Cleaning & Organizing Homemaking Recipes

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

December 28, 2023
Liquid Laundry detergent ingredients

I have been making my own DIY liquid laundry detergent for almost a year now. At one point I used “eco-friendly” laundry sheets, which did not turn out to be as earth friendly as advertised. I also tried soap nuts for a time, but when I discovered how to make my own liquid laundry detergent, I was sold. The detergent is cheaper than soap nuts costing less than $0.01 per load and lasts such a long time. For a family of seven, I only had to make it twice this year.

The laundry detergent only consists of 4 ingredients: Zote laundry bar, borax, washing soda and water.

First, start by grating 6 oz of the Zote laundry detergent using a kitchen scale to weigh it properly. Next, add the detergent flakes and 4 cups of water to a saucepan heated over medium-low heat until the soap melts, taking care to not let the mixture boil.

While the soap is melting in the saucepan, fill a 5-gallon bucket with hot water. Next, add the washing soda and borax to the water and stir until the powders are completely dissolved. I used the handle of my extended bathroom scrubber to stir the mixture. Now add the soap and water mixture to the bucket and give it a good stir.

Lastly, put a lid on the bucket of laundry detergent and leave it overnight so the soap can gel.

In the morning, the detergent will have a gelatinous texture on the surface. I give it a final stir again, and the detergent is now ready to use!

If you decide to use this liquid laundry detergent recipe let me know how it works out for you. I love it so much because it’s so simple, cost effective, and more eco-friendly than most so-called expensive earth friendly ones.

DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

A homemade laundry detergent that costs less than $.01 per load.
Total Time1 day 30 minutes
Cost: $2.21 per batch


  • 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Cheese Grater
  • Saucepan
  • Kitchen Scale
  • Measuring Cup


  • 6 oz Zote Laundry Soap grated
  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 4 cups Water


  • Add water and Zote Laundry Soap into saucepan over low heat to melt soap flakes.
  • Fill 5 gallon bucket a little over half way full with hot water. Add Borax and Washing soda and mix until completely dissolved.
  • Pour melted soap and water mixture into 5 gallon bucket. Add more hot water to fill bucket completely, leaving at least an inch or 2 of head space. Mix thoroughly.
  • Place a lid on bucket and leave alone for 24 hours to allow the soap to form a gel.
  • Remove lid and mix once again. Now your liquid laundry detergent is ready for use. Use 1/2 cup per load.


I’ve heard of people using Ivory soap, Fels-Naptha, and Castile soap bars with good results. I’ve only used Zote for our family’s liquid laundry detergent, so I can’t speak on the effectiveness of those other detergents. You are welcome to substitute with any one of these detergents if you desire.