27 Easy Three Ingredient Homemade Laundry Detergent

By now I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of Homemade Laundry Detergents. Maybe you’re hesitant to take the plunge because it seems like too much work grating or boiling. Which you may find yourself asking: why is this recipe any different?!

So glad you asked my friend! I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to grate bar soap. You got that right, step away from the grater and save your knuckles for cheesy hash browns, mmk? Oh and there’s no risk of burning yourself by boiling a bunch of weird ingredients here folks.

If that weren’t enough to convince you, I’m here to tell you that you only need three easy to find ingredients. That and this recipe is EASY. In fact, I bet it will take you longer to read through my rambling than to mix your own batch of laundry soap.
Super Simple Homemade Laundry Detergent using only three ingredients. No grating required! | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com
Over a year ago the beau and I started experimenting with making our own laundry detergent. We scoured the net for economic and ecological benefits to make such a drastic change in our lives. I’ll spare you the details but you can read how we were persuaded here, here, or here. We tried a few with mixed results.

We nixed the boiling kinds because well, we don’t own a stove and the whole process seemed like a chemistry experiment that could go wrong at any moment.

Of the grated kind we experimented with, our biggest concerns were:
  1. The time it takes to grate. We’re lazy.
  2. Raw knuckles.
  3. When we washed our clothes (usually on cold), we noticed tiny specks of soap randomly all over our clothes. Our guess was that the bar soap didn’t breakdown properly leaving unsightly shards of soap. Yuck-o and kinda embarrassing.
So we took matters into our own hands and came up with the following ‘recipe’ which we have used for the past year:
Just say no to grating! | Super Simple Homemade Laundry Detergent using only three ingredients. | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com
Homemade Laundry Detergent
Ingredients:
Supplies:
  • Empty container
  • Measuring cup

Directions:
  1. Measure equal parts of all three ingredients and pour into an empty container (we reused an old OxiClean container). We use 1 cup of each cleaning agent to fill our jar.
  2. Close container and shake vigorously for about a minute. Transfer the mixture into your desired container. I have an obsession with glass so we use an Apocrathy Jar.

A couple things to note:
  • We have found and purchased all the ingredients at our local big box stores. We purchase OxiClean in bulk from Costco when it’s on sale.
  • This recipe is low to no odor. So if you enjoy the fresh laundry smell, feel free to add fragrance or use a fabric softener. Although we have cut back our quantity, we haven’t been able to give up the luxury and delicious smell of our beloved fabric softener.

Measure equal ingredients | Simple 3 Ingredient Homemade Laundry Detergent | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com


Pour and shake it… like a salt shaker | Simple 3 Ingredient Homemade Laundry Detergent | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com
Shake it like a salt shaker!

From our experience and research, we found that this concentrate doesn’t require a lot of detergent (as opposed to the kind you get in the grocery store). We use 1.5 tablespoons per load. SERIOUSLY that’s IT! Jaw dropping I know. So for the two of us, those three boxes/ingredients last us close to a year.

Even though we reduced our detergent, our clothes don’t smell and are very clean. In fact, I’ve noticed that our clothes last longer and wear more evenly.

We’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to try our detergent in both a regular set of washer/dryers and an energy efficient set of washer/dryers (approx. 6 months each) with clean and fresh clothes every time.

Generally, energy efficient machines require special detergent.  So when we decided to upgrade to our top loading energy efficient model, we asked a lot of questions and took the proper precautions.

From what we understood from our sales guy, first and foremost, we could void our warranty. This is no joke friends, if you use our recipe in your HE models, you do so on your own accord. What made us cautiously take the plunge was when we asked what the difference was between regular detergent and HE detergent. From his understanding (we also checked a few additional sources), HE detergent has a lower volume of ‘suds.’ We joked “so what you’re saying is that it’s similar to using the wrong soap in your dishwasher... we could end up with a soap filled laundry room.” He said “Precisely.” When reviewing our recipe, we determined we would give it the ‘ol college try since it was such a low volume of ‘Super Washing Soda.’

So my tiny disclaimer my friends: if you use our recipe in your HE machine, I am not responsible for damages. We took it upon our own free will-- risking a voided warranty, a room full of suds, or even damage to our machine.  I do not claim to be a professional or even claim to have passed Chemistry (wink). So please, take precaution.

Last but not least, tough stains.
Just say no to grating! | Super Simple Homemade Laundry Detergent using only three ingredients. | www.blackandwhiteobsession.com

As with any laundry situation, you may come across some ‘extra dirty’ clothes, in our house it’s usually the boyfriend’s stiff painter pants. Most of the time those clothes require a bit more work. We’ve found that a couple extra tablespoons of detergent combined with a couple swipes of Fels-Naptha soap usually does the trick. Occasionally, we leave our clothes in the washer too long-- in which case, we run a quick load a cup of vinegar.

So aside from the rambling, are you convinced to take the plunge? The laundry tips were just an added bonus... no?


P.S. We were not paid or perked from any of these vendors; we just picked up the ingredients that worked for us.

Again, my little disclaimer: I cannot be held liable for hurting yourself or your washer/dryer when attempting to recreate this tutorial. Please use your beautiful noggin and attempt at your own risk. Additional disclaimers can be found here.

Remember...

27 comments:

  1. Okay, see this I can do! All the other homemade laundry detergent recipes just seem SO INVOLVED that I know I'll never set aside the time to attempt them. Of course, I also haven't bought regular detergent in about a year and a half because WE DO LAUNDRY THAT INFREQUENTLY. #embarrassing. (But just think of the energy savings!) Alright, so it's been established that I need to do more laundry. So when I finally run out of the enormous bottle of cheapy cheap laundry detergent I bought back in 2012, I'm going to give this a shot! :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. So you must have a ton of clothes then, eh? A couple years back, instead of doing laundry I let it build the pile grow astronomically, then just bought more clothes. Problem Solved!

      We've since changed our ways (kind of) but still buy detergent once a year.

      Delete
    2. I'm definitely guilty of the "I'll just buy more clothes" bit. Whoopsies.

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  2. I had no idea you could even make your own detergent - sheltered much! Thanks for sharing Trisha, it's one of those that I might get round to one day... I seem to have a long list like that at the moment :)

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    1. Oh girl, so glad I could burst your soap bubble (alright it sounded better in my head).

      I didn't really get into it in the post, but DIY'ing your detergent can really save you a TON of money. I mentioned we only use those three ingredients (which can't be more than 20 USD) and it lasts our family of 2.5, our pooch uses blankets too, a whole year!!

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  3. I have been wanting to do this for so long! I agree with Brynne - almost all other detergent recipes seem too involved and intimidating. But this I can definitely do!

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    1. Eep, so glad to inspire! You best tell me what you think of the formula!!

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  4. Ohh I think this recipe will be used. I did the whole grating recipe and my husband can't handle the smell and it left a film in our washer. I add oxyclean anyway and wash the machine itself with baking soda and vinegar (although washing soda and baking soda are different). Giving it a try!

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    1. Grating was such a pain, and totally not worth the hassle. Oh and look at that, you already have the most expensive ingredient!! The rest should be easy peasy!

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  5. Definitely going to try this. I make a similar one that uses washing soda, borax, liquid dish soap, and hot water and it's the best stuff EVER! However, it doesn't always want to dissolve the detergent like it's supposed to and I have fibromyalgia, so it's hard for me to lift the heavy gallon jugs. This is basically the same thing without having to dissolve it in water plus there is the added benefit of OxyClean! Awesome!! Thanks for sharing! [FWIW, after my sister's fire, this is the only thing ~ including the expensive brand name detergents ~ that got the clothes they were able to salvage clean.]

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    1. OxyClean works some serious magic. So sorry to hear about the fire. Glad they were able to save some of their belongings! Let me know if you try the recipe and if it works for you!

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  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this recipe. Turned out better then I imagined it would. So simple and no bloody knuckles was a huge plus. The so called liquid detergent I made did not work out once it cooled.

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    1. So glad to hear my recipe worked for you Lola!! It was a relief to come up with laundry soap that didn't require grating, or any messy long processes!

      Hope the new recipe is working out for you and your boys!

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  7. I use a similar combo to make my detergent. I went to 3 grocery stores today and could find no washing soda. I know I can buy it online, but I need it now! Tried Wal M*rt, K-M*rt, and Winn D*xie,,any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kaye,

      Sorry to hear that you're struggling to find the washing soda. We found our washing soda at Wal-Mart. It was on the very bottom shelf. One time we had to reach waaay in the back because they don't order it quite as frequently as the other detergents. Maybe you could call a few big box stores and if they have it? If they're really nice, maybe they could set one aside for you?

      I hope you find some soon!
      Much love,
      Trisha D.

      Delete
  8. I've been grating Fels soap for two years. I refuse to purchase actual laundry soap, it's way too expensive. I'll give this a go!

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    1. Awesome, I hope this recipe works out for you!! Feel free to share with family and friends!

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  9. I own a motel and would spend over $600 in 6 months on laundry detergents. After making my own, $10 was a whole lot cheaper and my sheets came out cleaner and brighter. Thanks for the tip.

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    1. Wow so glad to hear the success at a hotel! Way to cut your savings by so much!

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  10. I found your blog on Pinterest and I'm in love!!! I can't wait to try this laundry soap recipe!! I've never tried the other ones because there were so many ingredients and I'm not a fan of grating so this is PERFECT!! Thanks so much!!

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    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I love to hear!! I'm so glad you found something that works for your lifestyle!!

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  11. Trisha, is it 1 1/2 T for energy efficient washers or regular washers?

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    1. Hi there! The measurements I used were the same across Energy Efficient Washers and Regular Washers. However, please express caution if using on your HE model. While we haven't had any issues, it could void your warranty. (just a precaution from my end).

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  12. Thanks for clarifying!

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  13. On your laundry detergent can you pour all the ingredient in at once and shake, or you have to take each cup by cup and shake? Thank

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    1. Great question!! As long as the quantities are the equal parts of all three detergents you can measure them and combine them as you wish. In other words, you could totally make a large batch at once... keeping in mind all three ingredients should be equal. Hope that helps!

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  14. "Occasionally, we leave our clothes in the washer too long-- in which case, we run a quick load a cup of vinegar" You stated this in your blog but could you please explain this to me? What is the problem with leaving in the washer too long? How long is too long? And you just re-run the same load with just the water and vinegar?

    ReplyDelete

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