Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe—The Liquid Kind!

homemade laundry detergent recipe liquidHomemade laundry detergent can save your household a bundle! The ingredients are relatively cheap, and the larger batches of the homemade laundry detergent last much longer than the smaller batches of commercial detergents. It can definitely come in handy if you have kids who equate “cleaning your room” with “gather up all of your clean clothes piles on the floor and put them in the dirty laundry”. Or, my personal favorite, “wear an outfit for 20 minutes and change.”

Years ago I used to make my own laundry soap—the powdered kind—but I’ve since fallen out of the habit. I found that I could get decent deals on liquid laundry detergent with coupons, and I found that a busy career and growing kids didn’t leave much time for things like grating soap.

As I was pouring the last drops of laundry detergent out of the bottle into the washer today, though, I had to ask myself…why did I ever stop making homemade laundry detergent in the first place?? Sure, it takes a little longer to whip up a batch, but not much longer than running to the store to buy some. Plus, although I can usually save some money on laundry detergent with coupons, homemade laundry detergent is still the clear winner when it comes to cost!

Now that I’ve been using liquid laundry detergent, though, I’m afraid that I’ll have trouble going back to powdered detergent. The homemade powdered laundry detergent sometimes left small clumps or residue behind, which wasn’t a big deal, but I still didn’t like it. So, it got me thinking…is there a homemade laundry detergent recipe out there for liquid laundry detergent?

Psh! Of course there is! After a quick search online, I turned up a homemade laundry detergent recipe for the liquid kind! It requires a couple more steps that the homemade powdered laundry detergent, but it’s definitely something I’m going to try.

Ready for the liquid laundry detergent recipe? Here it is…


  • 1 bar of soap (without lotion)
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup borax
  • water


1. Grate the bar of soap with a cheese grater. You can use Fels-Naptha soap, available in the laundry aisle, or any gentle basic soap without lotion.

2. Combine the grated bar soap and 4 cups of water in an old pan, and slowly heat the mixture to a simmer while stirring constantly. Stir until the soap is completely dissolved.

3. Pour 3 gallons of water into a 5 gallon bucket and add the washing soda and borax. Stir.

4. Pour the dissolved grated soap and water mixture into the bucket. Stir until everything is completely dissolved and mixed.

5. Cover and allow to stand for 24 hours. Your new homemade laundry detergent liquid will thicken, and you can pour it into old laundry detergent bottles.

And, that’s pretty much it! Use 1/2 cup to 1 cup of homemade liquid laundry detergent per load, depending on the size of the load. This part may take a little practice and experimentation, but you should get the hang of it after a few loads. Apparently, liquid laundry detergent can get a little clumpy as it sits, so make sure you give it a stir or shake every time you do laundry.

Now, I’m off to grate some bar soap for my homemade laundry detergent liquid! Let me know what you think of this liquid laundry detergent recipe, and I’ll let you know in a couple weeks how my new experiment is working!



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