So You Wanna Make Your Own Laundry Detergent?

It’s no secret to anyone that knows me, I love a good deal! Spend the night at a new Chick fil a for a year of free chicken? Done! Stand in line at a new Zaxby’s for a year of freebies? Done! Scan the barcode for a $10 off coupon? Done! So seven years ago, my husband and I had been married for four years. We were working our tails off to be rid of debt. One day my sister-in-law came to work talking about making her own laundry detergent and how awesome it was and how little it cost her. Immediately I was intrigued, but I felt intimidated to try on my own. A few months passed, I would randomly ask her about the process, but I still never attempted it. But y’all this was detergent that cost around $30 and lasted MONTHS if not the year!

One day she suggested we get together to make some together. I jumped at the chance, she sent me the ingredient list and I got to shopping. We met up and got to work! Now, mind you, by this point in life I had pinned no less than 15 different recipes for varying laundry detergent and I was ready. Now when we made my first batch of laundry detergent we were making a liquid soap. I was embarrassed I had waited so long to try it! It was so easy! But here’s the thing, it made A LOT! And while it saved me money, it did NOT save me space. I also had issues with consistency; one batch would be super liquid-y, the next would be almost gelatinous. And storage continued to be an issue in our tiny house. 

Fast forward, and I began to play around with all those detergent recipes I’d pinned so long ago. And I found, I actually preferred powdered detergent. I discovered I liked Zotes to Felsnaptha – even though they really aren’t that different. It’s like preferring brown M&Ms to the blue ones, if I’m being honest. I progressed from grating Zotes to tossing chunks of it into the food processor. I learned I could microwave the bars of Zotes and 1) it made my house smell amazing, 2) the kids got a kick out of watching it puff up like a cloud, and 3) once it was thoroughly cooled, it crumbled at the touch making detergent production so much easier. Then, I discovered Zotes flakes! For a few extra dollars, I could get Zotes already crumbled!!

So here’s the breakdown. I spend around $30 every 9-12 months making laundry detergent! That’s it y’all. We save money on detergent and I get to be a little domestic. It only takes 2-3 tablespoons of detergent per load. Wanna know another little secret? I get all my ingredients through grocery pick up, so that saves even more time! Are you interested yet? Here’s the recipe I use. I just dump it all together and mix it up. It does still take up a bit of space, but I have a trusty plastic bucket of what used to be animal crackers from Sam’s that we keep on the top shelf of the laundry room and a smaller container we keep more accessible and refill throughout the year. 

What you need:

OxiClean (3lbs)

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (55 oz box)

Borax (65 oz box)

Zote Laundry Flakes ( 17.6 oz box or 2 bars if you want to grate it yourself)

Downy Unstoppables (20.1 oz)*

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (4lb box)

*This ingredient is merely for that “laundry smell” and can be left out altogether, if desired. Some people use Purex crystals, they just don’t have a scent I love. 

Use 2-3 tablespoons per load & enjoy!


I happen to have a GIANT bowl I can mix all of this in. But in the beginning, I just did it in batches and poured it into my animal cracker bucket! Who is up to try their hand at detergent? We’ve been making this detergent for around 6 years now and our family loves it. Hope y’all enjoy it too!

Trix Raney
Trix started her life in Georgia after living in Myrtle Beach, Tahoe City, and Nashville, her (now) husband wrangled her into a life of Bayou living here in Baton Rouge. She’s the mother of six; a vivacious 9 year old, a curly haired 6 year old, their hurricane of a youngest 4 year old, and 3 sweet babes taken far too soon. She’s well versed in potty humor & innuendos while perfecting the art of sarcasm on the daily. When she’s not busy living the home school life, complete with yoga pants & coffee she is running her business Rane or Shine Designs.


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