DIY Laundry Soap & Dishwasher Detergent

Laundry soap. It’s just one of those things you put on your “grocery” list…it’s always a bummer when you get near the end of a jug…and do you bag it or just carry it??? The good thing is, I hardly ever have to do this anymore. I make my own! I started doing this a few years ago for several reasons.

1) I use cloth diapers on the babes and it is easier on their diapers and skin
2) I like to be “green” and it is better on our environment to skip the harsh chemicals
3) It’s softer on my pocket book
4) It makes me feel resourceful
5) It’s a romantic thing to do!

So let’s get making! Gather your supplies. (You will be lugging things home from the store this first time. Sorry! But it will last a while for you!) You can find almost all the supplies in the laundry aisle.


1 cup Powdered Color Safe Bleach
2 cups Borax
2 cups Baking Soda
Bar of laundry soap (I like to use Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. There are so many wonderful smells to choose from! Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Tea Tree are my favs. I also buy more than 1 at a time because I have a hard time choosing and this what you go through the fastest.)

First step is to chop up your bar of soap. You can grate it, chop it, or use a food processor. I like that last method!

Chopped Soap

Add your chopped soap to the rest of the ingredients. Give it a mix and you are set to go! Find a cool jar to store it in with a label and scoop. I use 2-3 Tablespoons per load.  Start a load of laundry and smile to yourself as you toss in the detergent.

laundry final

*If you have a tough stain, you can make a paste with your laundry soap to pre-treat.


And since we already have the ingredients, let’s make our own dishwasher detergent!

1 cup Borax
1 cup baking soda

Mix together!  1 heaping Tablespoon per load.


Ta-da! Aren’t you just the bee’s knees! Throw some vinegar in the rinse aid and you are one fine HANDMADE GIRL!

both containers

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If you have your own dishwasher or laundry soap recipes, I’d love to hear them! Leave us the recipe in the comments!

About Ingrid Barlow

Ingrid Barlow is hard working crafter with 2 little boys.


  1. Do you use HE appliances? I would like to start making my own detergent but I’m not sure if it will damage my machine. I think it should be fine (I’ve read a little about it online) but I wanted to get your opinion before trying it out. No worries, I won’t hold you to anything. I just want to see if this recipe is sudsy or not. Thanks!

  2. Can you use Arm & Hammer Washing Soda or does it need to be baking soda?

  3. How are water spots with the dishwasher detergent? I’d love to try this, but my partner is uber-picky about water spots.

  4. Hi, i am venturing out with my first try at cloth diapering and was wondering if this would work to wash cloth diapers with this laundry detergent recipe?

  5. jessica sands says

    hi. i bought all of the ingredients you have listed, minus the bar of soap. i see that dr. bronner’s contains coconut oil of which i’m allergic. :( can i use this recipe without the bar of soap? or do you have any other suggestions on how to give the detergent a mild scent?

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