February 5, 2020

Experimenting with the Easiest Homemade Laundry Detergent

Spread the love

Homemade Laundry Detergent

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I had been wanting to try making my own homemade laundry detergent, but wanted an easy one.  Many recipes require grating soap, or boiling the soap mixture, which I wanted to avoid.

Then I found a super easy laundry detergent recipe over at Backdoor Survival.  Survival Woman’s recipe, found in The No Mess No Fuss Method of Making DIY Laundry Detergent did not involve grating soap or boiling ingredients.  The best part was, I already had these materials on hand.

Ingredients of homemade laundry detergent

You will need:

1/2 gallon container (recycled juice bottle will do)

3 TBSP Borax

3 TBSP Washing Soda

2 TBSP dishwashing detergent (Dawn Dishwashing Liquid was recommended in the article and that is the one I used)

8 cups water


  1. Boil 2 cups water (out of the 8 cups).
  2. Using a funnel, pour the Borax and Washing Soda into the bottle.
  3. Carefully pour in the 2 cups of boiling water.  Shake well until powders are dissolved.
  4. Add the dishwashing liquid and mix some more.
  5. Finally, add the remaining 6 cups of water and mix well.  That’s it, you’re done mixing.
  6. Use about a quarter to a half cup of this laundry detergent to a load of wash.

The Test

First, I washed a load of colors with the homemade dishwashing liquid, at the cold water cycle.  Our machine is just a regular washer.  I noticed the mixture is more watery than store bought liquid laundry detergent.  It is also odor free.

The second load consisted of whites.

The Result

The load of colors came out clean, with surface dirt removed.  I did not have any heavily stained clothes but any dusty pants and minor dirt came off.

The whites were clean enough, but because I did not use bleach like I normally do for whites, they are not bright white.  To be fair, the homemade laundry detergent results were about the same as store bought without bleach.

If you are used to heavily fragranced clothes, the unscented mixture may be an adjustment.  For myself, though I like the scent for fresh laundry, I used to get an allergic reaction when using too much Downey or heavily scented detergents.  I think we get conditioned to store bought products and expect cleaners to be extra sudsy and fragrant.  They do not need to do these to clean properly.  I believe the homemade laundry detergent worked as well as commercial detergents but is certainly much cheaper to make.

This homemade detergent experiment was certainly a success!  Thanks Survival Woman!


© Apartment Prepper 2013


 For beginning preppers

Free Email Updates
Get the latest content first.
We respect your privacy.

8 Comments on Experimenting with the Easiest Homemade Laundry Detergent

  1. How long is the shelf life of this detergent? The Borax comes in a huge box and so far I have no other use for it than to make a lot of detergent.

    • Hi Lisa, Good question! I don’t have exact expiration dates, but because this is a liquid detergent so I would use it within 6 months to avoid any risk of bacteria growing in the mixture. Borax itself is shelf stable and would last at least 3 years if stored away from heat or moisture. Borax itself has many uses check out this site http://www.diylife.com/2010/08/12/25-household-uses-for-borax for other things you can do with it. Thanks for the comment.

      • thanks for the link to household uses for borax – I love finding more uses for items. And I have been researching laundry detergent and how to make my own. This recipe is a new one. Thanks for sharing!

        • Hi Dianna Anna, Glad you like this one. I am going to try these borax uses and will post about them. Appreciate the comment.

  2. my daughter make laundry detergent but she does not go through all that. I wish I had the ingredients. I know she does use borax and sometimes added Lavender but it is a powder detergent and very quick to make.

  3. Making a home made laundry detergent sounds like a nice idea but I don’t think that it is very practical considering that you still have to use other detergents to make it.

    Clean clothes are a bit of a luxury in a survival situation.

  4. I have been making my own for over 6 yrs, I use the grated fels naptha soap recipe, I only make it two or three times a year as it makes a huge amount. But the reason we switched was to eliminate chemicals & the dish detergent is full of chemicals. Not to mention the residue those chemicals leave behind, my soap leaves no residue and it is great for HE machines as it is low to non sudsing. And it only costs me pennies to do a load of laundry!!

Comments are closed.

Subscribe for free email updates!
Get the latest content first.
We respect your privacy.