DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent. Who Knew?

DIY liquid laundry detergent

Want to simplify your laundry? I didn’t know I did. If someone would have told me 6 months ago I’d be making DIY liquid laundry detergent, I would have laughed. I mean really … who does that? I really didn’t know we were throwing money away on laundry soap. I never thought that there had to be simpler way; an alternative to the laundry detergent we use.

I just begrudgingly spent the $18 on a jug of detergent that we used for about a month (give or take). When we started making ourselves more aware of what we were spending and how often I have to run to the store for something, I decided to try making my own laundry soap.

And then, one day while I was surfing around the Internet,  there it was … a DIY liquid laundry detergent. I couldn’t resist a try.

I know … it sounds a little crazy.

We are a family of 5 so, let’s be realistic, we do laundry almost every day. Sometimes we all require more laundry soap per load than the suggested amount … I want to be able to do that without the guilt of using more.

I have to admit that I instantly became too lazy to want to do the steps that it takes to make many of the DIY liquid laundry detergent people talk about online. I just didn’t want to shave any soap and boil it down, etc. I wanted it to be easier than that so I didn’t have to spend even more time on laundry. I also really prefer liquid laundry soap to powder.

So, as all of my new adventures seem to start, I took to the Internet and found many people talking about DIY liquid laundry detergent – just what I needed! I took the best of these “recipes” and combined them to suit my needs.

How to make DIY liquid laundry detergent

Here’s the recipe … there’s no trick to it – all you need is a box of Borax, a box of washing soda (in the laundry soap aisle) and a bottle of blue Dawn (or your favorite liquid dish soap).

  1. Boil 2 cups of water in the microwave.
  2. Stir in 3 tablespoons of Borax and 3 tablespoons of washing soda until dissolved.
  3. Slowly stir in 3 tablespoons of blue Dawn or other desired soap. (Blue Dawn is my favorite so far. I love the way it smells.)
  4. Pour into a clean gallon jug.
  5. Add another 2 cups of really hot water from the tap.
  6. Fill the rest of the gallon jug with warm water from tap.
  7. Shake.

* You also can add more Borax if you desire something a little stronger. And, you can add essential oils, but I like the freshness this recipe leaves.

We use an old laundry soap cap to figure out how much we want to use. Sometimes we add more, depending on our needs. This DIY liquid laundry detergent is not concentrated either so you may want a little more. We also like to add vinegar to the wash when it’s towels or sheets. It gives the load an even fresher smell.

The results

I bought a box of Borax (under $4), a box of washing soda (under $4) and a large container of Dawn at the beginning of January. It is now mid-May and I have probably ¾ of the boxes left and ¼ of the dish soap left (and I use that for many other things, too!).

The money savings has been great for us. It’s also such an easy process, it only takes me about 5 minutes to make it once the water boils.

The truth is, I also feel great about sending fewer plastic bottles to the landfill. Not to mention, fewer chemicals, dyes and fragrances getting into our bodies. These are both big wins for me.

I’ll have to get some more Dawn soon – like I said … I use it for everything – but I’ll let you know when we finally have to buy more ingredients!

Have you tried making DIY liquid laundry detergent? Any good ideas to improve on this recipe? Let me know!

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Wendi Hager About Wendi Hager

Wendi Hager is the Editor of and has more than 12 years experience managing and writing content for magazines, newspapers, web and marketing.


  1. Harriet Wininger says:

    Can the FIT liquid laundry detergent be used in front loader washers?

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