February 25, 2015

How To: Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

My husband worked for a soap manufacturing plant for quite a few years.  During that time, we rarely had to buy laundry detergent.  When he switched jobs a couple of years ago, I was shocked by how much money I was spending to do laundry for a family of seven.  I have also been on a mission the last few years to reduce the toxic chemicals coming into my home.  So I began looking at the hundreds of recipes posted online and the ones I'd pinned on my Laundry Board on Pinterest to find one that would work for my family.  I finally settled on one that I have used for about a year, and I love it! My clothes come out clean and I'm spending $0.09 per load!

  • Borax
  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
  • Fels-Naptha
  • Downy Unstopables (optional)

  • Fine Grater
  • Wax Paper
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Wisk

Step 1: Grate the Fels-Naptha with a fine grater.  I always put wax paper down to catch the extras.  This is honestly the hardest part of making your own laundry detergent.  It takes me about 5 minutes per bar to grate it.  Kevin can grate it a lot faster than I can, so I make him do it if he's home.  Put the grated soap into a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Add 2 cups of Washing Soda and 2 cups of Borax to your bowl.

Optional: Using the lid, add 2 cups full of Downy Unstopables for a scent.  I used to use this, but now have a new NATURAL way of adding a scent to my laundry.  Find out more in my Wool Dryer Balls post.

Step 3: Mix well with a large wisk.

Step 4: Put into a container (with a lid) to use in your laundry room.  I found this cute glass candy jar at Walmart and the 2 Tablespoon Scoop on Amazon.

I usually add 1-2 scoops (2-4 Tablespoons) per load depending on how large the load is.  I no longer use a color-safe bleach or fabric softener with my laundry either, so another money saver right there.

So here is the cost breakdown...

With the recipe above, it makes about 4 1/2 cups which translates to about 36 loads.  Which breaks down to $0.09 per load.
For my family, I do between 15-20 loads per week, so I actually make a double batch and it lasts me about a month. Before making my own, I was spending $25/month on laundry soap, color-safe bleach, and fabric softener.  Now I spend about $6 and it takes me about 15 minutes a month making it.  That is a time and money saver and worth every penny!

Do you make your own laundry detergent? What recipe do you use? If you don't, what stops you?

Until next time....

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