Make Your Own Laundry Detergent!

This post is in honor of The Thrifty Home‘s first Penny Pinching Party on Wednesday! I’m very excited about it, can’t wait to see everyone’s money-saving tips. My recipe is modified from recipes I found on several “frugal blogs”, and is designed to be made in a large pot (like a pasta pot or stock pot) and stored in empty laundry detergent bottles, so save up a few before you make this. It only calls for three ingredients, all of which I found in the laundry aisle of my local Kroger.

Grate 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap and melt in 6 cups hot water in your pasta pot / stock pot on the stove top (medium high heat makes this work quickly). Once soap is melted add 1/2 cup Borax powder (20 Mule Team Borax – anyone else remember that?) and 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. Stir until dissolved. Gradually add 15 cups hot water. Remove from heat and let cool completely before pouring into detergent bottles. Don’t fill them up completely, because once this mixture cools it’s, well, I think the scientific term is “gloppy”. You need room to shake the bottle up before you pour it each time. The entire prep time is about 15 minutes, grating included, and would probably be even faster if you used a food processor. This recipe makes enough to fill three 100 oz. detergent bottles, but could easily be doubled if you have a pot large enough. The concentration is just right for using the cap on the laundry bottle for measuring (one capful per load). It is unscented, but I sometimes add about ten drops of lavender essential oil after I remove it from the heat just because I love the light scent it gives towels and sheets. This cleans just as well as commercial laundry detergents and you will be AMAZED at the amount of money you save.

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5 thoughts on “Make Your Own Laundry Detergent!”

  1. fantastic! Have you found that it removes stains as well as the real thing?

    Welcome to SITS! I know that you will enjoy being a part of this vibrant community of bloggers 🙂

  2. Great post! I have been thinking about making my own laundry detergent since I haven't been able to find any that I like. My kids have extra sensitive skin and don't need all of those extra chemicals on their clothes. Do you know if this recipe will work in a front loading machine?

  3. I've been thinking about this as well, but I have the same question as Jen. I have a high efficiency, front lading washer, and I've never used anything besides Tide. Can I make the switch to homemade?

    I came by to welcome you to SITS!!

  4. You know I am a lover of all things Tide, and have completely messy children, as well as a husband who doesn't know stain stick speak.

    Is it SERIOUSLY as good as Tide??

  5. Been wanting to make my own laundry soap for a while – I already do the baking soda and vinegar + essential oil for the bathroom sinks etc.

    I'm going to try this one, but I don't think I've seen the washing soda. Will keep an eye out for it.

    Thanks for sharing – found you on Mammarazzi.

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