DIY Detergent

Making detergent at home.

Recipe and instructions are followed by some interesting things I found regarding cost and availability.


  • 1 Part Borax
  • 1 Part Baking Soda ( Sodium Bi-Carbonate )
  • 1 Washing soda Semi-Optional ( Sodium Carbonate )
    • NOTE: Can be made from baking soda if you can’t find it in stores
    • NOTE: While not required does greatly improve the quality of the detergent

Optional additions

  • 1 Bar of Soap ( optional )
    • No liquid soap will not work for this


Mix Borax, Baking Soda, and Washing Soda evenly in a container. If you are using a bar of soap you can use a cheese grater to break it down so that you can mix this in with the rest.

Making Washing Soda ( Sodium Carbonate )

Since this stuff can be hard to find you can also make it at home.

Here’s a video from NileRed.

Quick transcription:

  1. Pour out baking soda ( sodium bi-carbonate ) into a pot
  2. As it heats up it will release CO2 and water
    • This results in some bubbling
  3. Keep heating until bubbling stops and the powder appears like a dense powder.

FAQ & Stuff about cost

Is this actually cheaper than just buying a regular detergent?

From my very quick checks of prices around me I found Target had 16oz boxes of baking soda for 1$. A 4 lb box of Borax was 8$.

For 3 pounds of detergent you would be looking at a 10$ investment of materials.

  • 1 lb baking soda ( 1$ )
  • 1 lb baking soda converted to washing soda ( 1$ )
  • 1 lb borax ( 2$ )

In total 4$ for 3 pounds of unscented detergent isn’t too bad.

Are there any alternatives to this sort of thing?

Dish soap unironically works well enough for small loads you just have to play with the quantities.

What about unit prices for all of these things?


Baking Soda:

Not including soap because this depends highly on what soap you choose