DIY House Cleaners – Part Two

In my previous post, I compiled a list of the ingredients most commonly used in recipes for do-it-yourself household cleaners. I also listed two of my favorite recipes for DIY spray cleaners, which I use almost daily. In this post, I’d like to share two more of my favorite recipes for powdered detergents that I really love.

I’ve tried multiple formulas for both laundry and dishwashing machines, but these are the best recipes I’ve used:

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Powdered Laundry Detergent
• 1 bar Fels-Naptha bar soap
• 1 cup Borax
• 1 cup Washing Soda
• 1/4 cup Baking Soda
• A bucket

Grate the bar of Fels Naptha soap with a hand grater, and then place the grated soap into a food processor. Pulse until the soap resembles a coarse crumb, and then pour into a large bowl or container.

Add the borax, washing soda, and baking soda, and stir together until the mixture is evenly combined. Store the mixture in an airtight container.

Use 2 tablespoons per load. Recipe source: Sew Much Ado.

Powdered Dishwashing Detergent
• 1 cup Washing Soda
• 1 cup Baking Soda

Sift together in a bowl, and then funnel into a jar. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load. For an added boost, fill your machine’s rinse indicator with white vinegar.


Once you’ve begun using DIY cleaners regularly, make sure to dispose of your old products responsibly. Don’t just throw them away! Instead, take them to your local hazardous waste collection. And remember, DIY cleaners make a great Spring Cleaning or House Warming gift for any of your friends and family who are interested in going green. Just make sure that you choose labels for your containers that are waterproof so they can continue to re-use them over and over.

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For my jars of powdered detergents, I used periwinkle colored labels in the style French Market.

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Lindsay (114 Posts)

Lindsay is a writer/blogger from Oregon who loves crafting, cooking, gardening, and simple living. You can find her writing about all of this and more on her blog A Wooden Nest.


  1. Hey,
    I’m always dismayed when I see homemade laundry soap recipes that call for Fels-Naptha soap because that stuff is just full of nasty ingredients. Instead, simply use plain, unscented natural soap from the health food store or order some from your favorite soapmaker. Some make bars specifically for laundry soapmaking. I use mine as stain pre-treaters as well.

  2. hi lindsey, i have used this combo for most of my 35 yrs married an i love! thanks for the breakdown, cause ive always liquified mine or should i say (gel type substance) in a five gallon bucket, which makes 10 gal. of laundry soap ! an quite a saving. our grandmas have used fel-napa for over 125 yrs. and still are. i think my daughter an i will b doing some in jars for gifts in our baskets this year, since i just discovered this website looking for labels out of the whole living mag. i subscribe to. and the dishwasher soap too! more conveniant to store dry an less space. thanks girly cheryl

  3. Im a mother of three and I love the idea of makeing my own cleaning supplies but with the laundry powder do u have a way of making a liquid for and can u use it for sensitive skin and can u use it in one of the washing machines that require special washing powders…. last thing do u have a way of making fabric softner that smells strong and last for a long time

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