Our powdered laundry soap is already popular and now these 2 homemade liquid laundry detergent recipes let you choose DIY powder or liquid.
I make powdered laundry soap and it costs me very little. But I really like the convenience of liquid laundry soap. I never need to worry about whether it will dissolve all the way. And as a bonus, I can spot treat with liquid soap!
Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe 1
This recipe is very simple. It has only two ingredients with an optional third.
- 1 cup liquid soap (make your own with this recipe)
- 64 ounces warm water
- optional: 20-30 drops essential oil
Mix the liquid soap and water together and pour into an old laundry detergent bottle. Add the essential oil if desired and cap well. Shake to blend. To use, go by the markings on the cap for the detergent. This is usually about 1/4 cup per load. Shake before each use. It may seem very thin, but you don’t need a thick liquid soap to get your laundry clean.
Liquid soap made with the recipe above will cost around $.12 per load, less if you buy your soap making materials in bulk.
Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe 2
This recipe will take a bit more work, but will still be very inexpensive to use.
- 1 bar of soap, about 6 ounces
- 1-quart water
To make this homemade liquid laundry detergent, shred the soap using a box grater and mix it with the water. You can let it sit for a few days, stirring once in a while, or you can simmer it on the stove for an hour or so. Don’t use glycerin soap, it won’t fully dissolve and it gets really “stringy” or slimy. Once the soap is melted, you can add it to the ingredients in step 2 below.
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1 cup borax
- 2 quarts warm water
- 20 drops or so of essential oil
Mix everything together really well and pour this homemade liquid laundry detergent into a gallon jug. Old milk jugs work great for this. It may take a while to fully dissolve everything, but once it does, you won’t need to mix it again. The oil should incorporate into the soap as it will be thicker than water. If it does separate, just mix it well before you use it. Top off with more warm water until the gallon jug is full. Shake once or twice. If there is any settling, you can just shake it again.
To use, 1 cup per regular load is usually good and you can use 1/2 cup for HE washers. I’ve found that half of this will usually clean a regular load of laundry but you may find that you need the full cup.
Essential Oils in DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent
I use Orange and Ylang Ylang essential oils, but Lavender is nice as well. Sometimes I vary it a bit and use Cedarwood. Just about any essential oil will work. You may need to experiment to find the amount of oil that you need. I find Cedarwood a bit heavier, so I only use 15 drops of that.
Is Borax In Homemade Laundry Detergent Toxic?
After thorough research, I have concluded borax is only as toxic as baking soda or table salt; if you ingest it in high quantities, it may make you sick. If you use it as described in our recipes, it poses no toxic threat.
Just make sure you don’t confuse borax with boric acid, the two are NOT the same. Use borax (I recommend 20 Mule Team brand), and steer clear of boric acid.
For those of you who want more info, read this excellent Crunchy Betty article where she expounds the toxicity levels of borax; I couldn’t have said it better myself – thanks, Crunchy Betty.
At the end of the day, decide for yourself to use it or not, and afford others the same courtesy.
Making homemade liquid laundry detergent is quick and easy! Why buy commercial brands?