Eco-Chic: Homemade Laundry Detergent

A few years ago I became obsessed with making my own cleaners, and that included laundry detergent.  A few girlfriends found the recipe below and shared with me.  It's super easy, super inexpensive and works as well as, if not better, than anything on the mass market.  Plus, with just three ingredients that are all eco-friendly (no phosphates or harsh bleaches or chemicals) and minimal packaging, it's good for our planet too.

Homemade Laundry Soap

1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda (different than baking soda)
1 bar of soap grated (Fels Naptha or Ivory are good picks)

Use 2 Tablespoons per load (1 for light load, 3 for super heavy or soiled). Pictured below is your shopping list.

I preferred the light scent of Ivory, but the Fels is nice too (kind of lemony).  I also loved the way the soap looked on my counter: so fresh and clean!  I bought an inexpensive glass jar to hold it in, and a little grater just for the soap. The detergent is very mild - I was able to use it on my son's baby clothes (using Ivory) and he never had a reaction to it. It smelled sooooo good too!

Sadly, when our 25 year old washing machine died, I had to stop using the homemade soap, because I invested in a high-efficiency front loading machine, which calls for its own special "HE" detergent.  * If you have a HE machine, you should not use this detergent! *

There you have it - another eco-friendly cleaning product for your home.  See? It is easy being green.  Do you have plans to try it? And if anyone is aware of a homemade detergent for an HE machine, please do share!

See you swoon,


  1. I'm so excited that you posted this! I've been thinking about trying to make my own detergent. I always use the "free and clear" stuff, but it still has so many chemicals in it. A few Q's: do you find washing soda with the baking soda at the store? And how many bars of grated soap go in each batch of detergent? Should you grate it fine, or is course ok?
    FYI: it's usually pretty easy to find ivory soap at the dollar store!

  2. try this recipe for your he washing machine. Basically the same recipe only liquid.

  3. I use the exact same recipe (with the exception of using my own homemade laundry soap instead of store bought soap) in my HE washer with no problems whatsoever.