Monday, March 14, 2011

Make your own homemade laundry detergent

A couple of months ago I did some research online to find a natural, homemade laundry detergent that worked as well (and I'm picky) as the Tide Free I was using at the time. I came across this guy's website diy natural and found his recipe to be quite easy and inexpensive...just what I was looking for!

First I went to my local Target, thinking I would easily find the ingredients there and for a good price too. I was only partially right, Target had a 10 pack of Ivory Simply Ivory 4.5 oz bars for a good price so I bought that. I also was able to find the 20 Mule Team Borax and purchased that there as well. Next I went across the street to the 99 cent store and found large bars of Zote for 50 cents and a box of Sun Bleach for a dollar (more on that later). I did not feel like driving all the way to Walmart to see what they had ( big mistake, my friend Darci found most of the ingredients there much cheaper!) so I stopped at my local Albertson's to see what they had, I was pleasantly surprised that they had everything there, so I grabbed up some Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda and a bar of Fels-Naptha.

I got home and plopped my bags down on the kitchen table, and proceeded to excitedly tell Eric that I found all the ingredients and where I found them...poor guy, he did listen and tell me he was happy for me :) Anyway, I made my first batch right away using most of a Zote bar (it's 7 oz instead of 4.5) as the soap of choice. I washed a few loads using the new detergent and it was good, but not great, I did finish the detergent before I made a new batch using a bar of the Ivory Simply Ivory this one I really like! For some reason, the clothes come out of the dryer feeling softer than when I used Tide and I didn't/don't use fabric softener. I have been using my Zout stain remover as usual the same way I did when I used my Tide detergent, I tried using a bar of Fels-Naptha as a stain remover, but I did not feel it worked very well.

Now that I've made a few batches, I've found that the best way to make it is to put in your borax and washing soda into a food processor and then grate your soap into the food processor bowl. When you are finished grating the soap, process the ingredients together for 30 seconds or so and you will have a well blended, "green", natural laundry detergent ready to go!

Matt Jabs Homemade Laundry Detergent

1  4.5 oz bar of soap
1 Cup of 20 Mule Team Borax
1 Cup of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda

Add the borax and washing soda to the bowl of a food processor, then grate with a hand grater, the bar of soap into the bowl. Process for 30 seconds and then pour contents into a container with a lid, add a 1 Tbsp measuring spoon that you can dedicate as a measuring scoop for your detergent. Use 1 Tbsp for small loads and 2 for large loads.

The Sun Bleach I found at the 99 cent store is an oxygen bleach and can be used safely on whites or colors. I use it with my whites to help brighten them a bit.

I highly recommend having your children do the grating of the soap for you...for some reason they think it's fun :)

My handsome, serious Kade
My other handsome boy...Aiden grating as Eilan looks on.

Eilan's turn, she loves helping Mommy...mostly :)

All done with the grating... 
 After being processed for 30 seconds

Ready to be used!

Here is a direct link to Matt Jabs laundry detergent recipe, you will find a lot of useful information in the readers comments! diy natural laundry detergent

If you make this or have made it, please drop a comment on how you liked it!


  1. Hi Stephanie, I clicked on your comment from Amy Green's blog. I love all the DIY stuff you are doing. My husband and I are on a journey to go simple and grow our own veggies.

    Checked out your jewelry and in response to the comment on your photos, I want to pass on what I learned recently. Turn off the flash and set your digital camera to Manual. Also take your subject around the house in the daylight and determine the best lighting. I used a pizza pan covered with foil to bounce the light back onto the subject. What a difference! See my post about it ( which links to the blog where I got the tips.

  2. Thank you Chris for that great idea, I will try it next time. I'm quite the beginner when it comes to photography but I love taking pictures :)

  3. This looks easy enought! thank you for letting me know about this, but I don't think this will work for me. I don't want to use borax and can't get washing soda here :o(