I have been using homemade laundry detergent for almost 5 years.
I love how cost effective it is, and I even proved it cleans better than Tide here.
So quickly, some context: before using powdered, I did what a lot of people did: I tried liquid. Yes, a liquid homemade recipe that calls for all the ingredients to be mixed in a 5 gallon bucket with water and let sit. The result can be good, but it has to be mixed and stored.
With liquid, I had a hard time getting the lid off and mixing it. It may sound lazy, but I considered switching to brand name just to avoid the hassle.
It then dawned on me to try just mixing up the ingredients and using it dry. With some research I was determined to give it a shot.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Borax ($2.19)
- you can buy it in an even bigger container to save money)- this can be found in almost any laundry isle
- Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda ($4.99)
- this is a bit trickier, but still readily available.
- Fels-Naptha ($1.79)
- same thing as the washing soda, it is a bit trickier to find.
Any of these can be found at places like Ace Hardware. I know a hardware store isn’t the first place you’d look, but it’s a great deal and super close.
For this recipe, you will use the entire bar of Fels-Naptha, but you will only use 1 cup of each of the other 2 ingredients. You can save the rest for your next batch.
1 Bar Fels-Naptha grated
1 Cup Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax
Use a cheese grater to grate the bar of soap, then add all the grated soap, washing soda, and Borax in a blender. Don’t worry, the work pays off.
Mix until all combined. Be careful when opening the top. It will be dusty, and it’s not fun to inhale. Trust me!
Store in a fun little jar! I love this one (and it’s currently on sale)! I have a high efficiency machine, so I use 1/2 Tbsp for each load (I have 3 messy little ones, so I always do large loads. Use less for a smaller load). I know this sounds like not enough, but it’s super concentrated. If you have a non-high efficiency machine, use 1 Tbsp for a large load. Adjust for smaller loads.
Here is a cost break down:
- Fels-Naptha $1.79
- Borax 1 cup $ .80
- Soda 1 cup $ .73
This amount will wash about 84 large loads.
So homemade laundry soap costs roughly $ 0.04 per load. Amazing!
Tide cost per load: A container of the cheapest stuff costs $23.52. It says it will wash up to 110 loads (mine never added up to that…), so this equates a total cost of $ 0.21 per load.