DIY – Keep It Clean


Yesterday, I attempted my first batch of homemade liquid laundry detergent for hand washables. Specifically, I wanted to make something to hand wash my HandKnit items and my handdyed yarns.

After reading many blogs and “recipes” on the web, I found out that most homemade liquid laundry detergents generally were made from the following:
* a gentle bar soap such as Ivory, Zote or Fels-Naptha
* Washing Soda
* Borax
* Water

I made a hybrid using the recipes from several blogs and websites including Wellness Mama, and In Honor of Design. I halved the recipes a bit too:

Here’s what I came up with:

1 bar of Ivory soap
1 cup Washing Soda

Based on some other “recipes”, I omitted the Borax from my mine because I want a super gentle “wash in the sink” detergent. Also, from what I read, Borax is more often used when washing items in hot water which I did not plan on with the detergent that I would make.


Grate the soap into a container (I used a handheld grater).

Add the soap to a pot containing about half a gallon of boiling water. Stir until dissolved.

Fill a large container with about 2 to 2.5 gallons of hot tap water and add 1 cup of Washing Soda. Stir until dissolved. Add hot soap mixture. Stir again.

Put lid on container and let sit overnight. (Honestly, at this point I was very skeptical about whether this mixture would thicken).

In the morning, take off the lid and stir. (The mixture was actually a bit gelatinous. I imagine stirring or shaking before using will be necessary).

Pour into clean, empty bottles. I used some mason jars and some plastic bottles from the craft store. It’s a good idea to use a funnel.

Use as you would other liquid laundry detergent for hand washables.

Disclaimer: I made this detergent to hand wash delicates. I do not intend to use it in a washing machine. It is not intended for any other purpose.