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Transform your Laundry Room with 4 EASY DIYs!

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DIY Laundry Detergent Recipes
photo:David Hillegas

Thanks to lots of inspiration from One Good Thing By Jillee and DIY Naturals, I have gained some great inside on how to DIY all the products in my laundry room!  The recipes I have found could not be easier and work better than store bought.  Have I mentioned how much money I’m saving???

First things first, let’s talk about Laundry Detergent.  I used to spend so much money on detergent.  Especially when I went for the “green” option.  Laundry Detergent is full of chemicals such as sulfates, fragrances and phenols. Most soaps contain things like petroleum distillates, which are linked to cancer and lung disease. Detergents are full of artificial fragrances which can cause skin scensitivity and even hormone disruption! 
This recipe is just so simple you’ll wonder why you didn’t convert sooner!  You only need 3 ingredients-Super Washing Soap, Borax, and Fels Naptha bar soap.  You can find all these ingredients in the detergent section at Walmart. 
You might be raising an eyebrow about the ingredients Borax.  I have done my research and I believe it is safe.  Please read this article for more clarification. 
Fels Naptha is a readily available bar soap that I like, however I am concerned about it’s strong fragrance.  A better alternative (if saving money is not your primary goal) is Dr. Bronner’s bar soap.  This soap is excellent, just a little more pricey.
Let’s get started!

 DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe

  • 2 cups Super Washing Soap
  • 2 Cups Borax
  • 1 bar Fels Naptha soap
Cut bar soap into chunks and grind in a food processor.  Mix ingredients and you are done!  The best part about this recipe is that instead of the usual cup you only need 1 heaping tablespoon!  Sometimes I use a little under 2 tablespoons if I know I am washing a particularly dirty load.
This detergent is perfectly safe to use in all washing machines.  It is actually great for front loaders because it does not suds up as much which works well since front loaders do not use as much water as top loaders.  I do add a homemade fabric softener with this recipe.  I don’t know if it’s absolutely necessary but this softener is so easy to make and great for your machine and clothes.  

UPDATE: 8 years later and I’m sorry to say that I did not continue making my old laundry detergent. The only reason I quit is because it ruined my food processor. The Fels Naptha soap is tough to grind. You could shred it by hand though. 

DIY Fabric Softener Recipe

  • 1 quart of vinegar
  • 1 tsp. alcohol
  • 25 drops Lavender essential oils(optional)
Mix ingredients together.  Use 1/2 cup per load. 
Hint-I make a huge batch of this at a time because 1 quart goes fast.
The next recipe is an alternative to bleach.  We use white towels in our bathrooms so I used to use bleach.  I hated to do it but it’s the only way to get our towels from having a mildew smell.  Since we’ve moved to our current home, we are not on city water-this made a huge difference in how “clean” our laundry smelled.  So, this alternative is a must, and it works!!

DIY Bleach Alternative

  • 3 quarts of water
  • 1 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
Mix ingredients together.  Use 2 cups per load.

DIY Bleach Pen

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 5 TBSP bleach
  1. In a small pot add cornstarch to the water.
  2. Mix it until the cornstarch has dissolved.
  3. Turn on the stove and stir until it begins to boil.
  4. Once it boils, turn off the stove and let it COMPLETELY cool.
  5. Add 5 TBSP of bleach and mix.
  6. Add to a condiment bottle.

*FYI* My mix was a little thick so I added tiny amounts of water until I got the consistency I wanted.

DIY Laundry Room

As you can tell-I really like to make things pretty. A clean organized cabinet with my homemade goodies that have cute labels just makes me happy. It gives my life order, but that’s just me. 

If you want to create your own pretty labels I have a tip-I buy labels from Avery on Amazon. I’ve tried out their waterproof labels and they are OK but they don’t hold up for long. I put a strip of clear packing tape over all my labels that sit by the sink or could potentially get wet. It works great! You can also design your own labels and create great quality water-proof labels at Sticker You.

So, let’s recap-this is an easy conversion-you are going to be so happy with yourself because you will be free of toxins and have more money to spend on fun stuff at the grocery store!


Grocery List:

This is all probably under $20 and will last quite while!

  • Borax
  • Fels Naptha Bar Soap (you can buy 4 bars and make 4-5 batches of detergent with just one box of Borax and 1 box of Super Washing Soda!-at 1 TBSP. a load this will last ages!)
  • Super Washing Soda
  • Vinegar-1 gallon jug is under $3 and you can add the alcohol and lavender right in the jug!
  • Alcohol
  • Lemon Juice
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Cornstarch
  • Bleach-get the smallest container you can, cause this is the only TOXIC ingredient in all these recipes!

Have you recreated your laundry products? I’d love to hear your experience! Comment below!

xx, Jenni

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Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 9 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on how to achieve beautiful skin the natural way.

11 thoughts on “Transform your Laundry Room with 4 EASY DIYs!”

    1. Yes it is! Mine are high efficiency and the detergent works great because HE machines use less water and this recipe doesn’t suds as much as store bought detergent so it’s actually better! I gathered a lot of info. making sure these recipes were safe and found nothing that concerned me in the least. Thanks!

  1. Instead of cutting the soap into pieces, I use a cheese grater. Then I put it in my food processor and it comes out great. I’ve tried it not ways. The cheese greater just makes finer pieces to put in the processor.

  2. This was the liquid recipe I used before I found the dry version here. It works just as good but definitely more work. I now use the dry version.
    4 cups hot tap water
    1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
    1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
    ½ Cup Borax

    – Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

    -Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

    -Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

    -Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

    -Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

    -Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

    -Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

    *Arm & Hammer “Super Washing Soda” – in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent – It must be sodium carbonate!!
    •Works well in traditional or HE machines.

    •Low sudsing. It is the ingredients in the soap, not the suds, that does the cleaning.

    •Clumping and geling of the detergent is normal. Stir before putting in dispenser, and shake before each use.

    •For stains, consider using an inexpensive spray-on stain remover before washing. (Zout, Spray ‘n’ Wash, Oxyclean)

  3. I have a similar recipe that I use Nellie’s Washing Powder, in place of the A&H and Borax. We found that because of our hard water and using mainly cold to wash in, the A&H and Borax was fading our black garments. Has anyone found this, using A&H and Borax? We were making sure they were totally dissolved before adding clothes, but it still didn’t help.

    1. Tom, I haven’t found this, but I don’t wear a lot of black so I’m not a good judge. These home detergents are very hit or miss. Seems like they work for some and not for others. I wonder if there is an ingredient to protect colors that would be natural-I’ll have to research that! Thanks for visiting!

  4. Hello- has anyone run into the bar soap dulling their blades on their food processor or cheese grater? It seems like it’d be hard on the blades, but I am also not very experienced with kitchen tools! Thanks!

  5. Hey Jennifer, Your article on transforming laundry room with 4 easy diy projects inspired me very much. I can’t wait to give it a try for my laundry room. You told that you bought some waterproof labels from a company but they didn’t last long. I can suggest you a company that can provide you long lasting waterproof labels can have a look at them

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