How do I make homemade laundry detergent

It is so easy to make detergent yourself

  • chez christina

    Christina Hubbeling

If you make a liquid detergent yourself according to these instructions, it not only makes your laundry clean, it also protects the environment.

I am fascinated by old linen made of sturdy linen: I am constantly on flea markets and in second-hand stores in search of textile treasures from the old days that, if they could speak, would have many stories to tell.

The joy is particularly great when the find is provided with a monogram. The days when young women produced long-lasting bed linen with elaborate embroidery for their trousseau are of course long gone. Just like nobody else washes their laundry in the wash house in the middle of the village.

Laundry detergent without any questionable ingredients

Of course I am happy not to have to clean the laundry at the village fountain. But there is one or the other from the old days that has been wrongly forgotten. Now that we've rediscovered so much in the kitchen, it's time to do the same in the household and explicitly in the laundry room. This includes the production of detergents that contain no harmful ingredients and are neither harmful to the environment nor to the skin.

There are several methods of making detergent yourself. Ox bile in the form of bile soap is often used for this. Some recipes also take several hours. All of this is too complicated for me, and I prefer to do without ox bile when the laundry is only lightly soiled, whereby a gall soap for treating stubborn stains works wonders and is a hundred times more ecological than an aggressive stain spray.

Laundry detergent with just three ingredients

I came across a simple basic recipe that is simple and quick. For 3 liters of liquid detergent, you only need 150 grams of Marseille soap (“Savon de Marseille”, in German known as curd soap) and 2 tablespoons of baking soda (“fine crystal soda”). For a pleasant scent, you can dribble essential oil into the mixture, for example lavender, rose, lime or bergamot oil.

Warning: some essential oils are very precious and therefore expensive. You can usually drive well with lavender oil. By the way, all ingredients (curd soap, baking soda and oils) are available in pharmacies, drugstores or in various online shops.

Recipe for 3 liters of liquid detergent


150 g curd soap (“Savon de Marseille”), 2 tablespoons of baking soda (“fine crystal soda”), 3 liters of water. Note: I recommend the white organic curd soap from Sonett, as it smells neutral. Green curd soaps usually contain wool fat and therefore have a strong odor.

Preparation - Step 1:

Grate the curd soap into flakes with a kitchen grater.


Bring 2 liters of water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the soap flakes, reduce the heat. Stir over low heat until the flakes have completely dissolved.


Remove the saucepan from the stove, let the liquid cool down a bit. Add 1 liter of water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda and mix well.


If desired, add a few drops of essential oil (about 5 drops per liter of water).


Fill the detergent into sealable glass bottles using a funnel. Since the detergent becomes jelly-like, stir with a thin stick or the handle of a trowel before each wash and shake vigorously with the lid closed.

Laundry that is not extremely soiled should be cleaned with this basic detergent between 30 and 90 degrees. In the case of stubborn stains, we recommend treating the stains beforehand with gall soap or adding 1 tbsp.

Baking soda or soda?

Incidentally, baking soda is often equated with soda, which is not entirely correct. Although the salts are related, they differ slightly in composition. Classic soda is sodium bicarbonate (Na2CO3), and food-grade soda is sodium hydrogen carbonate (NaHCO3).

Soda is commercially available for cleaning and washing under different names, for example as fine crystal soda, household soda or cleaning soda. If you want to use the white powder in the kitchen - for example for baking - you should make sure that it is expressly stated on the packaging that it is food-grade soda ("Baking Soda")! Soda basically cleans better than baking soda and has a much stronger alkaline reaction. However, due to the baking powder effect, it is not suitable for washing wool as it causes the fibers to swell.

A miracle cure for the household

Soda is a true household miracle product: It can be used in a huge variety of ways and, last but not least, is an inexpensive alternative to all the sometimes very aggressive cleaning agents, many of which are extremely dangerous for the environment and health. It ensures clean laundry, cleans floors and walls, helps against bacteria and fungi, fights odors and makes the water softer. In addition, it is inexpensive, naturally degradable and thus contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle.