The Best All-Natural Laundry Detergent

The easiest, cheapest, and most effective laundry soap you will ever make.
April 29, 2013 Updated: April 29, 2013

Let’s face it, laundry soap is expensive and there is really no way to get out of using it. There is, however, a way to get out of buying so much of it: making your own.

You can make laundry detergent at home and you will save time, money, and the trouble of lugging around those big, heavy bottles.  

Commercial powdered laundry detergent is mostly fillers, extraneous white powders that do little to aid in cleaning your clothes. If you buy liquid detergent what you are paying for is almost 90 percent water.

There are tons of recipes out there for all kinds of laundry detergent. They require different kinds of ingredients and they vary in levels of difficulty to produce.

After my mother developed incontinence, laundry became a twice-daily event in our home. I was spending close to $100 a month on laundry soap alone.

I spent a year melting, boiling, and mixing in five gallon buckets in my tiny kitchen trying different recipes. What I got was a lumpy, gooey mess that did do well cleaning clothes, and made the house smell clean—but it was way too much work.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then laziness is is the father of efficiency. There had to be an easier way. 

One year and 30 gallons of detergent later this is by far the best, the cheapest, and the easiest laundry detergent I have ever made.

Not only that:  It works!


20 Mule team Borax, 4.75 lb box  – $4

Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, 3.7 lb box  – $3.50

Kirks Original Coco Castile Soap, 4 oz bar – $1.99

I found both the borax and the washing soda on the bottom shelf of the laundry aisle at my local Stop and Shop. The Kirks, you probably have to go to a health food store for. I order mine online by the case and use it for everything.


Cheese Grater

Big bowl

Wooden spoon

1 cup measuring cup


1.  Grate the bar of soap on the coarsest setting of your cheese grater. Get as much as you can without taking off your finger tips and put the rest in the shower to use it up. Almost the whole bar is more than enough for this recipe.

2.  Put the grated soap into the big bowl and crumble it up with your fingers.

3.  Add 4 cups of Borax

4.  Add 4 cups of Washing Soda

5. Use the Wooden spoon to mix together carefully.  Avoid leaning over the bowl as the dust will likely make you cough.  Squish any lumps as you go.  

Thats it!

Now just split it into two tupperware containers. I like the larger yogurt-size ones. Cut a plastic spoon in half, stick it into the container, and you’re ready to go.

One heaping spoonful will wash one very large load of laundry. 

This recipe is good for more than 160 loads! Cost of ingredients used: $4.91. That’s about 3 cents per load. Too good to be true right?  Wrong. Try it for yourself and see!