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The Best Homemade Laundry Detergent – HE Washer Safe

6 Loads of Laundry for the Price of 1. It is possible and simple with the Best Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe. Safe for High-Efficiency Machines too!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

The last time I went to the grocery store and needed to buy laundry detergent, the cost blew me away. There are five people in our family, and an adorable dog. Laundry is a beast that I must tackle daily, or it just gets out of hand. The amount of money I was spending on a quality laundry detergent that would clean our clothes was astronomical! Not to mention the fact that we had to find one that was gentle enough on my children’s skin because they would get a rash from the chemicals. That is when I discovered how to make the best homemade laundry detergent, and I never turned back.

Some people wonder why on Earth I would make my homemade laundry detergent. Well, my answer is simple.

  • It is very affordable.
  • It works better than any store bought detergent.
  • Homemade Laundry Detergent is so easy to make.
  • I know what is in it!

The other question I get is can you use it in a High-Efficiency Washing Machine? YES, you can!

The Best Homemade Laundry Detergent

Oxi clean and other laundry cleaners

You can choose to make small batches or one big batch. The big batch is the best in my opinion because once you have made it chances are you won’t need to make detergent again for MONTHS!!

The Best Homemade Laundry Detergent

6 Loads of Laundry for the Price of 1. It is possible and simple with the Best Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe. Safe for High-Efficiency Machines too!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Total Time:10 minutes


  • 1 box Super Washing Soda 3.7 lb
  • 1 box Borax 4 lb 12 oz. size
  • 1 box Pure Baking Soda 4 lbs
  • 3 bars Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap 5.5 oz each
  • 1 container Oxy-Clean – 1.3 lb
  • 15 – 20 drops favorite essential oil I used lavender


  • Finely grate the Fels-Naptha using a box grater or a food processor. 
  • Mix the grated soap with all of the ingredients in a large plastic tub. 
  • When doing laundry use 2 tablespoons for a normal size load. You may increase by 1 – 2 tablespoons for an extra large load. 


You can use any bar soap. If your family has sensitive skin try using Ivory for a gentler detergent.
Author: Amanda Carlisle |

Homemade Laundry Detergent Cost

This is the best part. I get giddy when I get to share this. Here is the cost rundown if you were to purchase all of these items from Walmart.

*Now I know prices can vary by location so this is the current price in my area.

TOTAL $16.61 for a full Large Batch totaling 18 lbs (or 288 oz.)

18 lbs will wash between 300 – 500 loads depending on the amount of detergent you use per load and the load size.  Final price is just $0.04 per load!

That makes the average price per load between $0.03 – $0.06 per load again dependant on the amount of detergent you use.

NOW let’s compare that to Tide. For the Tide Detergent, it averages $0.18 – $0.19 per load

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Now, if you want to test this before you commit to making a big batch or The Best Homemade Laundry Detergent you can make a smaller batch.

  • 1 bar of Fels Naptha, Grated (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups Super Washing Soda
  • 2 1/2 cups Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 2 cups Oxyclean
  • 4-5 drops of essential oil of your choice (optional)

Just mix and use the same way as listed above.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Tips

  • You are not stuck using Fels Naptha or Zote. You can use any bar soap. If your family has sensitive skin try using Ivory Soap instead.
  • If you love the smell of store-bought detergent, you can purchase a scent booster and mix it into your detergent instead of essential oils. You will get the benefits of homemade with the scent you love!
  • Give it as a gift. YES, this makes an excellent gift for a new college student or a house warming gift. Give a huge container of this Homemade Laundry Detergent with the recipe in a fun jar or container with a scoop. They will love it!

Have you tried the best Homemade Laundry Detergent yet? How did it work for you? Come back and leave a comment letting us know how you liked it!

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  1. Can this be used in a septic system? some detergents such as Tide create too many suds and are not recommended.


      1. 5 stars
        I lost my job and husbands having to work doubles because of the pandemic. With two kids to feed, as well as the two adults I was looking for a way to save money and stumbled upon this article.. omg! Talk about life changing. Save me so much money and the clothes feel and look amazing.

      2. 5 stars
        I have used this very same receipe for several years. Very satisfied with how my laundry turns out and I am very picky. One member of the family was allergic to a lot of detergents at the store, but not this one. Can’t believe how much money you save in a year.

  2. 5 stars
    The homemade laundry soap I make now has an off smell when clothes have sat for awhile. No I do not use too much.
    Does this recipe do the same thing or is it the essential oil that changes the smell?

      1. It’s probably your washer creating the “off smell”, not the soap.
        Try cleaning your washer with washing machine cleaner & leave the door open afterwards.

    1. We’ve been using this recipe for years – without the soap since we had cloth diapers until recently. When we get smelly clothes (who hasn’t left wet laundry in the machine for a weekend…) Re-run the load with a few tablespoons of white vinegar. Smell gone!

  3. 5 stars
    For best results, sprinkle 1/4 c. on top of extra large load of laundry. It easily gets those nasty smells out!

  4. 5 stars
    I may have resolved the issue myself. I was using 4 TBSP of detergent per load & after I reduced to 2 TBSP, I don’t see ant hardened detergent in my dispenser & my clothes are still clean! Maybe this will help someone else.

    1. Hi Ramani. The dispenser tray is typically only for liquid detergent. Since this is a powdered detergent it gets added directly to the wash tub. That will help it dissolve into the wash better. Hope that helps.

  5. Is the Oxy-Clean & baking soda really necessary? The recipe I originally got had 1/2 cup borax, 1/2 cup washing soda, 1 bar Fels Naptha, Any comments/ suggestions on this would be helpful

  6. I also have a family of 5 and laundry is an almost impossible task and very costly. I decided to try your recipe. What size container do you store it in once made? Also what size scent booster should I get. My husband doesn’t like essential oils. Thank you.

  7. I’ve used this recipe on and off for years. Sometimes I add purex crystals, right now I’m not adding any smell boosters and mine are coming out very clean and smelling amazing!

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