DIY Laundry Detergent

One of the goals that we made in regards to homesteading was trying to be as self-suffiient as possible.  In doing that I have started making more of our household cleaning supplies and other “consumables” from scratch or more cost effective components.

One of the first things I thought I would tackle was laundry detergent.  I have made my own detergent in the past using this recipe but I wanted to try something different as my “year” was almost up.  I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest and thought I would do a combination of the two.

I decided on simplifying the first recipe by removing the oxy-clean and the fabric softener crystals, replacing Fels-Naptha with Zote Soap, and adding one bar of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps.

All the Ingredients

All the Ingredients

  • 1 bar of Zote Soap
  • 1 bar of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap – Lavendar
  • 1 box Borax
  • 1 box Washing Soda
  • 2 cups of baking soda

The first thing I needed to do was grate the Zote and Castile Soaps.  This is the most time consuming part of the whole process.

Grating the soap Zote Soap Grated Castile Soap (I promise it's not parmesan cheese)

After the grating was done, I started mixing all the ingredients together.  I did this in stages to mix the ingredients better.  I also used a large stock pot to mix everything in. This stage is the easiest and most rewarding.  As the stock pot was filling up, I knew that we were once again simplifying our life and becoming more self-sufficient.

IMG_0653 IMG_0654

By the end, the stock pot was full and I had about a year’s worth of laundry soap to show for it.  To store the detergent, I used a canister that we had sitting around.  It holds 5.0 L.


Both recipes that I used as jumping point stated that 2 tablespoons was all that is needed per load.  I think that next time I will use a different scent of castile soap as the Zote soap does have citronella oil in it.