Borax Free Laundry Detergent

borax free detergent

For years, I have made my own laundry detergent.

I started out with the old school borax, washing powder and Fels-Naptha version. I have tweaked it some over the years and had gotten it to a combination of ingredients that I liked until I read this.

So, I decided it was time to find a new recipe.

I found a few I sort of liked and made some changes and have come up with one that I LOVE! It is borax-free and makes our clothes so soft.

We even sold it as a fundraiser to help us bring our son home from China!

Today I wanted to share the recipe with you so you could try it yourself! I would love to hear your feedback once you give it a try.

First, you’ll want to gather up your supplies.


You’ll need:

Two boxes of super washing soda (55 ounces each for a total of 110 ounces)

Baking soda (8 pounds total)

Five bars of Kirk’s Castille Soap

Essential oil of your choice (optional)

And of course you’ll need a five gallon bucket. You won’t fill this bucket up but I like to have this size to give myself plenty of room to stir without making a huge mess!


First, I take all of the boxes of baking soda and dump them into the bucket. Easy!

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Next I add just ONE box of the super washing soda to the bucket.


Now for the fun part!

Time to grate all those bars of soap. I use a food processor that I use exclusively for my laundry detergent. The very first time I used it, I thought I could wash it and use it for food stuff as well…..uhhhhmmmmm… Not unless you want everything to taste like soap. So I am ok with having this inexpensive one dedicated just to this. I don’t even wash it now…it just stays nice and ready to grate the next bar of soap!

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If you want to grab these bars locally, Cracker Barrel is always a good bet. I order mine from Amazon in a case of 24 bars since I know I’ll use it all up.


I grate all five bars and then transfer to another bowl.


Be sure to then switch out your “grater” attachment in your processor and use the larger chopping one instead. Am I calling those the right thing? Who knows? Julia Child I am not!


Once you have the right attachment in place, add in a little of your grated soap and a little of the remaining box of the super washing soda. This will give you that powder fine consistently you are looking for with the soap instead of the look of grated cheese.


Now this is better….


Each time you grind up a little more, add it to your five gallon bucket until you have processed all of the soap you grated, mixed with all of the remaining box of super washing soda.

Now it is time to stir. I rotate between a large paint stirrer and this spaghetti noodle spoon from Pampered Chef. I’m sure that is not what they intended it for but it sure does work GREAT! The idea is that you need to fold and stir this stuff  WELL to get it all mixed in. It is hard to tell at first because everything is the same color but you can definitely tell the difference in the super fine baking soda compared to everything else.

Just mix and when you think you have it all done, mix some more.


You end up with this amazing detergent that will clean your clothes well and is good for your family too!


I store a small glass jar of it above my washing machine and add my essential oils to each of these smaller batches as I go. My favorite is Peppermint Oil but you could certainly use your favorite! I add about 30 drops, put on the lid and shake it up!


For each load, you’ll want to use about 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup depending on the load you are washing.

Be sure to come back and tell me how you like it in the comments once you make your own batch!! Let me know too below if you are planning to give it a try!

Happy washing!



2 thoughts on “Borax Free Laundry Detergent

  1. Hey Jen!

    Ok girl, you know I’m a big fan of the homemade detergent. I had saved coupons for ingredients of the original batch and I just so happen to stumble upon your Pin!
    Tell me what it is about this that you like opposed to….
    1. Vs Borax
    2. Castle vs Fels Naptha
    3. Using oils vs other scent method:

    I have always just purchased Purex or Baby Crystals to scent since it smelled good and didn’t actually serve as a “softener”. Heaven forbid I was Josh fireman gear in softener, Lol. His clothes actually do state don’t use Fabric Softener 🙂
    Just wanted your personal opinions before I make whole new batch. Love you! Admire you! Hope all is WELL!


    1. Hey Julie!! Thanks so much for reading! We have cut out the use of Borax altogether in our house based on what I read above on the EWG website. SCARY!!!

      I started with the Fels Naphtha soap too but did not like the smell and I felt like it was leaving a dingy yellow color on my whites and not getting them completely clean.

      We do add essential oils to ours but for me it is just to make me happy when I’m doing laundry. HA! It is totally not required and I think it is just personal preference! Peppermint is my favorite but I like lavender too!

      We don’t use fabric softener here either. We use wool dryer balls and I think it helps our clothes dry faster and helps with softness. I have noticed that my clothes feel softer already with our new detergent recipe!

      Let me know how you like it if you decide to give it a try!


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