If you have heaps of laundry to do but don’t want to break the bank, check out these homemade laundry recipes. We’ve pulled together 16 of the best homemade laundry recipes that will get your clothes clean while also saving you money. You don’t want to miss out on these smart tips!

collage of laundry soaps for laundry recipes
Have you seen the price of laundry detergent lately? And don’t even think about the prices on the dryer sheets, scent boosters, stain removers, bleach, and other laundry products.

But we’re on a mission to save you money! From pre-treaters to the washer, to the dryer, you’ll find the best DIY laundry recipes right here!

Homemade Laundry Recipes That Save You Money and Make Your Clothes Look Great

1. DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

Homemade Laundry Detergent does not need to be daunting!! You can make your own!!

This laundry recipe is safe for your clothes, your home, and the environment. And you only need a few ingredients to put it together.

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
  • 1 bar of Ivory soap
  • water

You’ll mix these together in a 5-gallon bucket.

For front-loading HE washing machines, you’ll use a 1/4 cup of detergent per load.

For top-loading washing machines, you’ll use a 1/2 cup of detergent per load.

This homemade laundry recipe will get your clothes just as clean as the commercial detergents you buy at the store. And your supplies will last you a very long time, making this recipe a cost-effective solution for your laundry chores.

2. DIY Powder Laundry Detergent Recipe

If you like a powder detergent that packs a lot of power and scent, try this detergent recipe using OxiClean and scented crystals.

You’ll need:

  • 1 Box of Borax
  • 1 Box of Arm & Hammer Super washing soda
  • 1 3-lb Container of OxiClean
  • 2 Bars of Zote soap
  • 1 Box of Arm & Hammer baking soda
  • 1-2 55oz bottles of Purex Crystals fabric softener

First, grate the bar of soap, just like you would a block of cheese. Then mix all the ingredients together in a 5-gallon plastic container.

Use 2-4 Tbsp of the detergent per a load of laundry.

Because this homemade detergent doesn’t produce many suds, it’s safe for use in a HE washing machine.

Now you have a powder detergent that smells amazing and doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg!

3. Borax-Free Laundry Recipe

Concerned about using borax? You’re not alone. Many women hesitate to make a homemade laundry detergent recipe that uses Borax. So we found a recipe that makes a borax-free detergent that’s just as effective as the others.

Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • 3 cups washing soda
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1.5 cups Dr. Bronner’s Baby-Mild Castile Liquid Soap
  • 1.5 gallons hot water (the hottest water your tap will produce is fine)
  • Optional: lemon essential oil

Mix your ingredients together and let it sit overnight. The liquid will form into a gel. Use 1/4 cup of the gel per load.

A borax-free way to wash your clothes.

4. No-Grate Liquid Laundry Recipe

Do you like the idea of making your own laundry detergent, but hate the idea of needing to grate the bar of soap that’s one of the ingredients? Here’s a no-grate liquid laundry detergent recipe for those who don’t have the time or inclination to grate the soap and cook it on the stove.

For this laundry recipe you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of Washing Soda
  • 1/2 cup of Borax
  • 1/2 cup of Dawn dish soap
  • 4 cups hot water

Add the first three ingredients together in a 1-gallon container. Then pour 4 cups of hot water over them. Fill the rest of the container with cold water and shake it around to mix everything together.

Use 1/4 cup of this detergent for each load of laundry.

An easy, no-fuss DIY laundry recipe!

5. Soap Nuts Laundry Recipe

For a homemade liquid detergent that’s also free of borax and soaps that leave residue, try using soap nuts.

Here’s what you’ll need to make soap nut detergent:

  • 1 cup Eco Nuts berries (approx. 2 oz)
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Vinegar

Measure all your ingredients and bring to a boil on the stovetop. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the lid and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and strain into a clean, glass container.

Use 1tbsp per load in an HE washing machine and 2 tbsp per load in a top-loading machine.

If you like, you could scent it with essential oils.

6. DIY Cloth Diaper Detergent Recipe

The Eco Friendly Family also has a cloth diaper detergent that you have to check out if you’re a cloth diaper fan.

You’ll need:

  • 3-55 oz boxes of Boxes Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
  • 2-76 oz boxes 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1-96 oz tub OxiClean Free

Mix the ingredients together in a 5-gallon plastic container.

Use 1-2 tbsp per load for cold-water loads.

Use 3-4 tbsp per load for hot-water loads.

This will last you and baby for a long time to come.

7. DIY Laundry Detergent Pods Recipe

Love the convenience of detergent pods? There’s a recipe for that, too!

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups washing soda
  • 1/2 cup laundry soap bar, grated
  • 2 Tbsp Epsom salt
  • 3 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup and 2 Tbsp white vinegar, separated
  • 15-20 drops of essential oil

Mix the ingredients together and drop by rounded spoonful onto parchment paper that is spread out over a cookie sheet. Use a spray bottle to mist the pods with a mixture of 2 tbsp vinegar and 2 tbsp water.

Let the pods dry overnight in a warm, dry environment. Then store in an airtight container.

Use one pod per a load of laundry.

8. Homemade Laundry Recipe for Fragrance

Make your own fragrance enhancer with Epsom salts and your favorite essential oils.

You only need two ingredients for this easy recipe.

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • Essential oils of your choice

Mix several drops of essential oils with the Epsom salt. Store in an airtight container.

Use 1/4 cup of mix for each load of laundry. This is safe for both HE and top-loading washing machines.

9. Homemade Laundry Recipe for Fabric Softener

Who knew homemade fabric softener was so simple? All you need is water, conditioner and vinegar.

Simply mix together:

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups hair conditioner
  • 3 cups white vinegar

Add essential oils if you’d like an extra scent boost.

Follow your washing machine’s directions for how much softener to add to each load.

collage of laundry soaps

10. Alternative DIY Fabric Softener

Another all natural fabric softener uses only baking soda, vinegar and water if you prefer your laundry to be scent-free.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 4 cups water, divided

Measure the baking soda into a large plastic container. Add 2 cups of water. Mix. Add the vinegar, slowly. Add the last 2 cups of water.

Use 1 cup of this fabric softener in a top loading washing machine. Use 1/2 cup in an HE washing machine.

11. DIY Dryer Balls

For an alternative to dryer sheets, try homemade wool dryer balls. They’re said to shorten drying time and soften your laundry, plus, they’re super easy to make.

You just need:

  • wool yarn
  • a crochet hook
  • scissors
  • old pantyhose

If you’d rather not make your own dryer balls, you can purchase them online at Amazon.

12. Laundry Recipe for Dryer Sheets

Reusable dryer sheets are such a bargain. Vinegar adds softness while essential oils provide a pleasant scent.

For this laundry recipe you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • 8 drops tea tree or other essential oil

You’ll also need cotton washcloths or other cotton material about the same size as a washcloth. White is preferable simply because it won’t bleed and stain your laundry.

Mix the vinegar and essential oil together. Then pour the mixture over your white cloths until they are damp, but not soaking wet. Store the cloths in an airtight container.

Use one cloth per dryer load.

13. Laundry Recipe for Stain Remover

For tough stains, you need to have a homemade laundry stain remover on hand.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 cup dish liquid

Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle.

To use, spray directly on the stain and work it into the fabric. Wash as usual.

14. Alternate Laundry Recipe for Stain Remover

You can make your own homemade “OxiClean” boost the power of your homemade detergents.

You’ll need:

1 cup water
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/2 cup washing soda

Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle.

To use, spray directly on the stain and let it sit overnight. Then launder as usual.

15. Homemade Bleach Laundry Recipe

Even “bleach” can be made at home using hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, essential oils, and water.

You’ll need to mix together.

1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (3% solution)
2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon citric acid
3 1/4 cups water
5 drops lemon essential oil

Use one cup per a load of laundry. BUT test first to make sure it’s safe for your fabrics.

16. Bleach Gel Pens Laundry Recipe

And if you want to make your own bleach gel pens, you totally can. This laundry recipe uses regular household bleach, but you may be able to substitute a few tablespoons of the homemade bleach above to get the same results.

For this laundry recipe you’ll need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2-4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup liquid bleach

Mix the water and cornstarch together in a saucepan until the cornstarch dissolves. Heat over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and pour into a glass container to cool. Once the mixture has cooled, add the bleach and stir well. Pour your bleach mix into a squeeze bottle. You have a DIY bleach gel pen.

Homemade Laundry Recipes That Save You Money

Which of these homemade laundry recipes do you want to try first?

While all of them require a small investment of your time, you will be saving so much money. And your laundry will be just as clean and fresh smelling!


Did you like these money-saving laundry recipes? Check out more laundry tips from One Crazy House!


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