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Homemade Laundry Detergent Concentrate

devon 1 Comment

This post contains affiliate links meaning that I may make a small commission based off of your purchase at no additional cost to you.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Concentrate

Devon 1 Comment

Simple and effective, this homemade laundry detergent concentrate will save you SOOO much money! AND get your laundry like new clean in the process!

Big family + farm=loads, I mean tons, of laundry. The sheer economics of keeping my family in clean clothes are staggering.  It ranks up there with toilet paper costs.  And we are not just a standard everyday family when it comes to dirt and grime.  We got your standard everyday dirty clothes, but then the farm raises me some diesel, some hydraulic tractor oil, good ole fashioned grease and my personal favorite – livestock poo.  Laundry is a battle of volume, effectiveness and expense.  But we are winning. Laundry concentrate
This simple and effective concentrate gives me the edge that I need to prevent us (most of the time) from looking like dirty backwoods hillbillies.  Or so I think.  But that is a matter of opinion.

A combination of borax, washing soda and Fels Naptha laundry bar soap beats the toughest of grime.  A scant couple tablespoons will suffice for most loads of laundry, leaving it fresh smelling, bright and best of all clean — cleaner than most popular laundry soap brands at a FRACTION of the price.  I will add that just about any bar soap is effective against your standard everyday family filth, but FN does the trick for our farm tough grime.  That said, during “low-filth” times of the year I am inclined to use a gentler soap like Dr. Bonner’s or Ivory.  I also recommend that you use a more natural soap when the delicate skin of a baby’s or other sensitivities are involved (I used Dr. Bonner’s during my littlest one’s infant-hood and cloth diaper stage).

Want to know the cost breakdown?  This is astounding.  This recipe makes one gallon of concentrate.  Our favorite all purpose store (NOT Walmart), had the Borax for $3.79 ($.30/cup), washing soda for $3.99 ($.71/cup) and the Fels Naptha for $.99/bar.  In the amounts required for this recipe, my concentrate cost me $2.00 for one gallon.  If I keep to using 2 tablesppons per load, that’s 128 loads.  Now $2.00 divided by 128 loads equals approximately

$.015625/per load.  That is LESS THAN TWO CENTS PER LOAD.  Pretty thrifty in my book.  Furthermore, the washing soda and borax have many other home uses, some of which we will explore in the future. So here’s to helping you win your laundry war!

Homemade Soap Tutorials

DIY Laundry Detergent Concentrate

Homemade Laundry Detergent Concentrate Recipe

Homemade Laundry Detergent Concentrate

here are lots of versions of homemade laundry detergent/concentrate out there. This produces a highly concentrated liquid that only requires 2 tablespoons for a modestly filthy load to become "like-new" clean!
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time12 mins
Servings: 1 gallon


  • 1 bar Felt Naptha laundry soap or preferred bar
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  • 1 gallon water


  • Using a cheese grater, grate your bar soap onto a paper towel or a sheet of wax/parchment paper for ease of transfer. 
  • Over medium high heat in a large stock pot add the grated soap to a gallon of water. Stir and heat until dissolved. 
  • Add Borax and washing soda and lower heat to medium. Taking care not to boil, continue to heat and stir until the mixture is thoroughly dissolved (if you reach a boil you will have a sudsy, frothy mess on your hands). 
  • Remove from heat. Allow the concentrate to cool. 
  • When the mixture has cooled it will have separated. To create the proper emulsion blend with an immersion blender until creamy and smooth (you can use a blender if added in batches). 
  • Transfer to a gallon sized container with a large enough opening to be able to scoop out. Designate yourself a tablespoon and your are in business!


Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, was published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of can be seen at,,, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen, will be published Fall 2019.

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1 Comment

  • Maria T Vaquer February 27, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    June 29, 2014Devon
    Will harm my stainlees steel pot or my t-fal pot in some way, like making reaction with them. Thank you.

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    About Me

    About Me

    Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

    I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More



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