Homemade Laundry Detergent Concentrate

This recipe is loosely based on the recipe used by the Duggar family from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, but since the link I bookmarked doesn’t seem to be working right now, I can’t give credit where credit is due.  This recipe has been a life-saver for my family though, and I hope others will enjoy it as much as we do.


  • 1 bar homemade castile soap OR Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap
  • 1 c Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1/2 c 20 Mule Team borax
  • 30 drops NOW Lavender Oil (optional)


  1. Grate soap using a box grater.  I use the large shred side, and you don’t even need a grater dedicated to laundry soap-making.
  2. Place two cups of hot water and grated soap into a heat-safe container.  (I use a metal 4-cup measure.) Heat mixture on medium-low, stirring constantly until soap is melted.  Remove from heat.
  3. Fill a 5-gallon bucket halfway with warm water.  (This doesn’t have to be precise.) Stir in borax and washing soda until dissolved.  Stir in melted soap until combined.
  4. Add cool water to your bucket until you have 5 gallons of product.  Stir thoroughly with a long spoon.  Add essential oil, stir again, put the lid on the bucket, and set aside to cool overnight.  The concentrate will have a loose, uneven consistency when it’s done.

To Use:

  • Shake well before using.
  • In top-load machines, use 1/3 c laundry detergent concentrate for average to large loads.  Other sources on the Internet suggest using 2 T concentrate in high-efficiency or front-load machines, but since I don’t have a machine like that, I can’t speak to its efficacy.
  • For convenience, fill a smaller detergent bottle (from those days when you used the store-bought stuff) from your large bucket.  Be sure to stir the contents of the bucket before dispensing, and keep the bucket covered and stored in a cool, out-of-the-way place when it’s not needed.


This entry was posted in Recipes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Homemade Laundry Detergent Concentrate

  1. Pingback: Save with Sarah — 5 Easy Tips for Frugal Living | The Claiming Liberty Blog

  2. fiveonten says:

    I’ve been using this exact same recipe for three years now and I refuse to buy laundry detergent anymore! When my family gets tired of the lavender scent I switch it up with essential orange, essential almond…whatever. Glad to see someone besides me doing this!

  3. Pingback: Homemade Cleaning Products: Much More Than a Clean Home | The Claiming Liberty Blog

  4. Pingback: Liquid Laundry Detergent « K!k!licious

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s