Homemade Laundry Detergent

Back when the Green Calgary Ecostore (then the Clean Calgary Ecostore) used to be downtown, we used to purchase a lot of our cleaning supplies there. This was in my transition phase from grocery store cleaning supplies to "eco" products. When it came to laundry detergent, I liked to buy Claudia's Choice, which is a powder detergent that comes in a returnable bucket.

The simplicity of that detergent, though, made me wonder how hard it would be to just make my own. As it turns out, not very hard.

I have been making this laundry detergent for at least two years now. It is made from four basic ingredients that you can buy in larger quantities and use as needed. As it so happens, those four ingredients are also common across many homemade cleaning products, so they are handy to have around. They are: soap flakes, baking soda, washing soda, and borax.

Here is our basic laundry detergent recipe.

  • 2 parts baking soda
  • 2 parts soap flakes
  • 1 part washing soda
  • 1 part borax

  • As I said before, we've been using this for over two years and don't have any complaints. Our current machine is a front-loader and it seems to work fine in there as well. When I run out, I can throw together a fresh batch in about two minutes, assuming I have the ingredients available.

    As for where to get the ingredients, some are easier than others. Obviously baking soda is the easiest, although when you start making cleaning products, those little cardboard boxes of baking soda don't really cut it anymore. But you can buy it in bulk anywhere with bulk bins, or you can buy it in larger quantities at Community Natural Foods. Borax is pretty widely available in the laundry section in major grocery stores. Soap flakes and washing soda are a little tougher, but I found both at Community Natural Foods, in lined paper bags as shown above.

    If you're looking to start making your own cleaning supplies, this is an easy place to start!

    Do you make your own laundry detergent? Leave a comment!


    1. Hi does this detergent work with cold water and is it ok for front load washers?

      1. We use it in cold water in our front loader and have no complaints.

    2. Where in Calgary can I buy all of those ingredients?

      1. Washing soda and borax you can buy at lots of stores in the laundry aisles. Baking soda you can also buy almost anywhere. The soap flakes (and most of the stuff in the picture here) I bought at Community Natural Foods, or you can just grate down a bar of plain soap.


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