Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder with Purex Crystals

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I made my first batch of homemade laundry detergent powder back in August and I have been in love ever since.

The recipe makes enough to wash 271 loads of laundry which converts to costing $0.10 a load! Seriously!

I loved it so much I gave about half of it away to friends and family who I wanted to give it a try. Not to mention I do tons of laundry as you can image with a family the size of mine.

It was time to make a new batch and this time I wanted to try adding a new scent to it. Last time I added Downey Unstoppables, but this time I wanted to try something different, so I grabbed the Purex Crystals. I am in love!!

The pink specs you see are the Zote soap and the blue specs are the Purex Crystals.

homemade laundry detergent powder

You can follow the full homemade laundry detergent powder recipe, just change out the Downey Unstopables for the Purex Crystals.  I grabbed the blue ones, the fragrance is Fresh Spring Waters.

homemade laundry detergent powder with purex crystals

Not only is this easy to make, but you just cannot beat the savings! This is perfect if you’re looking to cut the cost of your grocery bill.

homemade laundry detergent powder just $0.10 per load

purex fb

Are you looking for more ways to save money in 2014? Here are five things you can start doing today!


  1. Thanks for the recipe, your instructions are great! Any idea how much I would use in a top loader washer?

    1. Pam, the same amount should work just fine. If your washer is a super large capacity you can certainly double it if you want.

      1. Johana Almanzar says:

        This might be a silly question but is it normal that when i add the 2,or 3,tablespoons per load i never see any soap at all…i did everything step by step..i just dont see any soap when it starts washing just the water..help please

        1. The soap is all finely ground up in the mixture. Because of the HE washers it may not suds up, but the soap is in there.

  2. This is such a great frugal tip! I will definitely be trying it out. Thank you for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you next week.

  3. Jennifer LaPell says:

    Do you think I could use the Gain Fireworks Crystals?

    1. If it is similar to the Purex Crystals or Downey Unstopables it will work just fine.

      1. Jennifer LaPell says:

        Thanks I will give it a shot and let you know how they work out 🙂

  4. I am so excited to make this, this coming weekend. I am even going to split the batch with my girlfriend because we are throwing her a housewarming party, and what a great gift to add! My only concern is I do all large loads of laundry in a top loader washer. Now is the 2T for like a small load or is this enough to do a large load all together?

    1. 2T is for a standard size washer. You could add one more tablespoon if you feel like you need to for a larger capacity. I would just play with it and see what works best.

  5. Vickie Reed says:

    Crystal….Which did you prefer the Downey Unstoppables or the Purex Crystals? Also, do you use homemade fabric softener in your HE washer?

    1. I love the smell of the Purex Crystals. That is what I will do again.

  6. If you are using the Purex Crystals, you can store your detergent in the empty bottles. You can also use the lid to measure out the detergent, I fill to the second line.

  7. Can you use this detergent on clothes with perm press and hand wash materials?

    1. I have and everything has turned out just fine. For the hand wash items I would just be sparing with the detergent.

  8. The Zote soap and Purex Crystals look so pretty together. Does it smell that much like citronella once it’s all mixed? I hate the smell of citronella. I’m thinking of using the Kirk’s Castile Soap instead, but I would like a soap that stands out from the white ingredients.

  9. Hi Crystal! I have been making my own laundry detergent for years now. I LOVE your idea for adding the OxiClean (I was previously just scooping some in the white loads) and the Purex Crystals! I am definitely adding this to my recipe. AWESOME idea! —Lindsey

  10. What do you do with the Baking Soda if you don’t have a food processor and are grating the bars by hand?

  11. Hi! I made this laundry soap this week and wanted to share my experiences. I do not have a food processor, so I used my blender instead. I found it works best to mix the baking soda with the soap before putting it in the blender, and to only add a couple cups at a time to the blender. Otherwise, the soap got clumped up at the bottom, and the blender started to get hot.

    On a side note, I love this website. It is easy to post comments, has great,easy recipes for us normal, non-chef, busy moms, and the content of preschooler ideas, meal planning and saving money is just what I’m looking for! Thanks Crystal for sharing these ideas! I also print a lot of worksheets from kidslearningstation.com, and handwritingworksheets.com

    1. Tonya- that is awesome. Thank you so much for your feedback on your alterations to the laundry soap recipe. And I am so glad you find the solutions and resources I share here useful. My passion is to help moms! Have an awesome week.

  12. Pingback: Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder with Purex Crystals!
  13. Can you use this in washing machines that your supposed to use the HE detergents in?

  14. I also make my own detergent but my hubby said it didn’t smell like anything!! I’ll definitely try your addition of the crystals when i need to whip up a new batch!

  15. I don’t have a food processor but I read you can cut up the soap, microwave it, then put it in a ziploc and it will smash into powder. Im going to try it today!

  16. Hi! I made this over the weekend and I absolutely love it. I also do not have a food processor and I didn’t have time to shave the soap so I bought the Zote soap flakes instead and mixed it with the banking soda by hand and it works perfect! Thanks so much for posting this.. Is going to save me so much money! 🙂

  17. Save the purex crystal containers to put the mix in to store!! along with the oxiclean containers!

  18. I made this, unfortunately I misread and put the whole box of baking soda in the bucket. Is this a bad thing, and how bad did I screw it up?

    1. Nancy-

      You’re supposed to use 1 (4 lb) box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda. Sounds like you’re ok. How large was your box?

  19. Patricia Blanco says:

    I would love to try this recipe this is a very smart idea I love it so much since detergent prices are so high I am going to make my own detergent and I will pass it on to my sister. God Bless and thank you.

  20. Hi is this HE safe? Don’t want to ruin my machine

    1. I have an HE washer and this is what I use in it every day.

  21. I have made this detergent and have used it for several months, but have two questions that I seem to have issues with:

    1) This detergent seems to just wash clothes, not take out any stains. Does anyone have any homemade/store bought set-in stain cleaner? I have tried Shout set-in stain remover for clothes, but that only lightens the stain not completely get rid of it.

    2) I have seemed to notice some of my black work pants have gotten lighter with this detergent. I have washed it with other liquid detergents, both store bought and homemade and never notice my pants getting lighter until I stared using this detergent. Any suggestions on how to not lose color in my clothes?

    1. Jennifer- if I need extra help with stains I will sometimes spray some Thieves cleaner on the stains. This is a Young Living product. Otherwise, I will just was the clothing in a smaller load with only a few pieces of clothing to get a more saturated cleaning. Personally, I have my front load washer and I think it has more to do with stains not coming out than the detergent.

      I wash tons of dark clothing and I’ve not seen any issues with fading. Trying washing them inside out. Also, try adding some vinegar to the wash load to help set your colors.

  22. Crystal,

    I read that you put the detergent directly into the washer. I, too, have a front loading washer but always pour the deterrent into the designated slot at the top of the washer. Do you recommend not doing that with this detergent, or, does it matter? I know it seems silly to ask but these washers are so finicky so I don’t want to do anything to make it go out of whack!

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