DIY HE Washer Safe Laundry Detergent

Laundry.  The never ending chore.  The most hated chore.  The bane of my existence.

Seriously, it’s nearly impossible for me to keep up with my family’s laundry.  It’s just like the trash, finally get one load done and the hamper is full again (finally take out the trash and by the end of the day the trash is full again…. how can we go through THAT much trash? or clothing?)

Not only are we going through a lot of laundry, but we’re going through a lot of (expensive) detergent. I’ve used Gain for years; my clothes get clean, and I love the way my clothes smell. It wasn’t until recently, when I realized how much we were spending for detergent that I finally decided to look into making my own.  In order for me to make the switch I needed to find something that cost less, and cleans just as well, if not better than store bought detergent, and smell good all at the same time.  Not going to lie, I was skeptical for a long time but, after researching a gazillion and a half DIY recipes,  I stumbled upon this one and have finally jumped ship onto the homemade bandwagon.

The Recipe:

  • 4 lbs baking soda (1 large box found in detergent aisle)
  • 1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1 box Borax
  • 1 container OxiClean
  • 1 bar of Zote Soap
  • 2 bottles of Gain (or whichever brand/scent you prefer) in wash scent booster



  • Combine all ingredients (in layers) in a large bucket
  • grate the zote soap with a cheese grater
  • stir after each ingredient for more consistency

I store my detergent in a large glass cookie jar and keep it on top of my washer and put the rest away in the cabinet for later use.

It cost around $30 to make this giant batch of detergent that took me less than 15 minutes to make.  I’ve been using the same batch for 2 months now and have barely made a dent in it!

Note:  I have heard that some people experience the zote grates getting stuck in the filter that detergent runs through on many of the front load washer systems, so instead of putting the detergent mixture in the dispenser, I put the detergent directly inside the washer drum.  I believe the clothes get cleaner this way anyhow, and I haven’t had any problems with my washer.



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