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natural bath & beauty products

Homemade Laundry Detergent that Really Works...But Not as Well as Tide

Just a quick update on this blog post.  After using this homemade laundry detergent for about a year, I gave it up.  Whites were dingy and my husband developed itchy skin.  I went back to Tide.  So, truth be told, I no longer recommend this recipe.

Here are the products you’ll need to make this natural, no-unpronounceable-chemicals-added laundry detergent. I’ve pared the recipe down so I don’t have a ton of it in my laundry room, but feel free to double or triple the ingredients. I bought everything I needed at my local grocery store.


  • (1) Fels-Naptha Bar 
  • 20 Mule Team Borax, 25 oz. 
  • Oxi-Clean Versatile Stain Remover, 1 lb. 
  • Purex Crystals, 9 oz. 
  •  Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda, 1.3 lb. 
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, 18 oz. 

I’ve tried every homemade laundry detergent recipe I could find, and this is a real winner. My husband and I do construction work, and this gets our clothes clean. The initial outlay for supplies is higher than buying a commercial brand, but you can make several batches from your original investment. Just keep everything dry.

Use ¼ to ½ cup per load to get your clothes nice and clean.

The Process:
 You will need a big container/bowl to mix everything in. There are only 3 things you need to do to make everything – grate the soap, dump everything in the bucket, and mix.

Grate the soap?You heard right. The Fels-Naptha laundry soap is a bar and in order for you to get a little bit in every load, you need to grate it. Simple enough, right? I use my Salad Shooter that I bought at the Salvation Army to grate mine. Easy. No mess.

Mix all the ingredients together. Shake or stir them up. That’s it! Once you are done mixing it up, put it into your—air-tight-- container and you are good to go. I use gallon zip lock bags. I’m not fancy.

When you are looking for a container, be sure to select one that is air tight. If too much moisture in the air gets into your detergent, you will have to chisel it a bit because it will harden.

Enjoy! It really works.

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