Best Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe - Sustainable Lives Matter

Best Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

How to Make Liquid Laundry Detergent

You've given some thought to changing how you do your laundry.  Perhaps its because you have someone in your life who is sensitive to everything you've tried.  Perhaps living sustainably is something you're interested in. Or maybe you'd like to save some of your hard-earned money for something more important to you.  Either way, we want to cut right to the point and talk about how you can produce your own detergent using the best homemade liquid laundry detergent recipe we've seen yet.



Making your own laundry detergent is a fun project that may be exactly what you're looking for.  However, there are things you will want to consider in the long run.  We will explore this in more detail below.

If you're eager to get started, here's what you'll need:

  • Distilled Water (Tap water will do just fine though)
  • Washing Soda
  • Borax
  • Laundry Soap

Here are some sample products (in case you're like me and like seeing what the ingredients look like...)

Washing Soda - Best Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

Washing Soda

Borax - Best Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe


Laundry Soap - Best Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

Laundry Soap

How much do I need?

​You'll end up needing:

  • 2.5 gallons of water
  • ​0.5 cups of washing soda
  • 0.5 cups of borax
  • 0.25 cups of laundry soap
Chemists - Best Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

Best Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

  • Get 3/8 gallon (6 cups) of water in a large pot over high heat.  Make sure your pot is able to hold the whole 2.5 gallons.
  • While that's heating up, grate laundry soap to get 1/4 cup (a food processor can be used here to improve solubility in cold washes)
  • Add the 0.5 cups of washing soda and borax respectively and stir until completely dissolved.
  • Add the remainder of the water (36 cups) and stir.
  • Remove the pot from heat and allow it to cool (it will become gel-like).
  • Pour the gel into your favorite dispenser or container.
  • You may need to add a little water and shake if it becomes too solidified.

You've Made It, Now What?

You can use a half a cup for a load of laundry and enjoy the savings.  But don't forget our "Consider This" above.  We would be remiss if we didn't tell you about the differences between laundry soap and detergent.

​Soap vs. Detergent

​I wish I could say that this homemade detergent would function exactly the same as your store-bought commercial brand.  The truth is that the chemistry behind soaps and detergents causes them to function differently.  Because the companies that make our detergents aren't required to list all of their ingredients, we recommend looking for a reputable company that has a track record of transparency regarding their ingredients.

Plant-based detergents rather than petroleum based products make for a more sustainable choice. ​ Here are some options to consider to replace your old detergent with a more environmentally conscious product:

ecover zero - Best Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe
Biokleen - Best Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe
Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent - Best Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

​What if I Want To Make My Own Still?

Please feel free to take the adventure of trying to make your own detergent.  It might be an option you enjoy.  However, due to the differences in the soap molecules and the detergent molecules, your soap may not rinse away all of the oils we deposit on our laundry.  ​The washing machine you use makes a difference.  The old washboard would make your homemade laundry detergent work just fine.  If you're not willing to go that route, you'll need to strip your laundry from time to time to remove the built up grime.

​We Hope You Enjoyed this How To

Whether you stick with what you're currently using, start making your own, or try one of the new plant-based detergents, we think you're awesome for reading this far.  Thank you for taking the time to learn more about improving your sustainability.

Leave us a comment below with your thoughts​ on laundry!

Honest Lives Matter Too!

In an effort to be completely transparent, I want to let you know that I have an affiliate relationship with some of the companies whose products or services I recommend. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission or credit if you decide to buy any of their products or services.

See Our Disclaimer​ for more details.

About the Author Neil

I am a husband, father of 3, and a full time educator. I take my passion for sustainability from at home in the garden with my family to school with the children in the community. Through awareness, change can come. Will you change with us? We'd be happy to have you.

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Kerlund says a couple of years ago

I never thought I could do this on my own, but of course it’s possible:-) I think there might be a good feeling to 1) know I made it by myself 2)know what’s in it.

But honestly I think I never will try to do it. I’m a bit to lazt… But I would definitely consider buying more sustainably alternatives, thanks for these examples.

    Neil says a couple of years ago

    I love your honesty. That’s all we can ask is that you consider your options! Thanks for much for taking a moment to leave us a comment.

Emily says a couple of years ago

I love this idea. DIY things seem to be the way to go now a days, but I never new about laundry soap! Thanks for the great article, I will let you know how my attempt at this goes next time I need some more soap 🙂

    Neil says a couple of years ago

    There’s so much our elders used to know about and use that we are just rediscovering. I showed my father the fels-naptha soap and he was shocked. He remembers seeing his parents have some. Thanks for leaving us a comment. We look forward to hearing about your success!

Rob says a couple of years ago

Wow! Thank you for this. It honestly never crossed my mind to make my own laundry detergent. I bet it would save money! Making my own would give me the satisfaction and I could brag to all my friends. I guarantee they all would be amazed! Again, thank you for this nice little short-cut pertaining to the simplest things in life like laundry!

    Neil says a couple of years ago

    I think you’re right that most people never even consider that’s it’s possible for us to make many of the things we use on our own. Thanks for leaving us a comment.

Maun says a couple of years ago

Hi Neil,
Such a nice idea!
Every month, we have to buy the detergent from Walmart to do laundry. Since we have a big family and doing laundry several times a week, the cost of buying detergent is adding up.
I like the step by step you present in the article and it seems like it will save me a little cash.
Definitely try it out!
Thanks for sharing.

    Neil says a couple of years ago

    No doubt laundry is more expensive than just buying the washer and dryer. Another great way to help out your wallet and the planet when it comes to laundry is to use a good old fashioned clothes line. However, depending on where you live, that might not be the best option. Thank you for the comment.

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