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Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

Making your own homemade powdered laundry detergent may take a few extra minutes of your time, but it’s a lot cheaper than store-bought. Plus you’re keeping your home chemical-free. Keep reading for full instructions and cost break-down.

homemade powdered laundry detergent

I’ve been trying to keep my home chemical-free as much as possible. I make my own cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and sachets to keep my closets and drawers smelling nice.

Another thing I’ve been making is my own powdered laundry detergent. This is so easy to make and only requires 3 ingredients – borax, washing soda, and Ivory soap.

This recipe does take a little bit of time, but the end result is so nice. It works really well at getting your clothes super clean, plus it lasts forever! (Okay, maybe not forever, but months!)

How to make homemade powdered laundry detergent

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What you need:

materials needed for homemade powdered laundry detergent
  • (1) 4-pound box of Borax (8 cups)
  • (1) 3-pound box of Super Washing Soda (6 cups)
  • 3 bars Ivory soap or Castille soap
  • Airtight container (I use a plastic shoebox)
  • Large spoon for stirring
  • Grater
  • Tablespoon

What you do:

Pour both the Borax and Super Washing Soda in your container, or a large bowl if there’s not enough room for stirring in your container. (I used a small bucket so I had plenty of room to stir with no mess.) Stir them together really well.

Grate the 3 bars of Ivory soap with a cheese grater, or however you wish to grate them. Keep in mind that the pieces need to be really fine.

Grating soap makes a huge mess! It leaves a thick film on the grater during the grating process. I used a plastic pan scraper which worked wonderfully at getting down in between those small grooves.

After the Ivory soap is completely grated, pour it into the Borax and Washing Soda mixture and stir until well combined.

To use: I use 2 tablespoons per load. If it’s a very large load or the clothes are extremely dirty, then I use 3 tablespoons.

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

How much does homemade powdered laundry detergent cost?

Let’s break down the cost of this homemade powdered laundry detergent to see if it’s actually cheaper per load than store-bought.

A 4-lb. box of Borax costs $4.47 at Walmart and a 3-lb box of Washing Soda costs $4.12. At Target you can get 10 bars of Ivory soap for $3.99, making them $.40 a bar.

  • Borax = $4.47
  • Super Washing Soda = $4.12
  • 3 bars Ivory soap = $1.20
    • Total = $9.79

This recipe gives you 7 pounds with 112 loads, breaking the cost of each load down to $.09 a load.

Now let’s compare that to Tide, Gain, and Arm & Hammer powdered laundry detergents from Target.

  • Tide: 5.93 ounces at $13.69 with 68 loads = $.43 per load
  • Gain: 5.68 pounds at $10.99 with 80 loads = $.52 per load
  • Arm & Hammer: 10 pounds at 13.49 with 130 loads = $.75 per load

From the math, it seems that homemade powdered laundry detergent is the cheaper choice. Not to mention it’s a lot healthier for your family because it’s not full of harsh cleaning chemicals.

Sensitive Skin & Eczema

Borax may irritate sensitive skin, especially if you have eczema. In that case, try this Borax-free recipe instead:

Have you ever made homemade powdered laundry detergent? Or liquid? If so, what were your thoughts?

Looking for more natural living recipes? I recommend these:
Pink Grapefruit Room Spray
Gel Air Freshener
Closet Sachet
Drawer Sachet
Psoriasis Balm (My most pinned post!)

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Thank you for sharing!