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Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder Recipe - Without Borax

Updated on October 11, 2013

Save your money and environment with homemade laundry soap

Make a batch of homemade laundry detergent (powder) with or without borax following this simple recipe. I've seen many different recipes online, some even claim to be the original recipe which I do think is a bit funny as this isn't something someone just came up with recently. We've been using the homemade detergent for years - when I was young we had a washing machine but as a result of the regime in which I was born it was almost impossible to buy laundry detergent in a store and sometimes you even had to go across boarders just to buy it and while sometimes this did turn out to be a fun family trip most of the time it was a nuisance. That's my mother and grandmother and a whole lot of other people started making their own detergent. I still remember the smell of it and how the soap looked (it's slightly different than today).

I don't know if this is the best of the recipes out there but as I've been using it for years I can say it is well tested and I use it with satisfaction. It's also really inexpensive and less harmful to the environment so that's always a plus!

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Photo Credit: Photos on this page are taken by me :)

The Best Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder Without Borax - Perfect for colored laundry

This is the recipe I use the most as we mostly have colorful clothes in our family. It does a great job with whites too, it will make them clean but if you don't add something for whitening the white will get a shade of grey over time which is perfectly fine for under shirts and such but as for other clothes go I like my whites to be white.

The Recipe - Three basic ingredients for clean clothes - Follow the recipe and make it!

You can do your DIY laundry detergent from either two or three ingredients the end result will be clean clothes!

The most basic recipe without borax consists of laundry soap bar and washing soda. Take one bar of soap and grate it. I have a separate grater for this although it isn't necessary (I'm lazy when it comes to cleaning it ;). One bar yields about one cup. Add washing soda in the same amount by the volume (roughly). Mix it well and it's ready to use.

I use 1-2 tablespoons per load.

You can also add citric acid for more freshness. I use the ration 1 cup soap, 1 cup washing soda and a quarter of a cup of citric acid.

Fels Naptha Heavy Duty Laundry Soap Bar - 5.0 oz
Fels Naptha Heavy Duty Laundry Soap Bar - 5.0 oz

This one is a must! You don't have to use this exact brand as any laundry soap bar will be good but this one is most recommended one.

 
Church & Dwight Co 03020 Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz.
Church & Dwight Co 03020 Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz.

You can use a mix of baking and washing soda to make your laundry detergent.

 
NOW Foods Citric Acid, 1 -Pound
NOW Foods Citric Acid, 1 -Pound

I don't always use citric acid but it does make the difference.

 

Add some salt when washing colors

You can mix in the salt in your home-made detergent or you can add it in the machine before you wash. A pinch of salt does a great job as a color booster!

Put the ingredients into a jar

When you have all the ingredients in the jar shake them (and do it well) - And while you do it play this video, I promise the shaking will be way more fun

The Before & After Demonstration - The stains are gone

I know you are probably fed up with silly commercials where kids or clumsy people do the darnest things and get the most impossible stains on their clothes.. But I just couldn't resist! I got all crazy with some dirt and tomatoes, let the stains dry for a while and threw the shirt into the washer! As you can see the stains are gone! I know the shirt looks whiter on the after picture but in reality it's the color is the same (it's just the light).

Comments - I would love to hear from you

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    • Two Crafty Paws profile image
      Author

      Two Crafty Paws 3 years ago

      @RussnJo: So happy you decided to give it a go =). We almost always use cold water (30C or 65-85F) and it dissolves just fine but the thing is you must use the right amount - if you add too much laundry detergent it might not dissolve completely (if this happens add a bit less detergent in the next wash until you find the right amount for your machine).

      I've checked online for other solutions and people suggest grating the soap twice so it dissolves more easily.

      Do let me know how it goes :)

    • RussnJo profile image

      RussnJo 3 years ago

      Hi again - I'm excited to sit now and make some laundry soap, but have one question - I read one site that mentioned their dry mix didn't dissolve well if not using hot water in the washer. Have you noticed this, as I will use cold water with whites when I can. thank for any input . . . Linda

    • RussnJo profile image

      RussnJo 3 years ago

      I have looking for a laundry soap recipe w/o the borox as it irritates my husbands skin. Have never shopped for citric acid, but will look around. Thank you for this lens!

    • profile image

      kepezzo 3 years ago

      No advertisement, no stores. plain and simple. like it.

    • missamyliz lm profile image

      missamyliz lm 3 years ago

      @Two Crafty Paws: Interesting. I didn't know that could be an issue! I'll have to keep that in mind when giving it away. Thanks :)

    • Two Crafty Paws profile image
      Author

      Two Crafty Paws 3 years ago

      @amdale101: It can be done in liquid form too, I will add the recipe as soon as I make it (probably in the next few days). As for the Ball point, I don't think I ever had a stain from that one as I don't use it but the homemade detergent does a better job with some stains than the store bought one (and vice versa) so it's worth giving a shot. I did a quick research and it is recommended you rub alcohol or nail polish remover on the ballpoint ink stain before you wash it and it should remove it.

    • profile image

      amdale101 3 years ago

      I like this idea very very much. But can it be done in liquid form? and would it work to get Ball point Black ink out of a brown Shirt?

    • Two Crafty Paws profile image
      Author

      Two Crafty Paws 3 years ago

      @missamyliz lm: We didn't use borax because my sister was (probably still is) a bit allergic to it. I got used to not using it I guess. I tried it but didn't see any significant difference when it comes to our laundry.

      I do know some people don't like to use it as it is thought to be a bit harmful (what isn't these days =).

    • missamyliz lm profile image

      missamyliz lm 3 years ago

      Love homemade laundry soap, and I've never heard of using the citric acid. Is there a reason you don't use Borax?

    • clevergirlname profile image

      clevergirlname 3 years ago

      Great idea! Cheap and easy are going to be my needs soon as we just bought a piece of land! Informative use of information for laundry detergent and entertaining with the video suggestion!