How to Make Your Own Powdered Laundry Detergent For HE Washers


High efficiency, or HE, washing machines are environmentally friendly appliances that use less water and energy to run than their non-HE counterparts. Due to the lesser amount of water used by the machine, HE machines require a detergent that is extremely low sudsing so that it does not foam out and rinses thoroughly from the items being washed. HE laundry detergent can be purchased in stores, but it may be expensive. You can cut down on expense and make your HE washer even more environmentally friendly by making your own detergent at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean, lidded storage container (at least 3 cup capacity)
  • Bar of soap
  • Handheld grater
  • Measuring cup
  • Borax
  • Washing soda
  • Tablespoon
  • Remove the lid from the storage container. Grate a bar of soap into the container using a handheld grater.

  • Measure and add 1 cup borax to the container.

  • Measure and add 1 cup washing soda to the container.

  • Place the lid onto the storage container and shake gently to thoroughly combine all ingredients.

  • Use 1 to 2 tbsp. of the detergent per load of laundry being washed, depending on how soiled the laundry is.

Tips & Warnings

  • Washing soda is not the same thing as baking soda. This product is often available in the laundry section of your grocery store but can also be ordered online.
  • Vinegar makes an excellent homemade, all-natural fabric softener when added to the final rinse of the laundry cycle. Don't worry, as the vinegar smell does not linger on the washed laundry.

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