so I can go back to a top loader. At the rate we’re going it won’t be long.

Well, in the last few months it has been dropping the liquid detergent in clumps onto my clothes and staining them- badly. Ruining many shirts.

This was the perfect opportunity to switch to powder detergent and the tutorials look easy enough. One of my sister-in-laws made her own detergent a few months back and really likes it and she is super picky. (Hi, Alex!)

I am going to show you how easy it is to make your own detergent. And, you can make it a family event. You’ll defiantly want to pin this so that you always have the recipe at your fingertips!

Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder

Large Family Laundry Routine

If you have a large family and are struggling to keep up with your laundry, you’re not alone! In this video, we’ll show you how we managed to keep our large family laundry routine on track and save our sanity!

What Are the Benefits of Making Homemade Laundry Detergent?

Making your own laundry detergent is a great way to save money. Not only does it cost less than buying commercial brands, but you can also customize it to your own preferences.

For example, you can add essential oils to create a pleasant scent, or use a different type of soap if you have sensitive skin.

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option, homemade laundry detergent is a good choice.

Most commercial detergents contain more harsh chemicals that can end up in waterways and soil. When you make your own detergent, you can choose natural ingredients that are gentle on the environment.

Plus, it’s satisfying to know that you’re doing your part to reduce waste and protect the planet. If you’ve never made your own laundry detergent before, give it a try! You may be surprised at how easy it is – and how much savings it can provide.

Can You Use Homemade Laundry Soap in HE Washers?

If you’ve ever wondered whether you can use homemade laundry soap in HE washers, the answer is yes! In fact, many people find that homemade laundry detergent works just as well in HE washers as it does in regular washers. The key is to use a detergent that is designed for HE washers. These detergents are more concentrated and don’t contain as much water, which can help to prevent over-sudsing. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that your laundry soap is compatible with the type of fabrics you’re washing. As long as you take these precautions, using homemade laundry soap in an HE washer should be no problem.

What Are The Benefits of Borax in Homemade Laundry Detergent?

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral that has a wide range of uses, laundry detergent being one of them. When used in laundry detergent, borax helps to break down grease and dirt, giving your clothes a deep clean. Borax is also effective at fighting bacteria and mildew, making it ideal for laundry that tends to get musty quickly. In addition, borax helps to brighten colors and whiten whites, giving your laundry an overall fresher appearance. And because borax is a natural substance, it’s gentle on both clothes and skin, making it a good choice for people with sensitive skin. Overall, the use of borax in laundry detergent can provide a number of benefits, both in terms of cleanliness and freshness.

What Are The Benefits of Zote Soap in Laundry Detergent?

Zote soap is a laundry detergent that can be used when making homemade laundry detergent. It’s personally my favorite. It is a natural laundry soap that is made from 100% pure oils and contains no synthetic fragrances or dyes. Zote soap is also biodegradable and phosphate-free, making it a safe choice for laundry detergent. In addition, Zote soap is very affordable and easy to find. It can be found at most grocery stores and online retailers. Zote soap is also very easy to use. Zote soap is an excellent choice for laundry detergent because it is natural, safe, and affordable.

How to Clean a Jetted Bath Tub

My bathtub was gross y’all. Let me show you how I used a product I found on Amazon and a pressure washer to clean the jets on our tub!


Take the Borax, OxiClean and Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda and combine them into your 5 gallon bucket.

76 oz box of Borax

55 oz box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda

3 lbs container of OxiClean

All of these items are super fine, almost like a powder.

Put the lid on the bucket and shake it up to combine.

how to make homemade powder laundry detergent

Put the shredding blade on your food processor.

shredding blade for the food processor

Take the two bars of Zote and cut them in half length wise.

Put them through the feed tube of the food processor with the shredding attachment.

You could also use a handheld cheese grater if you want to.

zote soap shredded

Pour all of the shredded Zote into a bowl.

Change the blade to the multipurpose blade.

multipurpose blade for food processor

Put about 3-4 cups of the shredded Zote back into the processor.

Pour about 1/4th of the box of baking soda over the Zote.

Run the processor on high for about 1 minute or until it is super fine like the batch of  Borax, OxiClean and Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda.

mix zote and baking soda together in the food processor

Dump it into the bucket of  Borax, OxiClean and Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda.

Repeat the Zote and Baking Soda process until all of it is processed.

add zote and baking soda mixture to the bucket

My kids enjoyed mixing the powders by hand as I added more Zote and Baking Soda mixture to the bucket.

(Yes, my four year old draws on himself.)

mix up the homemade detergent

Add the container of Downy Unstopables to the mixture.

Pop the lid on the 5 gallon bucket and shake, shake, shake until everything is mixed well.

add downey unstopables shimmer

Use a cup to scoop the detergent up into an airtight glass container that you can keep in your laundry room.

Store the remainder of the leftover detergent in the 5 gallon bucket.

what homemade laundry detergent looks like

Use a 2 T measuring scoop, like a coffee scooper, as your measuring device for your loads of laundry.

For each load add one scoop (2T) of detergent into the drum of your washer.

storage option for homemade powder laundry detergent

This will allow you to do 271 loads of clean laundry.

use 2 tbs of homemade powder detergent in one load of laundry

Here is what I am storing my detergent in that is readily accessible.

The rest of the batch is still in the 5 gallon container.


It cost less than $27.00 to buy all of the ingredients at Walmart.

This full recipe makes 271 loads-  that is $0.10 a load! You can’t beat that!

homemade laundry detergent 270 loads


Have you ever made your own laundry detergent?

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder

This homemade laundry will save you money and it works just a well as store bought!


  • (55 oz) box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1 (4 lb) box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
  • 1 (76 oz) box of Borax
  • 2 (400 g) bars of Zote Soap (or 3 bars of Fels Naptha Soap)
  • 3 (lbs) OxiClean
  • 1 (13 oz) container of your favorite Downy Unstoppables scent (totally optional for added fragrance)
  • OR use Purify essential oil instead of the Downy Unstoppables


  • 1 (5 gallon) bucket for mixing and storing
  • lid for the 5 gallon bucket
  • air tight container for displaying your detergent in
  • 2 T scoop, like a coffee scooper
  • food processor (with the multipurpose blade and shredding blade)


  1. Mix the washing soda, Oxiclean, and Borax in the bucket.
  2. Using the food processor, grate the Zote soap bars and set aside.
  3. Add some of the washing soda mixture back to the food processor with the remaining grated soap. Combine to make fine. Repeat until all of the soap is finely ground.
  4. Pour ground mixture into the bucket.
  5. Add in the Downy Unstoppables. Combine either by placing the lid on the bucket or stir until combined.
  6. Store with lid on and use a cup to scoop out for each load.



  1. Katherine G says:

    I so want to try this but I’m scared to mess it up.

    1. Katherine- this is really super easy. You cannot mess it up! I am a step by step person that needs pics so I took images of each step so it is easier to follow along visually. Give it a try!

    2. You said to put this in the drum. If I have a front loader (which I love by the way) shouldn’t I put it in the dispenser?

      1. The first few months I just put it straight into the drum. Then another reader told me it worked fine when she put it in the dispenser so I tried it and all is well. Either way is fine. Initially I was just scared the detergent would get clogged.

    3. I’m a big stickler for smell, how does it smell? I currently use Tide does the smell compare?,

      1. Hello! I made this with the Tide Unstopables and it is WONDERFUL!

  2. $0.10 per load – now, that’s really something. I must try this. And it looks pretty cute too. πŸ˜‰

  3. Interesting idea and recipe for laundry detergent. I think I might just look into this one. Thank you for linking up this week to the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop πŸ™‚

  4. Crystal — Great post! You’re featured at the Friday Flash Blog on The Jenny Evolution this week. Thanks for sharing and keep evolving.

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution

  5. Sharon Owen says:

    Tried this homemade detergent and it was AWESOME!!!! Thanks for posting it. This was my first time making homemade detergent and it was super easy! Loved it!!

  6. You mentioned 2T for each load but the cup you have in your container is much bigger. Do u use 2T or that bigger measuring cup? πŸ™‚

    1. The cup in the large orange container is for scooping detergent into my glass container. The glass container sits on my washer for each access. The orange container stores the mass of the detergent. The stainless steel coffee scooper that is in the glass container is 2T and that is what I use to measure for each load. Does that make sense?

  7. I don’t have a food processor but I do have the ingredients anything else I can use?

    1. For grating the soap, you can use a hand grater.

      The food processor is also used for finely granulating and combine the soap and all of the baking soda together.

      If you do not mind large shavings of the grated soap being in your detergent and you do not mind a less fine consistency of final product, I think it would be fine to just manually combine and stir the ingredients together with a large heavy duty spoon.

      Does that make sense?

  8. Crystal, I have a front load washer also and I will never have another one! The mildew around the rubber seal has proven impossible, so far, to get off! Ugh! I have a question regarding your recipe for the homemade soap. Your instructions say to put the detergent into the drum of your washer. Was that for front load and top load washers? The small amount of water that a front load washer uses makes me a little cautious about adding the detergent directly into the drum. I have found, after some research, that the powdered detergent works better than the liquid in the front load machines, in helping to prevent the spotting on our clothing. It also seems to be helping to prevent any further growth of the mildew.

    1. Hi Janet-

      Thanks for taking the time to ask.

      My front load washer started dropping liquid detergent on my clothes and that was my final straw that pushed me to make homemade powder detergent. I figured a lot of it had to do with the dispenser. I figured if it could not properly dispense the liquid, the powder would get clogged. That is why I opted for just placing it inside the drum, plus others have told me they just place it right inside the drum as well, so I went with that. I am so happy to hear you can do it either way! I am going to try putting in the dispenser.

      And the mildew/mold smell is hideous! I smell it the most when we travel and I take clothes out of the suitcase. I am constantly kicking myself for buying this washer!

      1. Crystal, thank you for the reply! I can’t wait to try your recipe for the homemade detergent. So glad to know that I do have the option of adding the detergent to the drum.

        I’ve also found that if I allow our clothes to touch the mildewed rubber seal as I am taking them out of the washer, it will cause a crease shaped brown stain on them. I kept finding these mysterious brown stains on our clothes, especially the whites. So I’ve learned to pick the clothes up as I remove them from the washer instead of dragging them out. Also, I try to leave the door open when the washer is not in use to help it dry out.

        Wishing you the best!

        1. Ok, so since your comment, I have been putting the detergent into the dispenser. No problems so far. Fingers crossed. πŸ™‚

        2. Hi, i have a frount load washer and have had the same problem. This is what i do i admit top loaders are kind of a pain because they require more care . Once a month i clean it with CLR as the directions say. Then i do a bleaching run a half cup of bleach thru a wadh cycle. Then with straight bleach i wipe the insde door making sure i get in all the tight spaces then i wait 10 min, then wipe good with a wet cloth. Run a rince load through one last time wiyj nothing in it so the bleach is gone from the washer as to not have bleash stains on your cloths Leaving the door open is a good idea sounds like u might have hard water? The soap that your making also helps with hard water build up also use a vinegar rince inbetween. The clr and bleaching.

          1. Great pointers- thanks for sharing.

            I will say we plan to never purchase a front loader again once this one totally dies. It has been the most high maintenance appliance I’ve ever owned and it breaks down all the time.

        3. Lynda Duncan says:

          I also found that leaving the washer door open reduces the mildew smell and even gets rid of it altogether.

      2. I leave the washer door ajar. I do not close it all the way. It will help eliminate the smell. I will also run a cycle of just hot water and bleach about once a month. I hate front loading machines. They don’t get the clothes clean at all.

      3. I too have a front load washer. Every 2-3 months I run a cycle with tea tree oil & vinegar to clean my drum & rubber seals. It needs to be a full cycle, nothing else in your washer. I also leave my door & detergent drawer open, when not in use, to allow air to circulate.
        This has helped a great deal with my washer.

    2. Rita Schmitt says:

      I have made my own detergent for a couple of years now. Mine is similar to this one. I have a front load washer and used to have the nasty smell and rubber gasket too. I believe this was due to the liquid detergents that were used building up in the washer. Ever since I switched to my homemade detergent I have never had a bad smell in my machine. I also haven’t had to clean the rubber gasket around the door . Not only is the homemade detergent more economical it also cleans well and does not leave a residue in your machines. I highly recommend the food processor to grind up your soap. A hand grater is tedious and doesn’t get the soap fine enough to distribute evenly. I would look for a used one at a yard sale.

    3. I have a mid line Speed Queen…it’s a top loader with no bells and whistles. Life expectancy is 24 years. The warranty is much longer than others too. I love, love, love it. It doesn’t take an hour to wash and it does a super job.

    4. The mildew can be gone by leaving your washer door open for at least 30 minutes after done washing to dry it out!

  9. Crystal, I too have a front load washer and the only really trouble I have is the mildew smell. I have not yet used this homemade detergent yet but the one that I use has helped so that our washer does not smell bad anymore at all!! I will be trying your recipe soon hopefully after some more use you too will notice the mildew smell being gone!… Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    1. Bethany- I think my washer has a forever mildew smell inside. I even run bleach through it once a week or so on the clean cycle….. no improvement. Yuck!

  10. Crystal, I love that your laundry detergent is pink! Thanks for sharing this recipe, I can’t wait to give it a try!

    1. Isn’t it fun, Chrissy? And really, it was very easy to make. I will totally be making it again.

      Have you ever tried making your own detergent?

  11. Crystal, I want to say thanks for using photo and good details on the measuring of all the ingredients. I have done the wet version of this and was pleased w the results. I am going to do the dry this time because with the wet I feel I use too much because it’s so easy to over pour.I want to make sure I tell everyone with the wet version I did not have a lot of bubbles and that is the way it’s supposed to be. I want to add I also use 1/2 cup white vinegar to my rinse load because it is a great way to have you clothes soap free. Once the clothes are dry they come out soft and fresh smelling. I’ll never go back to store bought detergents ever.

    1. Thank you Bonnie! Glad you found it helpful.

      Thank you for sharing your experience with the liquid version as well. I know others will find that very helpful.

  12. Can u use the home made laundry detergent on high efficient washers

    1. I have an HE front load washer and that is what I am using this recipe in.

  13. Crystal, I wanted to let you know that I think I’ve found a solution for the mildew odor in the front load washer. I was drying off after a bath recently, and noticed that horrible smell in my towel. I knew I had just washed and had not let the towels sit for long before they went into the dryer.
    I remembered a commercial I had seen for Tide Washing Machine Cleaner (I’m not sure that the exact name, but close). I bought some and put it in the tub of the washer and ran a cycle, (without clothes of course;o) After the first use my towels smelled fresh again. I’m going to use it once a week for 3 weeks, then once a month thereafter. I hope this helps you and some of your dear readers.

    1. Thank you so much Janet for sharing that. I will have to take a look at the Tide Machine Cleaner. Typically I just run the washer with only bleach on the cycle for cleaning the machine, but I’ve seen some of these cleaners before and wondered how well they work.

      1. I use Affresh Washer Cleaner and it works WONDERS!

        My top loader was giving me that nasty mildew smell, even if I let the clothes sit for an hour after they were done! So I went to Wal-Mart and bought a pack of 3. My washer has a Cleaning cycle so I used that but I’m sure you can just run a normal load cycle on hot but you just put one directly in the drum and let it do it’s thing! It got rid of the smell and my washer preformed better! Also keep the door open in-between uses, It really does make a difference, I keep it completely open until my next use so the only time it’s shut is during washing. No more moldy towels/smell and one happy husband πŸ™‚

  14. For those of you without a food processor.. I cut my soap bars in half. Microwave a few minutes and it practically disintegrates into little bits. Need to let it cool for a few gets pretty warm!

    1. What a great tip, Mary. I love that. Thank you so much for sharing!

  15. Does this work good with well water? And do you have to use ZOTE can you use like Dove unscented? My husband had sensative skin

    1. Stacy- I have no idea if that would work, but you might look into the Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap. I can say one of my children has eczema and this does not affect his skin, although his skin condition has improved as he has gotten older. If he was still a baby I would omit adding the scented Downey Unstopables.

      Hope that helps.

  16. I have a question, if using the food processor, I could still use that for my food right? I’m assuming all I have to do is just clean it up? I don’t have 2, so If my husband was to purchase me one I need to be able to use it for more than just laundry soap! lol

    1. Absolutely. It is soap, just wash it. I clean it in the sink and then run in through the dishwasher. If there is more soap scum, I run it in the dishwasher a second time.

  17. Can I use the homemade detergent in my HE top loading machine? The only thing I have found that I can use is All Small and Mighty. I have to be very careful to use only a tiny bit or I have suds everywhere.

      1. According to a friend who is a washer repair person, the components are extremely harmful to the HE machine dispensers, I would be extremely careful with the cost of a repair, I myself made the liquid homemade detergent and put it in water jugs which the material in the soap caused the jugs to become hard and crack, at that time I went back to All Free and Clear, I have way too much money in that machine to mess it up. Just a thought.

        1. Miss Tori says:

          That’s why you can just add the detergent right into the drum. No need to even use the dispensers anymore. I only use the dispenser for the occasional use of liquid softener for my sheets and blankets.

        2. I’ve used my diy detergent in my HE from the beginning and it is working fine after many years a 2 loads a day minimum. With leaving the door open overnight and never shut unless in cycle, I don’t have mildew dis coloring or smell either. I do not use fabric softener though.

      2. I just bought a new GE top loader. My other top loader I put this blend in the bottom before I started filling. Has anyone had an issue putting it in dispenser. My new one has a dispenser which I would like to use. It of course calls for HE detergent. Also does an have a solution to run through these washers to make sure detergent doesn’t build up. I have never had a suds issues with this blend.

  18. I was researching some recipes for detergent for my front loading machine and came across yours. I am interested in trying it out and think it’s fun that it is pink. I would be interested in checking out out the ingredients to the Unstoppables just to make sure I’m not adding chemicals that are not okay for my sensitive skinned child.

    As a note for the smell on the washing machine that you and others have discussed. You can avoid this mostly by letting the washer dry out with the door open. Since it is a front loader and needs to seal when closed, the water gets trapped in there with the door closed and you get a mildew smell. Leave the door open for a little while (an hour?) after your done with laundry and the smell will GREATLY be reduced.

    That being said, you do still get it from time to time and yes…towels will smell like this from time to time regardless of the washer you use. You can use hot water and white vinegar (both on the towels and just in an empty washer) to eliminate this smell. I’ve done it many times with mine and it works just fine. Bleach CLEANS the washer, but will not eliminate that smell – the vinegar will.

    Just a few tips on the machine there (and I’m sorry yours leaks and all – must have gotten a bad one).

    Now…off to try this detergent! =)

    1. Kaye- my youngest has eczema and very sensitive skin. We have had zero issues with this detergent and his skin.

      1. You may want to research black fermented garlic for your child’s eczema. It can be a gut issue. This helped a friend’s husband who was not helped otherwise.

  19. I dont own a washing machine. You mention only 2 tbs per load. How about on the many size washing machines the laundromat has?

    1. If you are using a super large washer at the laundromat, I think 3T would suffice. This detergent is very concentrated and most of the laundromat washers are more like the HE’s washers that conserve water.

  20. The cup that says 2t is what is the exact measurement. How much do I put for one load ? I haven’t seen 2 t before

    1. You need 2 tablespoons, not teaspoons.
      That is a coffee scooper that I am using which measures exactly 2T. Found it at Walmart for $0.97.
      Otherwise, just use a tablespoon measuring spoon and fill it twice.

      1. you can also use the scooper found inside the Oxyclean too instead of buying a new coffee scooper.

  21. I just made my first batch last week and I love this laundry soap!! I had originally done a liquid one last summer, but this one is by far better!! πŸ™‚

    1. Yay!! So happy to hear that. The liquid version just seems so hard and time consuming.

  22. Crystal: I love this idea of making the laundry detergent and am going to try to make it today. I was wondering if this works well in the cold water cycle for washing and rinsing? I use the cold water cycle for almost every load as I have an electric water heater and it gets pretty costly to run the warm water for every load. Do you find that it dissolves nicely or leaves the clumps of detergent behind? Wondering if this works or if I would have to make the homemade liquid detergent.

    1. It dissolves just fine for me in cold washes. I really love it.

      1. Great. I am going to make this product this afternoon and will update later tonight. I can’t wait to see the results I will get. : ) I am also going to try making my own homemade fabric softener.

  23. I was wondering if this powder dissolves well in cold water washes?

  24. I Love making homemade laundry detergent! My daughters have very sensitive skin and we have been using free and clear detergent. I found a recipe for homemade thought I would give it a shot. Their skin is clearer and not as dry since we started doing homemade!! Also a neat tip is to use the downy (or whatever brand) bottle to store the already made detergent. I use purex and the lid has 3 lines the 2nd line is 2 T. πŸ™‚

  25. Does it work for H.E. washers?

  26. cassandra Smith says:

    What if you do not have a food processor

    1. A previous commenter, named Mary, said this:

      For those of you without a food processor.. I cut my soap bars in half. Microwave a few minutes and it practically disintegrates into little bits. Need to let it cool for a few gets pretty warm!

      Hope that helps.

  27. Just made this last night and I am loving it!! Since it has strong ingredients…does it fade clothes over time?

    1. Courtney, I have been using it since August and I have had no issues with fading.

  28. Rebecca Young says:

    Where did you get your ingredients? I priced them on Amazon and my total was going to be 54.21.

    1. I purchased all of my ingredients at Walmart. I linked to Amazon so you can see what the items look like in the packaging. I always like to visually know what I am looking for.

  29. Laurie wright says:

    Has this been tried on greasy work clothes? Just wondering how well it works for that? Thanks.

    1. Laurie- my husband does heating and air conditioning and climbs through attics almost daily. His clothes come out perfect.

  30. Can you use a blender to mix the baking soda and soap instead of a food processor? If I am using pure crystals instead of downy unstoppables, what amount of the crystals do I need? Thanks!

      1. Thanks! Excited to start saving some money on laundry detergent!

  31. I made this last night! I love it!!!! It makes my clothes smell amazing (: Thank you for sharing!

  32. I’m going to try this tonight! Do I still need a fabric softener or is that what the Pyrex crystals are for?


    1. If you still want to use fabric softener in addition to, you can. The Purex Crystls are softener thought.

  33. Cathy Clendenen says:

    I used this recipe for homemade laundry detergent about a month ago and I love it! Works great on all types of laundry and does well in my front load washer. I highly recommend this one! Very simple to make when food processor is used….=)

  34. Camp Isaac Mama says:

    This is the recipe I use as well but I do 2 bars zone and 2 felt naphtha (7 elementary school aged kids here, and they’re extra dirty!) . I’ve been making it this way for about a year (although I grate the soap by hand and get a sore arm for a couple days). Love it and will never go back to buying laundry soap regularly.

  35. I don’t have a food processor, could I grate this by hand? Do I even want to? Also, what else could I use for fragrance — everyone in my house is extremely sensitive to chemical fragrance. We buy natural laundry wash now but 10 cents a load is awesome.

    1. You can grate by hand- lots of women do it. If you need to avoid fragrance I would not add the Unstopables or Purex Crystals.
      Hope that helps.

    2. You can add essential oils to your soap if you want scent. A couple of drops of oil added when you blend the soap and baking soda together works well. Do this for each batch you blend so that you have about 10-20 drops total and you will have nice smell in bucket but not so much on clothes.

  36. My food processor isn’t very powerful. Will that matter?

    Also, I used to draw on myself, too, and I turned out relatively fine. Ish. πŸ˜›

    1. I don’t think the power will matter. You just might want to run it for a little longer…. or until it is well combined.

      All of my kids have drawn on themselves. Ugh. I figure they will out grow it some day. lol

      1. What about cold water wash will it work with that?

  37. I found this recipe online and it seemed so easy, I thought, I can do this! I picked up the ingredients at Walmart, they were regularly stocked items (which is a nice break from some do-it-yourself recipes, where you have to hunt down most of the ingredients).

    One thing I thought might be helpful to other people making this — I don’t have a food processor, but I do have an electric coffee grinder. Granted, in comparison, the coffee grinder is TINY compared to the food processor. But… it works.

    Let’s back up a minute. I originally tried grating the soap. Well, I only have a one-size grater, instead of one of those that has multiple sides and multiple size holes. The one I have — the holes are so small, it just got clogged up with the Zote soap. So that wouldn’t have worked for me to just grate it. So I cut the soap into little cubes on the cutting board and put it into the coffee grinder a bit at a time, putting it into a container off to the side once it was adequately shredded. Once all the soap was cubed and then shredded, took a bit of that and added the baking soda and ground that up until I’d used it all up. And then follow directions til you’re done.

    Now, it is worth mentioning, if you go the coffee grinder route, this does take forever. My coffee grinder kept getting really hot (cause I mean, come on, how many coffee beans would you normally grind at once? it’s not meant for prolonged use), so I had to stop and come back later, and I’m still not done. But… I like the more uniform powder look, and I can get it with my cheap coffee grinder versus having to either buy a food processor or have larger chunks of soap in the powder. So it is possible to do it with a coffee grinder.. you’re just not likely going to be able to do it at one sitting unless you have a commercial coffee grinder that can withstand long use.

    I haven’t tried it yet, because my washer and dryer aren’t even being delivered for another 2 days. Wanted to get this ready ahead of time, so when the come, I can start right in on washing clothes. But I can’t wait to try it! Love how it smells! And with the ingredients in it, there’s no doubt it should work wonders.

  38. I just made your recipe and cant wait to try it. I used the fels naptha but i couldn’t get it to blend like in your picture. Should I use smaller batches of the soap and baking soda??? I loved not having to measure out the borax and washing soda and it makes a nice big batch. I can’t use the Zote because of the smell My hubby has an extra sensitive nose.

  39. Where did you get your airtight container that displays your detergent? Love it!

  40. For those concerned about the chemicals in the Unstopables….I’ve seen several recipes that call for 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil mixed well into the powder…poof, non-chemical! πŸ™‚

  41. I love to have my clothes smell good!! I use the unstoppables or the crystals and softner. Everyone always tells us they can smell us a mile away. I use extra detergent ever time I wash plus softner and a scent booster! My husband complains about the cost so if this will smell extra good I will surely try. Please let me know! Thanks so much!

      1. The detergent itself does smell good, but how do you get your clothes to smell nice? I have been using this detergent, exactly per the recipe, and my clothes has no scent coming out of the washer.

        1. I do use fabric softener sheets, mostly because I have a front loaded that makes my clothes smell. That will change this week… we ordered new top loaders and cannot wait for them to come in!

          Trying using a fabric softener sheet in the dyer.

  42. ooh looks good, but i will say that instead of a food processor i saw on another site instead of grating, you can cut the soap into 4 pieces, microwave for one minuet, and the just crumble with your hands, i dont know if it would work but others swear by it, it sus.. softenes so you can crumble it like cheese and then when you put into the other ingred, you just mix it in well and it seperates like the unstopables does.

  43. I love this recipe. Been using the same one for years. I just use the oxyclean container for keeping detergent near the washer. Along with the scoop.

  44. Lorraine Adams says:

    I just wanted to mention that I have been making my own detergent for sometime. I have done some research and I wanted to mention that it is probably not the best idea to be mixing the detergent with your hands. Some of the ingredients can be irritating to the skin.

    Also, adding plain old hydrogen peroxide to your wash may be a better substitute for OxyClean. There are mixed reviews whether it is completely safe.

    Hope this helps.

  45. Just wondering what the baking soda is for in this recipe. It seems like an aweful lot. I have made a similar recipe without it, and it works fine. I have a water softener, and am wondering if all that baking soda would be overkill. Also, you might want to point out that if you are adding Oxyclean to this recipe you should never use it with bleach. I like to make a small batch without it and mark it “bleach safe” for doing my whites.

    I have an HE washer and have never had any issues with a mold smell. I have always left the door open on mine when not in use, and I even take out the drawer to allow it to completely dry. Running the clean cycle every month will help too.

    Thank you for taking the time to share this with us!

    1. Baking soda helps dissolve dirt and grease while softening your clothes. It is also great for removing odors. Baking soda also works to softens the water if hard water is an issue.

      Remember, you’re only adding one coffee scoop of the entire detergent to one load of laundry. So the amount of each cleaner is minimal and effective.

    2. I wanted to add, this entire batch will do 271 loads of laundry.

  46. kim lopez says:

    Although I love it, I have noticed this detergent isn’t very good at removing strains. Any advice? A good pre treatment maybe?

  47. Hey Crystal, it is an inexpensive and Eco-friendly detergent making process which I have to consider making for my washing solution. I heard that, vinegar is the solution which can be use as a softener of hard water. It is the simple and unique way to remove the stains from the clothes. Thanks for sharing the great method of detergent powder.

  48. Hello! I just made a batch of this detergent and I’m excited to give it a try! I my only complaint was because I hand-grated so my arm got tired. I hate grating. πŸ˜‰ I made it, my husband asked if he had to do anything special with it, and I said nope! I left out the Unstoppables because my son has sensitive skin to fragrances so I’m hoping this is fine for him. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  49. Tracy MacDonald says:

    I am going to make this with the Purex Crystals, but I don’t see where it says what size to use for this product…went to Walmart and the smallest size I saw was 28 oz. Since the recipe w/Unstopables is 13 oz, I’m wondering if this is too much. Help! πŸ™‚

    1. There are differing sizes with the Unstoppables and the Purex Crystals. I think the Purex Crystal’s provide a stronger scent, likely because it is a larger container. If you like less scent go with something smaller like the Unstoppables. Or, you can go for no scent at all.

      1. I have a question. Have you noticed it fading your clothes? I made my own (but liquid form) and even my husband noticed our clothes were fading.

          1. Awesome!! I will be trying this. Thank you πŸ™‚

  50. I saw today at my local walmart that the Zote soap comes in a flake form! Anything to make it a little easier!

    1. I have seen that too, but have not tried it. Super exciting!

      Let me know if you give it a try.

  51. I use this same recipe but I cut the bars of Zote into quarters and microwave each one separately in a large baking dish, 60 seconds at a time, until all the moisture evaporates. (It blooms like a marshmallow) Once the “blooms” cool completely I run them through the food processor to make a fine powder, then mix with the other ingredients. I mix in doubled plastic trash bags tied off with a hair elastic. Then roll the bags around on the kitchen island till the powders are mixed well. Grating with a hand grater and shaking a 5 gallon bucket full of laundry powder is more than my joints can handle!!

  52. Can I use a blender to substitute the food processor?

    1. Yes ma’am. I don’t see why that would not work. You just may want to mix in smaller batches.

      Let me know how it works.

  53. I plan to try this recipe. I have read that you can use essential oils to add fragrance. I see a lot of comments about mildew problems in front load washers. It is recommended that you never close the door. Simply leave it slightly open and you will not have mildew as it is caused by no air circulation in drum after washes.

  54. What is this comparable to? Does it fade my the clothes?

    1. What do you mean comparable to? It is better than any detergent I’ve ever used. It has not faded my clothes. I’ve been using it for over a year.

  55. Is this cloth diaper safe?

    1. I do not have babies anymore, but if I did I would certainly use it on them. I use it on every load of laundry in our house.

    2. I have used it with mixed good results. I use clothe pads ( my sons old soaker pads) and it doesn’t take out 100% of blood stains, it does most of them. Also no chemical itch using them. Soakers are now 18 yrs old and used for probably12-15 of those years. I also use clothe wipes and it does remove all #2 stains so wipes come out spotless. Cheap polar fleece blankets cut to square make fantastic shakers when folded or wipes left flat!

  56. IS the soap HE safe for the front loader washing machines?

  57. Deborah D. says:

    Has anyone used the Gain scent crystals and how did it turn out?

    1. I have not used them yet, but I bet they would be great!

  58. I have an HE machine, top loading and I would be so afraid to put powder down the little dispenser hole on this machine. It’s a Whirlpool and can’t wait for it to stop working. (Now that I think about it, maybe using the dispenser would help me out πŸ™‚ ) My question is, do you put the detergent directly on the clothes and then start the wash? My machine puts the clothes in and locks, then starts working. (Did I say I HATE this washing machine???) Thanks for the information. I so want to make up a batch of this and try it.

    1. I have done both- putting it in the drum and putting it in the dispenser.

      What I have learned is that putting it in the dispenser seems to be best because the water pushes it through to the clothes and in my head I think that is better. Do it which ever way you think works best.

  59. Hello there! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us! I’ve been search high & low for months to find a recipe I thought I’d like. And FINALLY! I stumble across this. Only thing is, I’m not a big fan of Oxi-Clean. Is it necessary to include? Or could you recommend a substitute? Thanks so much!!

    1. Yay! Glad you found this!

      You absolutely can omit the oxi-clean or sub out another similar product.

  60. Deborah D says:

    I have been thinking about doing this for over a year now. Well, about two weeks ago, I finally did it. My hubby even helped me. He was fascinated that we could do this. It was super easy. For those of you that have been putting it off, go ahead and try it. I haven’t had any problems with too many suds in my washer and my clothes come out clean and smelling great. I used Gain scent crystals in mine. This stuff is great. Thanks for the recipe.

  61. So this is safe to put in a he washer

  62. Hi Crystal, I’ve been making this recipe for years too and love it!!! My son’s eczema is greatly reduced and no longer has outbreaks from the soaps we use! I recently started making my own shout stain remover. Any suggestions on if it’s safe to use together? It’s made with dawn, water, baking soda and ammonia. It’s all slightly diluted but I’m worried with the ammonia having a reaction…

    1. Good question. I have no idea how they would react to each other… the ammonia and oxi-clean may not work well together.

  63. Kelley Watson says:

    I have been using this recipe for about 2 years now and LOVE it. BUT I recently have been noticing that ALL of my cloths are starting to show little pinholes and frayed edges on the seams of my shirts. Do you have any suggestions? Can this be made into a liquid? If so, how do I do that?

    1. At this point I do not have a liquid recipe but will research to see what I can create.

  64. This recipe was the first try at making my own detergent and I’ll never have to try another. This bears every commercial detergent out there in every category. I have tried different scent boosters just too see which I like better. So far Downy Unstoppables and Gain pink Fireworks are tied for first! Thanks for sharing, great tutorial.

  65. Hello, I have never made my homemade detergent. I have two kids. last week I decided it is final time to start using natural ingredients. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I am going to use it. Wish me luck πŸ™‚

  66. Veronica Lawler says:

    Way too much fragrance for me and also turned my wash orange

    1. It turned your wash orange? As in the clothes? What did you wash… I’ve never in my life seen this.

      The only fragrance will come from the Zote soap, which is mild, or the softener crystal’s that you add. You can choose not to use the softener crystal’s. You can also replace the Zote with Ivory bars if you like.

  67. I used a similar recipe for a few years and loved it… Initially. Then I noticed all my whites became increasingly dingier and dingier looking. Nothing I could do made it better, so I eventually quit making my own. Every recipe I’ve seen has been used by the author for a year or less, so it makes me wary of trying it. Any issues with that?

    1. I have been using this recipe for 2 years and I’ve not had issues. We really love it.

  68. i make this and love it. it will not make suds. i do not use the bars of soap and my clothes areclean. for stains use hydrogen peroxide and a drop of blue dawn and a toothbrush. then throw in the washer. this is a keeper. have een doing this for 5 yrs.

  69. Jodie Sloper-brown says:

    Hi I live in the uk and i am really interested in make this. Could you give me some advise on the ingredients as I’m not sure what the soap bars are for so I can get something similar over here. Many thanks jodie

    1. They carry Zote soap here in the states at many grocery stores. I have seen people also use Ivory soap bars with success. You could always order from Amazon.

  70. Stephanie says:

    Egar to try this out! However,Can you use this with bleach? Or will I not have to use bleach anymore?

  71. Krista Quillin says:

    Is the small bottle of Unstopables enough to smell a lot? I like our clothes to smell pretty strong when they’re cleaned lol. Also, do you still use a fabric softener?

    1. If you like it strong use a large bottle of Unstopabables.

  72. Kimberly J says:

    I would like to try this recipe:
    Can it be made without unstoppables & Oxyclean to have less chemicals in the finished product and still be an effective laundry detergent?

    Thank you,

  73. How long does roughly that last a few months a year just trying to judge for a family of 6…

  74. Is this HE detergent? I just bought s new washer and dryer and they said I must have high efficiency detergent

  75. Anna Churchill says:

    I really love this homemade laundry detergent! I made a few changes to the recipe- I replaced the Zote soap with 3 (5 oz.) Dr Bronner’s Unscented Pure-Castile Bar Soaps and used 2 (14.8 oz. bottles of Downy infusions Amber Blossom. You can also purchase a box of Downy infusions Amber Blossom fabric softener if you prefer.
    Also, I added l tbsp. of Kosher salt to the wash to keep colors from fading- not necessary, just my habit.

    I will be making another batch of your recipe with a friend and we will be using Downy infusions Lavender Serenity, another lovely scent.

    Thanks for sharing and God bless.

  76. I am anxious to try homemade laundry detergent. On checking many recipes found it mind boggling but
    want to try yours. Since I cannot find any brand of castile soap here, I am wondering if I could use Sunlight bar soap. Says it is pure for 100 years 2 x 130 g.

    Are the ingredients natural products — no chemicals. I am going to keep trying to find castile soap in a bigger city. Thanks for your help.

Leave a Reply

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