Make your own laundry detergent.

So, if you had told me 10 years ago that in my not-so-distant future I would be making my own laundry soap, I would have laughed at you.  In fact, I was probably not even aware that you could do such a thing.  And if I were, I probably would have thought it was an odd thing to do – you know like something only those crazy “crunchy” homeschooling (*gasp*) people might do.

Funny how things change.

So, do you REALIZE how much laundry soap costs these days?  It’s CRAZY.  So, in my one-income quest to save our family money, I began looking at other options.  I’ve now been making my own laundry detergent for almost a year now, and honestly, I have no negative things to say about the process.  For less than $10 you can buy all the supplies to make your own laundry detergent that will last you for MONTHS.  Really.  Now, I haven’t crunched the actual numbers to tell you exactly how much you would save over the course of 6 months or a year, but let me tell you, it’s significant!

So, how do you make it?  3 ingredients (well, 4 if you add an essential oil, but that’s optional):

1 bar of ivory soap, grated
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda (not baking soda)

These things can all be found in your regular grocery store.  The borax and washing soda are on the laundry aisle.  I do like to add 10 drops of an essential oil (either rose or eucalyptus) to add a bit of fragrance, but that’s unnecessary.

That’s it!  Finely grate the soap,  add a cup each of the washing soda and borax, and then mix well.  For my HE washer, I use 2 Tbs. per load.

I don’t think I could ever go back to paying full price on laundry soap again!

Now, dishwasher detergent, that’s another story.  I tried for about 5-6 months to make my own dishwasher soap, but I don’t know if it’s just that our water is too hard or what, but even trying different recipes and combinations I never could get that “cloudy” look off my dishes, and I finally just went back to the store-bought stuff.

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About Laura

A Christian wife, mother, daughter, former educator, photographer, amateur chef, pretend gardener, alto 🎶, book nerd, cancer-survivor and laundry-hater.

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6 Responses to Make your own laundry detergent.

  1. Laura Kerr October 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    We too make our own laundry detergent – it’s been about 4 years, I think – and we love it! We’ve noticed the most difference in the towels – they just feel cleaner and smell nicer, even without the essential oils.

    I did try my own dishwasher detergent several years ago and wasn’t happy with the results – the dishes weren’t coming out clean. We too stick with the store bought.

  2. Alyssa Jeanes October 12, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Wow, that definitely seems EASY! I am going to have to try this…we too are looking for ways to cut corners on one salary.

  3. Amy Kingsolver May 15, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    ok, thinking i need to do this to save money as well! did your kids have any allergy issues with it? that’s my only worry. we have never ever used anything but the gentle Tide in the white bottle. i just stocked up but will have to try before I buy again!

    • Laura May 15, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      I still use this… although the recipe I most generally use now is 1 bar of grated fels-naptha, 2 cups borax, 2 cups washing soda. My child with allergies has had no problem with it.

  4. joni March 25, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    Hi I like some of the stuff you ladies are doing.. especially liked the non processed week.. very inspirational.. thanks for the ideas
    I have been using bicarbonate of soda with a few drops of essential oils as my washing powder for weeks now and i have to say all the clothes feel clean and fresh and appear in better condition. i will never go back to chemicals.


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