Homemade Laundry Detergent for $.05/load!!

12 Sep

The past week or so, I’ve been having fun making my own lotion, soap, lip balm, etc and since most of my attempts were successful I decided to go for the big one – laundry detergent. I have a family of 5 so I’m constantly washing something…..especially since my dog loves to drive me crazy &  jump on my bed with her dirty paws! Let me just remind you guys that I’m a bit “domestically challenged”, so making my own detergent is way on the bottom of the list of things I thought I would ever do. I wanted to give it a try not only to save money but my 8 year old son has really sensitive skin and is constantly itchy. I’ve tried different detergents including the All free and clear, but nothing has helped so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to  make something where I can have more control over the ingredients.

I use liquid Tide right now, but for my first attempt I thought making a powdered detergent would be easier. I searched and came across this site and found a simple recipe…..he also breaks it down by cost and shows step by step.

You will need :

1 bar soap, grated – I used Fels -Naptha since it was in the laundry aisle and its the one a lot of recipes call for but you can use other kinds

1 cup Borax – I used 20 Mule Team brand

1 cup Washing Soda – I used Arm & Hammer

I found these all at my local Wally World…..the soap was $.97, the Borax was $3.38 and the washing soda was $3.24.

The Method:

Grate the bar of soap into a bowl. Add borax and washing soda and mix mix mix! Its easier if you use a small handheld grater like he shows in his picture (mine was too big). That’s it…..you are done!!

I was a little skeptical of this because it didn’t really suds up, but I read that this is normal and its not the suds that clean your clothes anyway. I tried this out yesterday with a load of bedding and a load of clothes and while its too soon for me to give a full review, I like it so far. I use about 1 1/2 tbsp per load. The only complaint I have is that I like a scent on my clothes – not a strong one, but something fresh. Its not that this smells bad, it just doesn’t have much of a scent at all. I may try adding something to the powder to help out a bit. Also, my cheese grater was too big, but it didn’t really make a difference since it dissolves right away.

And because I’m a dork, I have to do a pro/con list for you:

Pros: Very inexpensive, easy to make, better for environment, less chemicals, seems to do a good job getting clothes clean.

Cons: Lack of “fresh” smell & it makes my arm hurt to grate soap( not really a con, but it does 🙂 )

So I hope this helps any of you that are on the fence about making your own. It really is worth it to give it a try because really whats the worse that happens? You make it and don’t like it and you can still use the ingredients for other things.


If anyone has any good natural ideas of freshening up the scent a bit please feel free to share……or leave a comment if you try this and let me know how you like it.

It looks like cheese

In process….

All done!


One Response to “Homemade Laundry Detergent for $.05/load!!”


  1. Finding my own way… « Geli's Goodies - September 17, 2012

    […] Laundry Detergent – I seriously felt like one of the Duggars doing this, but it really does make sense! It saves me at least $15 every month or so and gets my clothes just as clean. […]

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