Ballin’ on a Budget: DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent

Any aspiring baller knows that there are 3 principles of balling one must consider when tryna’ ball:

  1. Know when to swerve.  That is, if you suspect that the object or service of your desire could be procured at a lesser cost or effort with little to no determent to your baller status – regroup and do your research,  cop somewhere else, or go in a completely different direction and be a trend setter.
  2. It’s aiight baby, Treat yo’ self.  When the risk/reward analysis works out and you really want it, or it’s something you’ve gotta’ jump on or miss out – DO IT/BUY IT/SPLURGE.  IF you can afford it – it ain’t ballin’ if it puts you into debt.  Nobody likes a broke bitch.
  3. I got ‘dis.  Meaning, you can either make, trade, barter, or otherwise produce a comparable or higher quality good or service from your own devices.

In the case of liquid laundry detergent (I know, I’m fancy huh?) – I got ‘dis.

My skill set of playing around in my kitchen and the effort it actually takes to produce 5 gallons of laundry detergent is worth it to me.  It isn’t difficult, and it’s important to know that what I’m putting next to my most sensitive parts won’t leave me with an allergic reaction that looks something like raw hamburger – ya dig?

In any case – how to ball on a budget: laundry detergent edition.

The ingredients are cheap, non-chemical-y, and easy to come by.


  • Stock Pot
  • Cheese grater
  • Plastic Stirrer (I used a plastic batter spatula)
  • Measuring Cup
  • 5 Gallon Bucket, preferably with a lid

Note: The utensils you use to mix/cook the detergent don’t have to be dedicated utensils.  We’re not working with any gnarly chemicals – just be sure to thoroughly clean them when you’re finished.  You won’t even need to use extra soap.  ‘Cause, ya know, we’re making soap.

Raw Materials:


The Process:



Grate that bar of soap.  Yeah, the whole thing.  It will make your house smell like you scrubbed it with sunshine.

I did it over the pot to eliminate possibility of hubby accidentally eating what looks like stray cheddar cheese only to be greeted with highly concentrated soap flavor.  Mmmmm.



Add a cup of water to the pot and turn heat on medium.  Stir occasionally until soap is melted.  DO NOT over stir or get fancy and whisk or beat with hand mixer.  Excess bubbles will result in a chunky gel on the finished product.  Just gently, occasionally, stir it.


Add another cup of water, the cup of Borax, and the cup of laundry soda. Turn down heat, and occasionally stir until dissolved.  Let cool till you can handle the pot.


Dump contents of pot into 5 gallon bucket.  SLOWLY add warm water until almost full.  About 1/4 room left to the top of bucket.  Give it another stir to break up any developing chunks.

YOU’RE DONE!  Take the bucket to where ever you keep your washing machine.  Ours lives in the basement next to the utility sink.


See those chunks on the top?  I tried to get fancy and whisk the melting Naptha – don’t do that.  Also, I didn’t add the water to the bucket slowly :(.  It ain’t pretty but it smells awesome, was CHEAP, and works!

Use about 4 oz per load (about one of those regular sized laundry detergent cups).  You’ll get around 160 loads out of a 5 gallon bucket.


Now, I’ve heard of some people super charging their detergent by adding some powdered OxyClean – but in my opinion, if I wanted expensive detergent…I’d just by it.

At about $5.33 in raw materials for for around 160 loads that’s like $.0333333333 CENTS per load.  If that ain’t ballin’ on a budget – I don’t know what is.

What do y’all think?  What’s one of your favorite ways to ball on a budget?