I’ve found that once you start making your own household and beauty products, it becomes a little addicting. What else can I make at home instead of buying?, you think, perusing homesteading blogs for your next hit of DIY inspiration. There’s just something about making things by hand that causes you to feel like a thrifty, crafty, badass pioneer woman (er, the kind of pioneer women who looks up DIY recipes on blogs, orders ingredients on Amazon, and listens to comedy podcasts while doing her projects).

Today let’s talk about DIY laundry detergent. It’s something you buy regularly and it’s not cheap. Why not save money (and feel like a badass pioneer woman) by making your own instead? It’s inexpensive, ridiculously easy, and completely customizable based on the amount you need and your favorite scents.

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DIY Laundry Detergent


  • 2 cups finely grated bar soap (one bar will be plenty)
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup washing soda (I use Arm & Hammer, which is available in the cleaning products section of most grocery stores)


  1. Using a regular cheese grater (yes, the exact same one you have in your kitchen), grate bar soap down into fine bits until you have 2 cups’ worth.
  1. Mix grated bar soap with Borax and washing soda. Store in an airtight container (I use a large glass jar with a seal like these) and use about 2 tablespoons for each load of laundry (slightly more for large loads, less for smaller), sprinkling it in the machine with your clothes.
  1. Pat yourself on the back for saving money and being super clever and crafty and clean.

Tip: Borax and washing soda are odorless, so whatever bar soap you choose will determine the scent of your detergent. My personal favorite is lavender, but citrus, mint, and tropical scents are all great options. Try mixing and matching, too! The scent of this detergent is much more subtle than most store-bought varieties, but you’ll still notice a hint of it on your freshly washed clothes, so choose wisely!

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