I have systemically, over the past few months, been working to replace as many store-bought products in my house with homemade versions. Sometimes those experiments have ended horribly, but most of the time I’ve been extremely impressed! Basically my goal is to get as many household products in my house down to five ingredients or less. And the more control I have over those ingredients, the better.

A few months ago I decided to experiment with a DIY laundry detergent recipe in an attempt to reach my goal. It was one of my best successes so far and would love to share it with you fine people.

Now before you get too far into this it is important to know that if you have one of the new fangled He (high efficiency) washers the below recipe won’t fair so well. ┬áThat being said, I will likely find a hack for that somewhere down that line, because, well, that’s what I do! Now back to the learnin’.

If you haven’t heard, cleaning products are probably the most toxic, irritating, and harmful products in your house. The very products meant to keep you safe and clean are instead some of the biggest threats to your healthy household. Detergent companies aren’t required to list all the ingredients in their products, so who knows what the heck is in there? For instance, it was recently discovered that Tide detergent had trace amounts of dioxaine, a known carcinogen. Sweet! Cancerous clothing! To learn more from the United States Environmental Protection Agency about the chemicals used in detergents, click here.

lolcat laundry

I figured as long as it was easy and cheap to make, I’d take a stab at making my own detergent, giving all the companies who care more about the moolah in their pockets than my personal safety and health the finger. And if it ended up being cheaper than store brands, even better! I quickly found a great recipe with three simple ingredients that smells fresh and is cheap to make! Just like how I like my men: simple, cheap, and fresh.

DIY Detergent Recipe

What you’ll need:

  1. 1 bar of soap
  2. 1 cup of borax
  3. 1 cup of washing soda
  4. Cheese Grater
  5. Bowl
  6. Container to store the powder in


First you need grate the soap bar down with the cheese grater. I like to use Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap Citrus because it contains natural ingredients and has a pleasantly fresh but light scent. Dump the bar shavings in the bowl, and add the cup of Borax 20 Mule Team Detergent Booster and the cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda . Mix it all together and dump it in a container (I used a Mason Jar leftover from my Pinterest days). And there ya have it! An all natural, three-ingredient, fresh smelling detergent that actually works extremely well at cleaning your clothes! This stuff is so great I started sharing it with my friends. One friend was so impressed, he begged me to make quarts of this stuff for him.

I’ve seen measurement recommendations anywhere from using 1 Tablespoon for regular loads to 1/4 cup. I’ve erred on the side of wanting my clothes really clean, and usually use about 1/4 cup. In using 1/4 cup per load, the cost is usually about $0.07- $0.09 per load. In comparison, brand name detergents can cost anywhere from $0.15- $.0.25 per load. Here’s to saving money!

But the beauty of it is that it is so dang easy to make. No more will you have to worry about the chemicals you’re mixing in with your clothing, dealing with weird skin irritations, or breathing in harmful fragrances. And on top of it all you’ll be saving so much money it’s not even funny. I’m seriously not laughing right now you guys.

Now go clean yoself.