Green, Hypoallergenic, Recipe for Laundry Detergent – Easy and Cheap!

Dec 08 2019
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Here is my simple recipe for hypoallergenic homemade laundry detergent! I’ve always had very sensitive skin and, over the years as I totally removed chemical and commercial cleaning products from my home, I’ve also developed a super sensitive nose. Laundry detergent was my first real green plunge into homemade household products (back in 2013) and my liquid laundry soap recipe still works great but, honestly, I’ve gotten a lot more lazy over the years lol.

My liquid recipe requires some time melting and pouring everything together and also requires storage space for several one gallon jugs. (Not to mention those plastic jugs don’t last forever and start leaking… ask me how I know…)

I’ve found this whole moving into natural homemade products requires baby steps. I always used liquid detergents so the transition for me just made it easier to go with a liquid initially.

But I got to wondering if my liquid detergent recipe wouldn’t work just as well in its powder form – thus eliminating basically ALL the time it took to make it and LOTS of storage! I would be going from four 1 gallon jugs to one little container.

Here is my simple recipe for hypoallergenic homemade laundry detergent! Only $6 for 50 loads and you can make it in less than 5 minutes! Cheap Laundry Soap!

Here is my simple recipe for hypoallergenic homemade laundry detergent! Only $6 for 50 loads and you can make it in less than 5 minutes! Cheap Laundry Soap!

I also altered the recipe just a bit and I find this combination works REALLY well and is much easier to remember!

2 Bars of Soap (This is what I like)
2 Cups Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
2 Cups Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
2 Cups 20 Mule Team Borax

NOTE: I have a High Efficiency (HE) washer and dryer combination machine that both washes and dries all of my clothes. In the manual it says that I need to use detergent specifically made for HE machines. I did a little research and pretty much ANY homemade detergent will work great in HE machines! The reason being that they all produce very little suds.

When it comes to cost in this recipe it hinges a lot on what kind of bar of soap you use. In the last batch I made I actually used two VERY expensive homemade organic shampoo bars I had purchased at a festival this last summer. Because of my hard water shampoo bars DO NOT work for my hair – BUMMER.

So I used them in my last batch of laundry soap.

I assume you will be purchasing bars that are around $2 per bar but that’s up to you. Your choice of bar soap will leave some scent (or no scent) behind etc. Also your choice will determine how much effort its going to require to grate it lol.

Tips: Food processors work great for bar soap. You can also warm the bar for a few seconds in the microwave to grate by hand and that has the added benefit of REALLY cleaning your cheese grater!

At $2 per bar of soap this entire batch of laundry detergent will run you about $7.

You only need a tablespoon dumped right in there on top of your clothes per load so that averages out to 50 loads per batch at only 14 CENTS a load! For me as a single gal that’s over six months of laundry detergent for $7!

There is absolutely nothing on the market that I could buy for $14 that would last me an entire year. And there’s also no amount of money anyone could pay me to bring those chemicals and crap back into my home to sit against my skin all day.

Makes me rashy and itchy just to think about it – I still have back acne scars!

Besides that I also don’t use fabric softener. I won’t get started on what a terrible waste of money I think fabric softener is… So I’m just gonna say I use about a tablespoon of white vinegar per load instead.

Here is my simple recipe for hypoallergenic homemade laundry detergent! Only $6 for 50 loads and you can make it in less than 5 minutes! Cheap Laundry Soap!

Here is my simple recipe for hypoallergenic homemade laundry detergent! Only $6 for 50 loads and you can make it in less than 5 minutes! Cheap Laundry Soap!

The vinegar softens and cleans my fabrics (and eliminates static!) and it also has the benefit of helping keep my machine clean too.

You can put vinegar in your machine anywhere you would normally put liquid fabric softener. (My machine has a special little spot for it.)

What do my clothes smell like? LITERALLY NOTHING. Like, for real, they smell totally like nothing at all. I often get asked if they smell like vinegar and honestly that’s just silly.

Of course they don’t smell like vinegar they got washed!

As for how long my clothes hold up. I’m in a unique situation here as I have well water and I don’t have a water softener so my water is REALLY hard and I’m using a combination washer/dryer which is wonderfully easy on my clothes. My clothes last a really long time. My blacks stay wonderfully black etc.

(I also don’t wash clothes unless they really actually need to be washed… I am not above wearing a pair of jeans for a week lol)

How this detergent works really does depend on your water and machine situation. I am confident to say it will do just as well (and probably way better) than your current commercial brand.

This recipe is SO inexpensive why not give it a try!

NOTE: Your clothes won’t smell like nothing right away as the chemical scents and everything else used in commercial fabric softeners and laundry detergents will stick around for awhile. But, eventually, this recipe will thoroughly clean your clothes and your machine too!

(It generally takes at least three washes before I no longer smell commercial fabric softeners or detergents on the clothes. Whenever I purchase new clothes I wash them twice before wearing them.)

Here is my simple recipe for hypoallergenic homemade laundry detergent! Only $6 for 50 loads and you can make it in less than 5 minutes! Cheap Laundry Soap!


  1. Christine Roppel
    December 8, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Hi! You are an inspiration to young women!
    I have 2 questions:
    1- Is this safe for Septic Tanks?
    2- If you put the vinegar into the little cup intended for softener, will the “acid” corrode?

    • December 9, 2019 at 10:26 am

      Hi Christine, this is definitely safe for a septic tank. In my machine the place where liquid fabric softener goes is solid plastic not rubber that vinegar could possibly corrode. You may just want to add the vinegar in with the clothes if there is the possibility that it may erode the place in your machine.

  2. Susanne
    December 10, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    I love homemade laundry detergent – and yours looks perfect!

    • December 10, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      Thanks Susanne, its so easy!

  3. February 12, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Useful information, cool recipe for homemade powder! Especially for me and my children, such a powder is the most hypoallergenic!

    • February 13, 2020 at 9:21 am

      Thanks for coming by and checking it out Anna!

  4. Monique Caron
    February 24, 2020 at 8:34 am

    That same 3 pack of Dial basic soap can be purchased at the Dollar Tree for $1.00. Additional savings!

    • February 24, 2020 at 9:23 am

      Thanks for the tip Monique, thats awesome!

  5. Debbie
    February 24, 2020 at 9:23 am

    How much do you recommend be used in a top load machine?

    • February 24, 2020 at 9:31 am

      Hi Debbie, I would start with a tablespoon and then work up. You may need two tablespoons, top loads tend to be bigger than the machine I’m using. Hope that helps, happy February!

  6. Myrna
    February 24, 2020 at 9:33 am

    I have a wringer washer. Should the laundry powder be dissolved in a little water first or can I just put it in after I put in the dirty clothes?

    • February 24, 2020 at 10:02 am

      Hi Myrna, it should do fine but this recipe can be made into a liquid really easily. Just melt it into a quart of water on the stove then, once it cools, divide it out into four 1 gallon jugs then just fill the jugs with water. It works great either way!

  7. Hope
    February 24, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Hi Tarah…
    Can you tell me exactly what brand of washing machine/combo is, please..? When ours finally konks out, I want to replace it with a combo unit like yours but, I have not seen any available at Lowes or Home Depot. Is it just called a washer/dryer combo unit or is there an actual “technical” term for it..? : )

    Have a fantastic day!

    ~ Hope ~

    • February 24, 2020 at 10:42 am

      Hi Hope! Strangely enough I have never seen them called anything but a washer/dryer combo or a laundry combo unit. Maybe they’ll come up with a technical name at some point lol My brand is an LG and, so far anyway, its been going great for me for over five years now!

  8. Karen
    February 24, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    How does well does this work on a mechanic’s clothes? Thanks.

    • February 24, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Karen, well it works on MY clothes and I get extremely dirty in the summer time whether I’m gardening, working on the house or in the horse pasture. I’ve never had any trouble with my clothes coming clean. I would say make a small batch and just give it a try!

  9. Diane Banta
    February 24, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    What size are your bars of soap?

    • February 25, 2020 at 9:14 am

      The bars I generally use are 3.2 oz. Thanks!

  10. Suzanne M MISENHIMER
    July 1, 2020 at 8:59 am

    Going to give this laundry detergent recipe a try. I have made a similar recipe years ago, but stopped when I got a new HE washer. I now have went back (gladly) to a washer with agitator, so I’m going to try the detergent we make ourselves again.

    • July 1, 2020 at 10:06 am

      Hi Suzanne I love this recipe, it takes about three minutes to make and the whole batch lasts us nearly six months. It also is really gentle but cleans the clothes really well – hope it works for you too!

  11. Jill
    March 8, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    I’ve been using homemade laundry soap for at least 20 years. All you really need is the soap and borax. The other ingredients are just extras for extra odor elimination. The vinegar is a soap remover and fabric softener.

    Most people forget they are supposed to dilute the store bought fabric softener. It gums up your dryer vent flue from the residue it leaves on the clothes when they’re washed. When the vent flue gets gummed up, it can cause a fire. The sheets don’t do that.

    • March 9, 2021 at 9:53 am

      That’s great advice Jill, thank you!

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