Baby Hopson's Journey

The adventures of a true blessing

Making Your Own Laundry Detergent: Cloth Diaper Safe

on July 17, 2012

Since making my original post about cloth diapering I’ve had several people writing to me and asking about the laundry detergent that I discussed in the post. They wanted to know if it was safe in HE machines, front loaders, how good it is with allergies and other common questions.

YES you can use it in HE machines

YES you can use it in front loading machines

YES it is safe to use on sensitive skin and skin allergies

YES it is CLOTH DIAPER safe!

Now, you need an ingredients list:

Cloth Diaper Safe Laundry Detergent

1 Cup Oxy Clean (I use the free and clear version) $8.79/Containter

1 Cup Baking Soda $2.16/Box

1 Cup Washing Soda $3.50/Box

Mix together in a large bowl and funnel into your choice of container! Some use mason jars, old Tupperware, milk jugs, juice containers, old laundry containers. Just use what you’ve got! It doesn’t have to be fancy! Just remember, you only use 2 tbs at a time! Also, you can make the batch as big or as small as you want to. :)

$14.45 for your total purchase

(Not using coupons)

Using up the entire container of Oxy Clean would make 15 cups of this laundry detergent. At the rate of 2 tbs at a time this will allow you to do 120 loads of laundry.

Keep in mind that this is me purchasing the SMALL quantities of each item. The bigger amount you buy a at a time, the more money it saves you in the long run. I currently do not have a Sams Club membership, but I’m betting that this would be the best place to buy in bulk. Please share what YOU find. I’m not an expert, I just enjoy sharing what I have learned with the rest of you!

I just went on to Walmart’s website and took this screen shot…

$11.97 for only 64 loads using Tide. Need I say more?

Cheaper Laundry Detergent Safe for Clothes

Now, there is also another way to make homemade laundry detergent for all your other clothes and is safe for babies skin. It is just NOT SAFE FOR CLOTH DIAPERS. The soap and borax that is used in this recipe will affect the waterproof capabilities of your cloth diapers. It will also cause a build up that you do not want to have to deal with!

1 Cup Borax $3.38/Box

1 Cup Washing Soda $3.50/Box

1 Bar Fels Naptha $0.97/Bar

I’ve been freezing my bars of Fels Naptha soap. This makes it easier to grate (I use a basic cheese grater). You also don’t have to use Fels Naptha, you can use any bar/hand soap that does not irritate your skin and you like the smell of.

Mix together the ingrediants in a large bowl and funnel into your choice of container. It’s really THAT easy to save money.

This is obviously a cheaper, more cost effective way of doing laundry. Dan and I have been using it on our clothes the past week and have had all of our clothes come out clean! I think I’m going to try different soaps to change up the smell (Fels Naptha just has a clean smell). I think I’ll try an oatmeal or a lavender smell next time!

I made a post about making my own laundry detergent on a baby board that Baby Center offers. It’s basically a bunch of moms talking together about similar interests. When I posted about the homemade detergent I got a few replies and decided to share some of their comments with you. Some of them refer to the cloth diaper detergent and some of them refer to the Borax/soap mixture. I just thought you would be interested in hearing from others who have made the detergent and had success with it.

“Making your own detergent is the only way to have a truly “Free and Clear” laundry system.

To answer some of the questions posed:
Safe in ALL machines, HE & otherwise.
All ingredients can be purchased at your local Wal-mart or grocery store. My Target does NOT carry everything though.
Washing soda is NOT the same as baking soda. Washing soda is found in the laundry aisle.
If your skin cannot handle Fels Naptha (which does a lot of stain removing work), you can make it with any other bar soap. The first batch I made was with fragrance free Dove and it did just fine.

My husband and I have been using homemade detergent for just over two years with no complaints. I just made the second batch a few months ago. My husband is a mechanic and is ALWAYS covered in grease and nastiness. While it doesn’t get the great out, it does get rid of the smell. We use Dawn dish soap for the grease.

I have no plans to EVER buy detergent again.

“You can get all of the ingredients in your local grocery stores and department stores. Except Target does not have washing soda.”

“1 bar of soap. This can be laundry soap or hand soap. Use whatever won’t irritate your skin.

1/2 c washing soda (laundry isle at Walmart , I think it’s by the fabric softeners)

1/2 c borax

Liquid Version: Grate the soap into a saucepan. add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts. Add soda and borax and stir until dissolved. Put 4 cups of hot water into a bucket. Add soap mixture and stir. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups hot water let sit for 24 hours to gel. Use 1/2 c per load.

**dry version: grate soap. Add borax and soda. Store in airtight container. Use 2 tbs per load.”


My sister adds 1/2 c of baking soda to help tame it down.

I use sensitive skin fragrance free soaps, and then I add essential oils to give it some yummy smells.

I also use about 3/4 of a cup instead of 1/2 a cup. Just works better that way.

From what I have read on this recipe, it is safe for babies and front-loaders.

“I have a top loader HE washing machine and have been making my own dry detergent for about 6 months now.  It leaves the clothes feeling so soft and clean.  You will definitely see a difference in how your clothes feel.  Here is my recipe:

1 bar of Fels Naptha laundry soap, grated, then put through food processor

1 cup of Borax

1 cup of Baking Soda

1 cup of Washing Soda

That’s it! I only use 2 TBSP per load and its great! I buy all of the ingredients in the laundry aisle at Wal-Mart.”

“2 bars fels naptha  grated and then if you have a blender blended into a powder

1 box borax

1 box washing soda

Mix together and use 2 tlb a load. You may add a small container of oxiclean if you wish. I don’t but my godmother does. For your softener use white vinegar.

I made the liquid detergent first then realized what a MESS it was to clean after making it.  I do it dry now.  1 bar fells naptha grated, 1 c. super washing soda, 1 c. borax.  I just keep it in an air tight container and do 1 TBS per load.  I also get the Kroger brand oxyclean (MUCH cheaper) and use if a load is particularly dirty or some Tide Boost (if I catch it on sale w/ a coupon).  You can also make your own fabric softener with white vinegar (for softening) and cheap (Suave) hair conditioner for fragrance.  Haven’t tried the fabric softener yet, but when my Snuggle runs out, that’s next on the list to try.”

“I have been using it for almost a year. I order scented oils from Puritan’s Pride. A lot of times they will run a buy 1 get 2 free sale. We use lavender and tangerine.

Someone mentioned baking soda…its not baking soda, its washing soda.

It IS NOT safe for cloth diapers. For my CDs, I use equal parts of OxyClean, washing soda and borax.

I do one bar grated Fels Napa (makes about 2 cups when grated) one cup washing soda, one cup borax. And that’s it I like the smell fine but I think it said you can add essential oils. It cleans very well and I have a front loader.

I use a ratio of 1:1:1

1 bar of fels-naptha
1 C. washing soda
1 C. Borax

1 Tbsp per load (two if it’s my husband’s nasty work clothes)”

“I just made it like a week ago the powder kind, I have a front loader & you just put it into the drum and works just fine!

Ladies I am a laundry freak. I hate stains and I have only had to get rid of a few items from stains in my 8 years of parenting. I use the Duggar liquid soap also. I make it in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and then I transfer it to old laundry detergent bottles. I had family to save them for me. I do not add water, I just use less. It takes up less space. As a pre treater I mix dawn dish soap, ammonia and baking soda with hot water. You can not use it with bleach but it works wonderfully! For whites I fill the washer with hot water, add a cup of bleach, cheep-o oxy clean and the detergent. I let the clothes set for about an hour in the washer before starting the cycle. My whites are always bright and white. As far as bath towels, you should not use fabric sheets. Even the laundry soap will build up on them so when they are not drying like they should I run them through a hot cycle with no soap, only vinegar and then do a second cycle with baking soda. It strips all the build up from the soap and hard water off of them. When I have recently started adding those laundry crystals to my washer. I love the smell!”

“I just made mine this week. I used equal parts borax, washing soda and Oxy clean. I washed my Boppy today that was stained from my two sons almost 8 and almost 5 and it came out so nice and clean! I’m using cloth diapers so that’s why my recipe doesn’t have soap in it. I’m going to soak some of my baby cloths and treat them to see if the stains come out! So far all my clothes and bedding look nice! I filled a huge coffee cab from Sam’s and part of the Oxy clean bucket I the date I made it on just to see how long out lasts!”

4 responses to “Making Your Own Laundry Detergent: Cloth Diaper Safe

  1. This recipe is great! I am sensitive to borox and my hubby is sensitive to dyes. We have been using all f&C for years but I wasn’t happy with it for our cloth diapers when our little one came along last month. I am just about to use this on my first load of dipes! Wish me luck!

  2. Cerena walker says:

    Hi. This seems like a dumb question but is the recipe for the cloth diaper safe good for all clothes? Also could u add a natural bar of soap to that recipe? Thanks

    • twinmommy says:

      yes you can use the cloth diaper safe detergent on all clothes! If you add bar soap, do not use it on the cloth diapers! BUT you CAN use any kind of bar soap. The soap is just what adds the fragrance :)

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