Homemade Laundry Detergent and Wash Jar

Homemade Laundry Detergent + Painted Jar // thepapermama.com

I finally tried it: Homemade Laundry Detergent! And it does work. I’m not great at math so I won’t do the calculations of my costs per load… but I do know the costs are less. Because I made my own laundry detergent I need a place to store it. I found a large glass jar at the local thrift store and painted “WASH” onto it. It looks great in my laundry room.

Below I shared a quick rundown of how I made the detergent (this recipe can be found on multiple sites so I’m not sure of the original source).


1.5 cups of Borax (a natural laundry booster)

1.5 cups Arm & Hammer’s Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)

1 bar of Castille soap (I used Dr. Bronner’s peppermint bar)


– Use a cheese grater to grate up your Castille soap.

– In a food processor, blend your grated up soap and a 1/2 cup of Borax and a 1/2 cup of Washing Soda until blended (you want those shreds of soap to be small).

– Pour the blended soap into a bowl with the remaining Borax and Washing Soda. Stir until it’s all blended well.

– Pour into a jar that has a seal (keep it fresh).

When washing your clothes: Use one to two tablespoons of your homemade powder per load. We usually prefer to wash in cold water, and it’s been working!

– Enjoy all that money you’re saving.

Painting WASH onto your jar:

Homemade Laundry Detergent + Painted Jar // thepapermama.com

If you make you’re own detergent, you’re going to need a cute jar to seal it in. It’s pretty easy to add the gold painted “wash” word to your jar.

– Wash and dry the outside of your glass.

– Print and cut out a word from my “Wash and Laundry” Printout.

– Tape a small piece (red side down) of Saral Paper to your jar and tape your word over the Saral paper.

Homemade Laundry Detergent + Painted Jar // thepapermama.com

– Trace the outline of the words with a ballpoint pen.

Homemade Laundry Detergent + Painted Jar // thepapermama.com

– Remove your paper and you’ll notice a wonderful red line to follow while you paint!

Homemade Laundry Detergent + Painted Jar // thepapermama.com

– Using some Martha Stewart Multi Surface Paint, paint in your words. If needed add more layers of paint (letting the paint dry for about 1 hour between each layer). I ended up using 3 layers of paint.

Homemade Laundry Detergent + Painted Jar // thepapermama.com

– Let dry. NOTE: on the back of the paint bottle, it notes that you need to let the paint cure for 21 days before washing or handling too rough. AFTER that you should be good!

Homemade Laundry Detergent + Painted Jar // thepapermama.com

If you give this a try, let me know! I’d love to see how it works for you. Happy washing!

– Chelsey

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Categories: diy, Tips and Tricks, tried it


  • peaconline on said:

    I have baskets for dirty clothes, baskets for clean clothes, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies and a few other random things in there that have no other home.

  • Heather on said:

    I've been meaning to do this for a while now… thanks for the cute jar tutorial, too!

  • Eleanor on said:

    I'm so excited to try this. I've wanted to begin making our detergent, but just hadn't put the time into researching it. So happy I can check it off the list, all thanks to you! 🙂 I'm glad to know it works with front loads/HE washers. I assume you just put it in with the clothes. Oh and cute jar too!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Oh, yes. Put it in with the clothes. Let me know how it works for you!

  • Yen on said:

    I NEED to make this! I have seen this all over Pinterest, but I still have a ton of my liquid detergent left : I've never seen Arm & Hammer washing soda before… hopefully they sell it somewhere locally!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I found it in the detergent isle… way up high. It's also on Amazon.

  • Lindsay on said:

    I LOVE making my own laundry detergent! I use 1 box Borax, I box washing soda, 1 box baking soda, 1 tub oxyclean, 3 bars grated FelsNaptha soap. All of this costs about $20, smells fantastic, cleans better than store-bought and the last batch I made lasted over a year and a half. Seriously my favorite thing ever.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      That's awesome! I started small… just in case it was crazy. 🙂

  • Theresa A. on said:

    does this work with HE/front loaders? would love to try it if so, we love dr. bronner's peppermint soap! the lavender scent is nice too, would that make a difference if we used a different scent bar?

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      We have a front load washer and it's been working! I don't think the scent will matter. I think I'll try lavender next. 🙂

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