There are fewer steps involved for making your own powdered laundry detergent compared to the liquid version. Both methods use the same basic ingredients, with the liquid recipe also calling for water and optional essential oils.
Making your own liquid or powdered laundry detergents involves the same three basic ingredients, which are washing soda, sodium borate and a bar of Castile soap. Washing soda differs from baking soda in that it has a stronger concentration, meaning it is not suitable for ingestion and requires gloves to handle. The most common brand of sodium borate is Borax; sodium borate is a natural compound frequently used in cleaning solutions. It is possible to use a variety of bar soaps, though any fragrances, lotions or other compounds present in the bar appear in the final detergent.
Creating liquid laundry detergent involves grating 5 ounces of bar soap and boiling it with 4 cups of hot water. After it fully melts, fill a 5-gallon bucket with hot water and add in the mixture, along with 1 cup of sodium borate, 1 cup of washing soda and any essential oils, and let sit for 24 hours. To create the powdered detergent, combine the same ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until fully incorporated as a powder.