Monday, February 7, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been wanting to try this for a while.  I used to buy the cheapest detergent I could find because my skin is not sensitive to any certain brand.  However since my son was born I have been washing all of our clothes in All Free and Clear which I hardly ever catch on sale.  The few times it has been on sale it's still over $10 for a medium size bottle, and call me cheap but I think that is way too much for soap.  Maybe if I was still working I would have continued buying it just because its easy to just pick it up and put it in the cart along with all my other groceries. 

 I have had multiple recipes saved and now I have finally done it.  I guess I put it off so long because I thought the process would take longer, but it was super easy.  First I looked at different recipes and like always combined a few. 
I bought Borax, Super Washing Soda, and Baking Soda (I usually have this on hand already to use as a general cleaner for the bathroom).  Not pictured-Ivory Soap bar.  Some recipes say to use Zote soap or Castile but I like using what I already have in the cupboard and Ivory is what we use in the shower so that's what I decided to use.  I found all three of these in the laundry aisle at my local Kroger, however I have looked in other Krogers and some don't have the super washing soda.  If yours doesn't carry it try using some oxyclean powder in your recipe.

1st I grated 2 bars of Ivory soap using the grater I have in my kitchen drawer, into a large bowl.  I thought this step would take forever but I did it while watching tv and Grant was napping.  Probably took about 5 minutes and bonus, it's a good work out for your arms.
Here's a close up of the soap grated.  Next I took my hands and just ran them through to break the pieces up a little smaller (i don't know that this is really necessary but I did it anyway).

Now add 2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
1 cup Baking Soda
to your bowl
(If you don't want to buy the baking soda you can leave it out.  Some recipes don't call for it if you use the washing soda but I figured since I had it in the cupboard why not add it in for a little something extra.)

I used a spaghetti ladle (I don't know if that's its actual name but thats what I call it), it has the slots in the bottom so I thought it would mix up the powders better)

Now find a pretty container, or just any plastic container with a lid will do, and fill it with your laundry detergent.
I put an extra scoop I had from a container of oxyclean in with my detergent and viola!
I use one or two full scoops (depending on how dirty the clothes are) for a large load of laundry, which is about 3 tablespoons.

So what is the total cost of making this laundry detergent, here's the cost breakdown:
Super Washing Soda - about $3.99
Borax - about $2.50
Baking Soda (I usually already have) - about $2.50
Ivory Soap - free from my bathroom cabinet
total - about $9
I probably have enough of each of these items to make at least 3 or more batches of this detergent before I have to buy any more.  Much cheaper than store bought brands, and much easier on my grocery budget.


  1. Hi, I just came across your blog and am intrigued by homemade washing powder. I've never even considered looking for it! I'm unhappy with my laundry liquid at the moment.

    Can I ask how clean the clothes end up using this recipe? Does it get basic stains out or does everything need to be pre-soaked?


  2. I have had no issue with stains not coming out and I never presoak (i'm lazy when it comes to that). I even wash my cloth diapers with this detergent and they come out white and good as new. You could always use oxyclean as a detergent booster if you are concerned, but I have not had to do this. Thanks for checking out my blog :)



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