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

7 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. Thanks! Do you do your laundry in cold or always warm/hot? Just wondering if there are any dissolving issues in cold water?

  2. 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 !

  3. Fantastic recipe. I am going to make my first homemade detergent. I hope it is easy job. Wish me luck! I took a decision that I am going to save money from everything – laundry detergent is the first thing. Best regards!

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