How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

Homemade laundry detergent can be made with only three simple ingredients. My detergent recipe does not involve soap grating.

Learn to make the best laundry detergent with only three simple ingredients. This homemade laundry detergent powder is not only cost-effective, it’s also super easy to make, gentle and really works!

Plus, our no-soap-grating shortcut is “loads” of fun! Grab the kiddos because they will love to watch and help with this project.

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Homemade Laundry Detergent Ingredients

Three simple ingredients you can find at your grocery store or order online. Amazon links included.

  1. Washing Soda
  2. Borax
  3. Ivory Soap bar

How to make Ivory Soap flakes

Step 1

We begin by preparing our bar of Ivory soap for our laundry detergent powder. When microwaved, an Ivory bar expands into a puffy soap cloud that easily crumbles into tiny flakes.

Place a single bar of Ivory Soap into a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave up to about 1 minute. Check for doneness by poking a fork into the fluff feeling for any solid piece. Microwave an additional 30 seconds or until no solid piece is felt in the center.

Microwave cooking times may vary so be sure to check for completion often. After you remove the fluff from the microwave, it shrinks quickly.

Wow! Look at how the Ivory soap expands in the microwave! Let the children watch for a quick science lesson!

Step 2

Allow to cool before handling. Rub the pieces between your hands over the bowl to create the fine powder.

There may be lumps which is perfectly acceptable when making Ivory soap powder for your homemade laundry detergent.

How to make homemade laundry detergent

  1. Two parts Washing Soda
  2. Two parts Borax
  3. One part Ivory Soap

The actual quantities will depend on how much you want to make at one time. For example, 2 cups washing soda plus 2 cups Borax and one cup ivory soap powder will equal 5 cups of detergent.

5 cups of detergent will do about 20 loads of laundry when using 1/4 cup per load.

Use about 1/4 cup per load of laundry. You may use more or less depending on how dirty the laundry is.

If you have a large family, you will want to double or triple the laundry soap recipe.

Step 1

Gather your ingredients

Step 2

Make your Ivory soap powder. Follow the instructions above for making Ivory soap powder using bar soap.

Step 3

Mix all three ingredients in a large container with a lid. Stir, stir, and stir to get the ingredients combined well.

Place a 1/4 cup scoop inside of your dry laundry detergent container and close the lid. It’s ready to use.


Drop-in a few silica packets to prevent moisture.

Laundry detergent powder in a pink plastic measuring cup sitting on a blue piece of paper with detergent spilled around the cup.
Learn to make homemade laundry detergent with only three ingredients and a simple method using common household supplies.

Jot down the ingredients to make your own laundry detergent. You can make this simple recipe and start washing your laundry with it this week.

This laundry soap recipe is a great way to save on the grocery budget.

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    1. I have never tried just grating the soap. Let me know how that goes for you. Part of the microwave process allows you to shred the soap powder between your hands but it seems like grating would work. Let me know!

  1. Oh, wow! I might actually try to make my own laundry detergent now.. I always dreaded trying to grate a bar of soap. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Something I will have to try. I love Ivory soap. Thanks for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I’ve pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board

  3. I’ve never made homemade laundry detergent. But if I ever do, I will definitely use your method. Grating anything isn’t very fun and especially grating an entire bar of ivory soap. And I’ll pin it for those that do make laundry detergent and are looking for an easier way. Thanks for sharing!

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