DIY laundry detergent

One walk down the laundry detergent aisle of your local supermarket can make your head spin. With so many choices — each with so many ingredients — it can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be.

If you’re looking for a simple DIY laundry detergent recipe, this episode of Earth911 TV is for you. Learn how to easily make laundry detergent at home with four simple ingredients.

DIY Laundry Detergent


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  1. Finely grate 1 bar of soap by hand with a box grater or in a food processor. If you want an unscented laundry detergent, use unscented bar soap.
  2. Add the bar soap, washing soda, borax, and essential oil (if desired) into a mixing bowl and stir.
  3. Put the mixture into a sealed container.

Use 1 to 2 tablespoons per load of laundry as the water is filling the washing machine.

Note: This detergent can be used in both standard and HE washing machines.

Find the inspiration for this recipe and other natural cleaning recipes in Germs Gone Wild: 4 Natural Cleaning Recipes To Drive Away Dirt. For a variation on the recipe above and other natural laundry tips, check out 3 Natural Laundry Practices That Will Clean Your (Eco) Conscience Too.

Making simple switches in your laundry routine can have a marked effect on your environmental impact, and your wallet. Thanks for watching and be sure to share this with friends and family.

Originally published on February 19, 2016, this post was updated in May 2023.

By Chase Ezell

Chase has served in various public relations, communications and sustainability roles. He is a former managing editor for