Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent: As good as Tide!!

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent: As good as Tide!!
For weeks, I have debated about whether or not to write this blog post.
There are already soooo many recipes and post out there showing you,
how to make your own laundry detergent.
I just couldn’t decide if you really needed to see another version. 
I finally decided that I HAD to share my recipe with you.
Why, you ask?
For starters, because I love it as much as I loved my Tide.
Secondly, because you will save soooo much money if you make your
own, instead of buying Tide, or a different store brand.
Third, because this recipe only has three ingredients.
Last, but not least, because it is sooo easy to make!!
Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent: As good as Tide!!

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

Here is what you will need:
2 bars (5 1/2 oz) Fels-Naptha laundry bar soap
4 cups 20 Mule Team Borax, all natural laundry booster
4 cups Arm and Hammer, all natural, Super Washing Soda, detergent booster and household cleaner
(I bought all of these ingredients at my local grocery chain.)
Grate Fels-Naptha.
 I use my food processor.
 First, I use the grater, and then I put the chopper/cutter in it
and chop it into smaller pieces.
If you don’t have a food processor,
or don’t like the idea of putting the soap in yours,
buy a regular food grater/processor
and use it specifically for making your laundry soap.
Once the Fels-Naptha is grated,
put it in the container you plan on storing your laundry detergent in.
Add in the Borax and Washing Soda.
Stir mixture for about 5 minutes, to make sure it is thoroughly combined.
To use detergent: 
I use 2 Tablespoons for large loads in my HE washing machine.
When The Husband does laundry, he uses 1 Tablespoon. 
Either way, our laundry is always nice and clean!! 
If someone asked me if there was anything I didn’t like about this recipe,
 the only thing I could come up with,
is that when grating the Fels-Naptha, it does have a strong scent. 
I have a lot of issues with perfumey scents, but to be honest,
I don’t notice any perfumey scent with our clean clothes.
Let me know if you try this recipe and how it worked for you! 
Happy Clean Laundry!!!
Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent
2 bars (5 1/2 oz) Fels-Naptha laundry bar soap
4 cups 20 Mule Team Borax, all natural laundry booster
4 cups Arm and Hammer, all natural, Super Washing Soda, detergent booster and household cleaner
Grate Fels-Naptha. Combine grated Fels-Naptha, Borax, and Super Washing Soda. Stir for 5 minutes, to make sure it is thoroughly combined.
To use: Put 1 to 2 Tablespoons in your washer machines soap dispenser.
Store in lidded container.
Works on all washer types, including HE. 


  1. LetaRae says

    I use plain old Ivory bar soap instead of the Fels-Naptha. I add a cup of Oxyclean to the batch too mainly because of how greasy my husbands clothes get from his job. Works great and even his close come clean :)

    • says

      Hi LetaRae, I’ve tried it with the Ivory bar soap. It didn’t seem to wash our clothes as well as I liked, so I then tried the Fels-Naptha. I really like how it helps get everything really clean.

      When I wash the dog towels, blankets, or if they have peed on a rug, I will add vinegar to the wash load. It’s probally not needed, I think I do it out of habit more than anything! lol

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Anonymous says

    Are the ingredients in this recipe also a healthier alternative to regular laundry detergents? Meaning, I am trying to switch to natural cleaning products and household items that do not have harsh chemicals in them-I like the idea of making my own detergent so that I am not introducing dangerouse chemicals in the house. Would this be a good detergent for that reason as well? I’m just not that familiar with the products used. :) Karla

  3. says


    Both the Washing Soda and Borax are environmentally friendly. The Fels-Naptha, not so much. You can substitute a different bar of soap for it though. I have wanted to try a Castile bar soap but haven’t had a chance to yet. I have heard that it doesn’t clean clothes as well as the Fels-Naptha. I would look at your local co-op or health food store and check out the eco friendly bar soaps and give one a try. Make sure you check the size of the bar and adjust the ingredients accordingly. I would make a smaller batch at first, so you can try it out and see if you like it. That way you don’t end up “stuck” using something you don’t like! Let me know what you end up trying and how you like it! I’d be really interested to know how a more eco friendly bar cleaned the laundry!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. says

    I have been using Sunlight bar soap with great results. Same recipe. I am unable to find Fels Naptha in my area. Nice to be able to save a bit of money at the same time know whats in your soap.

  5. Anonymous says

    I really like the idea of making my own laundry soap, after reading what ingredients are needed, i’m not sure how much money I will save. How much do you find you saved?

    • says

      I “feel” like I really save a lot.

      But I really haven’t sat down and tried to figure it out.

      To buy the supplies it would cost about $11.00.

      (I think one box of Borax actually makes two batches, so that would lower the cost a bit.)

      One batch of laundry detergent last me at least 2 months. I use 2 tablespoons. You could use 1 tablespoon and it would last even longer.

      Tide cost about $25 for a large box, or at least that is what it cost the last time I bought it!

      Going by that, even if the Tide lasted me 2 months, I still save $14 dollars each time I make my own!

      I hope that answers your question!

      Thanks for stopping by!


    • Anonymous says

      I have made batches 1/2 Robyn’s recipe and it lasts me at least 3 months. I had been buying 3 smaller bottles of store brand liquid per month at $3.50 a bottle. I figure it has reduced my cost by at least 66%.


  6. says

    I am super brand-loyal and I have always loved Tide. My mom always used it and as a kid, I asked her why other people’s clothes looked faded! At the same time, it is super expensive so I’ve been thinking about switching to homemade, since I’ve already made the switch for most of my household products. It looks like a lot of people have been making their recommendations based on the first few loads – has anyone been using homemade detergent for a while, and can you tell me if it’s as good as Tide in the long term? Are your clothes holding up just as well as with Tide?

    • says

      I completely understand! I use to love my Tide, but I really do think that this recipe is just as good.

      I have been making this recipe since December. I haven’t noticed our clothes fading (or falling apart)at all, but I hang dry a lot of our clothes. This is something I have always done, even when I used Tide.

      Personally, I think the dryer is what fades (and shrinks) clothes not the laundry soap that is used.

      I would recommend making a 1/2 batch and giving it a try. This way you could try it out, and not feel “stuck” with it, if you decide you want to go back to your Tide.

      There is no question that Tide is the better smelling of the two! Homemade laundry detergent has a stronger smell when you make it, but your clean clothes won’t have a bad or strong smell at all.

      I have made the laundry detergent with Ivory and Fels Naptha. Ivory smells better, but I didn’t feel like it got our clothes very clean. (Some people love the Ivory, though!) Now I always make it with the Fels Naptha. You can experiment with different bar soaps and find the one that you like best.

      I really like making my own and don’t plan on ever going back to Tide!

      I hope this answer’s some of your questions.


    • says

      Robyn, thanks so much for your insights! Maybe I will try making a small batch to see how I like it. I really appreciate hearing the details of your experience!

  7. Anonymous says

    New here, just found this on a google search. I’ve made homemade liquid and I just don’t think that it’s what I want. Could you be more specific on “household cleaner and laundry booster”? Not really sure what I’m looking for to put in it.


    • says

      Welcome! You can usually find the Arm and Hammer Washing Soda right next to the Borax in the laundry detergent isle. (It’s the yellow box pictured above.) I hope that helps. If you have any other questions just let me know and I will do my best to answer them!


  8. says

    I am going to try this soon!! I am a new follower and like the recipes…I am trying to get all natural…thanks…would love a visit!!

  9. Rosemary says

    Hi Robyn,
    Love your blog … you have lots of nice tips!

    Had a question though, about HOW to use the powdered detergent in a HE frontloader. Can you put the powder in the detergent “pull out” dispenser or do you have to put it in the washing machine drum with the clothes directly? I was wondering this because I didn’t know if it would dissolve enough in the dispenser. (I have only ever used liquid detergents.)

    Thanks again…

    • says

      Hi Rosemary! Yes, you put the powdered detergent in the same dispenser you put the liquid in. I haven’t had any problems in my HE with the homemade powdered detergent not dissolving. I usually wash everything on warm/cold and then I hang dry most of my shirts, jeans, etc. (I dry the husbands clothes though, except sweatshirts. Not because of the detergent, but because I think that the dryer tends to shrink and fade the colors in our clothes. I did the same thing when I used Tide!! Plus, it helps save a little bit on the power bill. :o) )

  10. Anonymous says

    i made using 1 bar fels naptha, 2 cups each washing soda and borax and blended to fine powder in blender

  11. Nicole says

    i made it into liquid cause i was going by another recipe but had yours in my head… so i hope it will come out as good as yours. i used the same as the person above i used 1 bar fels naptha, 2 cups each washing soda and borax. I also added a bit of Downy. on the other site i was looking at it said it would make 10 galons so that is what i did. i hope it comes out well.
    do you think it will? ill let ya know how it came out because i liked your post thank for the inspieration! :)

  12. Catya says

    Fels Naptha was first manufactured in 1894, by Purex, now by Dial corp, a subsidiary of Henkel inc.

    Tide was first introduced to the market in 1946. Fels Naptha has a 52 yr jump on Tide.

    My great grand mother was born in 1910, this was the recipe she always used, and distributed to all the family. She was known for her beautifully clean laundry. I was told she wouldn’t touch Tide, when it came out.

  13. Lori says

    We used this same recipe to save money for a year and a half. With our family, the clothes seemed clean, but we found these exceptions: the ring around the collar oils were not washed well, the whites NEVER came out white, sheets seemed to retain body oils. We liked the savings, but I will not go back to making my own.

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