{DIY Home & Body} Laundry Powder

Editor’s Note: Jennifer Wilkerson has given us recipes for homemade bread & dinner rolls, farmer’s cheeseLemon Syrup, Lemonade & for your cleaning needs lemon vinegar and now Laundry Powder. She’s a keeper! -Christina

Our family has sensitive skin. After the birth of our daughter twenty years ago we began buying dye-free, perfume-free laundry products. Over the years as we swapped trips to the grocery store for trips to the farmers market it only made sense to try to make our own cleaners. This laundry powder has been one of our resounding success stories. The ingredients are available at the neighborhood hardware store and our local co-op. (Washing soda is the only tricky ingredient. We find it on the shelf regularly at Aubuchon Hardware.) It cleans well, has a nice light scent and best of all it doesn’t bother our skin.


HOME & BODY RECIPE: Laundry Powder
adapted from a recipe on Soule Mama


  • 2 cups finely-grated bar soap
  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup washing soda


Mix everything together in a large bowl and store in an airtight jar. Occasionally shake your jar to redistribute the soap flakes.

Use 1/8 cup per load.

We began making this using a box grater. I quickly longed for a food processor to speed things up. Then one day I spied my mixer on the counter and realized I could purchase a grater/slicer attachment for a reasonable price. It is awesome–and grates a bar of soap into a wonderful fine powder in about 5 minutes!

An old gatorade scoop was the perfect size and was conscripted for laundry duty. A repurposed plastic nut jar keeps the powder dry in the sometimes-damp basement. A handwritten label with the ingredients spelled out helps us avoid searching for the recipe.

I’ve made your task easier and prettier by creating a label for you to print out and add to your jar: LaundryLabel
You want to use a bar soap that is very hard. It will be easier to grate. We love Mrs. Meyer’s bar soap. One bar makes two batches and the scents are really lovely.

Adding a cup of vinegar to the wash load cuts odors nicely. (Best done as a soak before washing.)

After living in a bleach and industrial detergent world we do find that our whites can seem a little dingy. This is easily remedied by hanging them outside on a bright sunny day.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Lorraine says:

    I have been using homemade liquid laundry soap for at least 2 years now. I love the savings!

  2. hbbmoney says:

    Reminds me of how granny would wash.

  3. Sara says:

    Does this work for a front load machine?

    1. It does because it does not foam up. I use unscented Zote for 99 cents.

  4. Gina M says:

    Shoprite usually has washing soda, right next to the borax. Price Chopper, eh, sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

  5. StitchNSew says:

    Earlier this year I started using my homemade laundry liquid and I wouldn’t go back to store brought liquid again.

    Before I made my laundry liquid I was keeping empty store brought laundry liquid bottles. I make a batch of the laundry liquid and store it in these bottles. When I get to my last bottle I know its time to make some more

  6. My sister in law did this, she also added some lavander scent crystals and it was awesome.

  7. Pirate Jeni says:

    I’ve made something similar, but without the baking soda. I usually use fels naptha soap.. and for the record? This is the ONLY stuff that will get the skunk smell out of dog bedding.

  8. Just checking in to see if everything is OK. A few of us have asked if there are future swaps planned on FB and no one answered. I hope all is well with this team and the swaps are still going to happen. I just love them. If I can help in any way, please let me know. I’m in Troy and happy to help.

    KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

  9. palemoonfarm says:

    Reblogged this on palemoonfarm and commented:
    LOVE LOVE LOVE Meyer’s soaps! Laundry detergent is super easy to quadruple for bulk.

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