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Homemade Laundry Detergent

4 Ratings: 4.3
Laundry detergent made at home.
1 review about Homemade Laundry Detergent

Homemade Laundry Detergent -- It's Simple to Make, So Inexpensive, & It Works!

  • Apr 14, 2010
I recently took the plunge and tried a frugal experiment I'd been thinking about for awhile. Some of you may want to try this one yourself, and some of you may think this one's going a little too far--my husband did at first!
I'm talking about making my own laundry detergent! It was incredibly easy and very inexpensive. I'm wondering now what took me so long to try it!
I used a simple three-ingredient recipe I found online for a powdered detergent. The liquid ones seemed like too much work, but this recipe is as easy as mixing together dry ingredients in any baking recipe. If you can mix flour and sugar, you can do this!
All of my ingredients cost about the same as just one bottle of good quality liquid detergent, but should last for several months, may-be longer. The recipe I used only requires two tablespoons of detergent per large load, since it's so concentrated. By the way, all the ingredients were available at my local grocery store. (I'll give you the recipe below.)
So far, after many loads of laundry, this detergent's doing a great job for me. It smells like "soap" but the clothes come out of the washer with almost no scent. If you'd like to add scent, you can use dryer sheets or liquid fabric softener. Many people with sensitive skin like this detergent because it is free of artificial dyes and fragrances though. And, I should mention my family's clothes are coming out clean--may-be even a little brighter than before.
If you want to save money--and you can save quite a bit--don't be afraid to trying making your own laundry detergent. It is so easy!
Here's the recipe I'm using:
Mix together:
1 cup Arm & Hammer (or other brand) Washing Soda --not baking soda
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
2 cups (or approximately 1 bar) very finely grated Fels Naptha laundry bar
Use 2 tablespoons for a large load (adjust for smaller or less soiled loads of clothes)
(Of course, you can always search the internet for other recipes. There are many more, including liquid detergent recipes.)
I found all these products at the end of the laundry area up on the top shelf in the grocery store. I have also heard they are available in Walmart. My parents are giving this a try too, and they found these products at Ace Hardware.
By the way, I've won my husband over, and he even took some of my laundry detergent to work for one of his frugal co-workers to try!

Just an update--After using this detergent for a couple of months, I am happy to report that I'm still very pleased with it. It does an exceptional job of cleaning my family's clothes. I can honestly say that our clothes are coming out of the wash cleaner and brighter than with our store-bought detergent. 

This was really put to the test when I decided to use up a previously purchased bottle of our old detergent. The clothes were not as clean, in my opinion, and I really prefer the very light "soap" smell of my homemade detergent. Our old detergent seemed very "perfumey" and heavy in comparison, and the clothes came out of the wash much duller--I think that's just the best way to describe it.  

I hope if you're on the fence, you'll try this homemade detergent. It is simple to make, and if you use a food processor to grate your bar of soap, it'll be even easier.

For more money-saving ideas and deals, you can visit my site at MomsWhoSave.com.
Homemade Laundry Detergent -- It's Simple to Make, Sooo Inexpensive, & It Works!

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July 22, 2011
This sounds like a workable mix.
August 16, 2011
This sounds like you can save tons of money. The liquid laundry cleaners are now over $10. for the popular brands. A mixture like this can cut costs by about 3/4 . Thanks for the tip. I always add some baking soda to the laundry and sometimes I add white vinegar as a disinfectant.
July 15, 2011
A great idea! We all have to devise ways to save a buck and this is a perfect example.
September 01, 2010
Thanks. I'm going to share this with my wife. She has a homemade cleaning mix of alcohol, ammonia and water, and swears by it. :)
September 01, 2010
I still love it, and I'm so glad people are discovering this. I'm using it today (five months later) and don't plan to go back. I am saving so much money too! My parents also started using it and agree it cleans better than store-bought detergent.
July 01, 2010
Very cool! I really like that you added an "update" with the your experience over the last couple of months. So helpful! I'm sharing this one on Twitter so others can learn from your example!:)
July 08, 2010
Glad you're sharing this! I'm like a maniac trying to convert people to this stuff now. It is so amazing. And, yes, switching back to "regular" laundry detergent for a few loads of clothes REALLY reinforced how much better this detergent is--not to mention cheaper.
April 20, 2010
I remember hearing of people who would make their own soaps with lye and other ingredients. And bar soap called castile. This is a great idea considering the economic times, especially for larger families.
April 14, 2010
This is an amazing tip! It never occurred to me that this was even possible to make at home! This is great.
April 14, 2010
Wow, making my own laundry detergent has never even crossed my mind! This could be beneficial to me, since I have sensitive skin... I'll have to look into it. And that's a major compliment for your husband to be taking your homemade laundry detergent to his coworker! Guys don't usually do those things :P Thanks for sharing!
April 14, 2010
You're welcome. I was skeptical myself, but it's just so easy, I don't think I'll go back to regular detergent.
April 14, 2010
No no, not going to far! That is great! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

Do you know what that laundry bar is made of? 
April 14, 2010
I don't have a bar of this in the house right now, so I can't tell you, but I do know that people sometimes substitute an Ivory soap bar or their own homemade soaps. You can look up other recipes online for more ideas, and substitutions too.
April 18, 2010
Thanks Teresa!
April 14, 2010
This is intriguing to me. But I have two questions. First...what would you estimate the cost savings to be. Say...comparing the cost of X pounds of Tide or some other brand vs. what you pay for the ingredients to make an equal amount? Second, does this recipe work for HE washing machines...or have you seen recipes that do? I guess I could google the second question myself...just wondering. I probably won't go to the trouble, but if the savings is good enough, who knows?
April 14, 2010
I found one answer to my second question online. One recipe (similar to yours) indicated that this recipe has been used in HE machines without any problems because it is low sudsing.
April 14, 2010
You're right about this being low-sudsing, I actually don't see any suds if I take a look at this while it's washing. As for the cost comparison...that's a great question, but I don't have a perfect answer for you. I can tell you my two boxes of washing soda and borax are still almost completely full after making my first "batch" of this detergent. They were each somewhere between $2.50-$3.00. They are big boxes--55 and 76 oz. each. Using a cup each time, they should last a long time considering you use no more than two tablespoons per load of laundry. Each time you make a new batch though, you'll need another bar of soap, which cost me $1.29. I don't know if that helps at all. You have very little to lose though--about $6--if you want to give this a try and make one batch. If you don't like it, you can always use the leftover borax and washing soda as "laundry boosters" along with your regular detergent. That's how they advertise themselves.
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4 Ratings: +4.3
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Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
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