Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

Making your own laundry soap is one of the easiest parts of a transition to prepping, homesteading and natural living. It is also a great way to save money on laundry detergent and is incredibly easy to make. It takes us about 20 minutes to make. My family has been using it for a while now and we love it. Plus, it is good to use with HE (High Efficiency) and regular washing machines.

Why switch to natural laundry soap, you ask? Conventional laundry detergent is loaded with chemicals like sulfates, fragrances, phenols and more. Many brands contain things like petroleum distillates, which are linked to cancer and lung disease. Fragrances in these detergents are made of a mix of harmful chemicals. Luckily, making your own laundry soap is an easy and fast process! You only need three basic ingredients. I added links below to Amazon just in case you want to order them, but they are available at most stores.


  • 1 cup Washing Soda (Arm and Hammer Brand available at most stores)
  • 1 cup Borax (20 Mule Team Borax available at most grocery stores)
  • 1 x Bar Soap (Fels Naptha Laundry Bar and Stain Remover, or other natural unscented bar soap)


  • 1 x 5 Gallon Food Grade Bucket
  • 1 x Gamma Seal Lid (or regular lid) to fit 5 Gallon Bucket
  • 1 x Large Pot
  • Long wooden spoon or something to stir hot water in bucket
  • 1 x Cheese Grater
  • 1 x plate


  1. Grate one bar of soap with cheese grater (or food processor) on to plate (grating the bar of soap on the plate is less messy and more stable)
  2. Put grated soap in pot with 2 quarts water and gradually heat, stirring constantly until soap is completely dissolved. (Do not boil because it will begin to produce lots of suds).
  3. Put 4 gallons of really hot tap water in a 5-gallon bucket
  4. Stir in 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of Washing Soda until completely dissolved.
  5. When soap has dissolved, pour soap mixture from pot into 5-gallon bucket. Stir well.
  6. Place lid on bucket and leave overnight.
  7. Shake or stir well until smooth texture (I like to use a drill with a paint mixer) and pour into smaller containers of your choice or just leave it in the bucket.


Use 1/2 cup to 1 cup per load (we use 1/2 cup per load in our HE washing machine).
OPTIONAL: use fabric softener as you normally would to deodorize and soften laundry per load

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