Make your own homemade laundry butter easily at home – it’s phosphate free, gentle on skin, eco-friendly and budget-friendly.
Making your own laundry detergent doesn’t have to be scary and daunting. But for most of us, it tends to be quite an experience.
There are 1,004,583 recipes for homemade laundry detergent on the internet, making it incredibly hard to determine how “exactly” to make detergent.
Over the last few years, we’ve experimented with both liquid and powder detergents. While we love a good DIY, liquid detergent didn’t quite work out too well. The powder, on the other hand, worked relatively well and was quite easy to store.
What about laundry butter?
This laundry butter is quite easy to make and smells absolutely incredible. The end result are clothes that smell super fresh and clean – without the use of fragrance and commercial additives. I love that smell.
It’s so rewarding to make a homemade detergent that is easy, works, and doesn’t have all the chemicals that store bought detergent has. It’s so fulfilling and rewarding!
(Not that I love to do laundry or anything but it actually makes me excited to do laundry for a change!)
The difference between laundry butter and other detergents…
Laundry butter is different than powder and liquid laundry soaps in that it feels like a very thick mayo. It’s a different type of consistency (for sure..) but in a good way. It works incredibly well when you add to your laundry as the washer fills up.
Use 1 Tablespoon per load for regular loads or 2 for large loads – it’s super concentrated and works best in warm or hot water. That’s not saying you can’t use it in cold water (because you can)... it just works better for me in warm or hot water.
This recipe below makes a whopping 8 cups of laundry butter (128 tablespoons). If you use 1 Tbsp per load, that’s a lot of laundry! This laundry butter is low suds – so it works perfect for HE machines.
I find that this detergent works best when I add to the wash and let the washer fill a bit before the clothes go in.
Gathering your Ingredients
This laundry butter recipe uses just a few simple ingredients. You can find borax and washing soda at Walmart in the laundry aisle. I have discovered that some Walmart stores have discontinued Washing Soda (which is NOT baking soda!) — so if you don’t spot it, don’t panic.
Washing soda can also be found in your pool supply store as sodium carbonate (soda ash), Amazon also sells it in buckets as such as well.
As for the soap: you can make your own 100% Coconut Soap quite easily at home (or purchase here in our shop). If you are buying soap like Zote or Fels Naptha to use instead, be careful. Though they are inexpensive, most of them have added fragrance.
Homemade Laundry Butter Recipe
This recipe for laundry butter will make two quarts (64 oz) — about 128 Tbsp.
- 6-7 oz of 100% Coconut Soap or Fels Naptha – grated
- 1 C. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not to be confused with baking soda)
- 1 C. Borax
- 6 C. distilled water
- Essential oil: 18-20 grams (optional)
Feel free to make this recipe with or without essential oil. If you are using essential oil, measure out 18-20 grams..
Start by cutting the soap into smaller pieces and putting it in the food pulse into shreds.
(The food processor is really easy to get clean after you shred soap so don’t panic.)
Pour six cups of water into a large pot and add in the powdered soap. Bring to a gentle boil, taking care to stir often. The soap should melt in the water over the next 5-10 minutes.
If your soap isn’t melting, raise the heat to allow it to melt faster.
With the heat on low, sprinkle in the borax taking care to stir to dissolve. Don’t add the borax all at once or it will start to crystallize (get grainy) and it will be hard to stir.
After adding the borax, add the cup of washing soda. Just like adding the borax, sprinkle in and stir until the entire cup is dissolved. You want the borax and washing soda to be completely dissolved in the water.
If you can feel grainy powder on the bottom of the pot, then keep stirring until the mixture is entirely dissolved.
Cover the pot and let the mixture gel for 3-6 hours or until set. Don’t rush the mixture, or it won’t be completely done.
Whip the Mixture and Store
When the mixture has cooled and gelled, use a stick blender to whip it. Make sure you get to the bottom of the pot so that everything gets mixed up evenly. The mixture should be the consistency of thick mayonnaise. If you are using essential oils, add them at this time.**
**Some essential oil scents have more staying power than others. Rosemary, Lemongrass & Lavender tend to stay well. Sometimes the essential oils will stay better if you avoid using a clothes dryer.
Load up the finished butter into two one-quart canning jars. If you aren’t using essential oils, you can load up the laundry butter into a Snapware plastic tub that latches.
(I love canning jars but I also worry about the kids dropping them when they help with laundry).
Tap lightly on a folded towel to rid the jar/container of air bubbles as you fill them up. Place a lid and canning ring on top and store at room temperature. To use:
- Put the clothes in your washer
- Add 1-2 Tbsp in your laundry based on the load size/dirt factor
- Set the cycle to ON
- Use 1/4-1/2 C. vinegar in your rinse cycle (optional)
Want to super charge this detergent even more?
So many of my friends love Thieves Cleaner ~ if you do, and you are looking for a way to incorporate it, you can. (How exciting – right??!)
You’ll want to mix in 1/2 C. of Thieves Cleaner in addition to the 6 C. of distilled water to your pot. Continue with the detergent as noted. The final laundry butter will carry an ever-so-slight scent of Thieves cleaner and give this butter even more laundry power.