Simple DIY laundry suds (that work!)

laundry detergent

As an adult, you find yourself uttering the things that you swore as a child you would never say. Things such as, “Can you turn down the radio?” or “Let’s skip dessert; I’m too full.” Falling under that same category is the mini fit I threw when I purchased my very last bottle of store-bought laundry soap, telling Scott over dinner that evening, “Man, the cost of suds sure has gone up!” That was 3 years ago, and as a result, we made the switch to DIY laundry detergent. And can I tell you? It takes 5 minutes to make, costs pennies on the dollar, and most importantly, is effective!

There are three simple ingredients you’ll need to gather up to make your own: borax, washing soda, and Fels Naptha soap. Borax and washing soda can be found in any grocery store in the same aisle that you’d buy the big-box brands, and the Fels Naptha is typically tucked on the bottom shelf of your typical body soap aisle.

laundry detergent options

To make, you’ll measure out 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda and set this to the side. The most time-consuming part of this DIY is grating your bar of Fels Naptha—although we’ve heard that sticking it in the microwave for a minute will turn it into a fine powder (we’ve yet to try this!).

making your own laundry detergent

making your own soap

Now that you’ve got your 3 ingredients ready to go, you can pour them into a medium-sized Tupperware, or as in our case, a large canning jar.

storing your own detergent

finished diy sud project

Before use, give your container a good shake so that the ingredients are mixed well, and you’re good to go! You only need 1 tablespoon of the mix for a regular load of laundry, 2 tablespoons for a large load. (We use a small coffee scoop for measuring!) I’ll admit that at first, I felt as though the small amount would be useless, but we were impressed after our very first load. One batch is enough for a good 40+ loads, and there is enough borax and washing soda left over for at least 5 more batches.

finished diy sud project

Don’t be alarmed that the soap doesn’t suds—a bubbling agent is actually an additive in modern-day detergent to give the illusion of cleaning. The mixture smells fresh and slightly lemon-like, although once your clothes have gone through the dryer, they come out smelling scent-free (some of you may like this, some may not). And for those wondering, this solution is 100% safe to use in high-efficiency washing machines. Three years later, and we haven’t looked back once. It’s a win all around, don’t you think?

For more fun tips and tricks on Kim’s home renovation journey, check out her blog Yellow Brick Home

6 thoughts on “Simple DIY laundry suds (that work!)

    1. It’s truly pennies compared to buying store bought! We’ve been using this solution for years, but I remember needing to buy a bottle of detergent once a month (or two… if we really pushed it!). With this, we pick up the Borax and Washing Soda for about $5 each, and that lasts us for about 6-8 months, and with every batch, we only need to pick up a bar of Fels Naptha for $1. It’s been great!

  1. Wonderful idea. Thanks so much for showing how easy this is! If you wanted to add some fragrance to it , would you think essential oils would work ? Also just wanted to double check that you grate the whole bar for each batch you make ? Thanks !