I’d heard of several people making their own liquid laundry detergent, but there was mixing and boiling involved and I thought “Ugh. No Thank you.” But ever since I’d read how much people were saving making their own detergent, every time I picked up the giant tub of suds at Costco and had to pay way too much money, it made my budget very, very sad. (I mean, you could buy three Costco Whole Roasted Chickens for the same price!)
So when I saw a couple of people come out with this powdered Laundry Detergent recipe I knew I had to give it a try. Smells great, works great, super easy to make, and I got all the ingredients for under $35. (And I expect it to last at least six months.)
The first question everyone asks me is “Are you sure it’s safe for HE washers?” All I can say is that I have scoured the internet looking for anyone who has had a problem with it and have yet to find someone. The main concern is that for HE washers you want a detergent that is less sudsy. Well I’ve sat there and watched my laundry go through a cycle with a store bough HE detergent and this homemade version, (and no, I don’t have better things to do with my time…) and the sudsing was identical. But, if you are of the super-paranoid variety, $12 a month is a small price to pay for piece of mind. My hubby is super skeptical of “alternative” anything, but even he was convinced to give this a try. So far, we are loving it.
How to Make Homemade HE Laundry Detergent
3 bars Fels Naptha, grated ($1.33 x 3)
1 box Borax ($5.75 - 76 ounces)
1 box Washing Soda ($4.00 - 55 ounces)
2 cups of baking soda ($0.65 cents)
2 containers of Oxyclean ($12.99 for 7.2 pounds)
1-2 containers of Purex fabric softener crystals ($6.97 - 28 ounces) (One bottle was plenty of smell for my gang!)
We found all of the ingredients at Target and at Amazon. I was not very patient to try this out, so I bought all the ingredients right away. Now I’ll be watching for them to go on sale to try and keep the price down even more.
1. Start by grading the Fels Naptha. I see that most people do this with a hand grater, but the soap is not that hard and I was able to use my food processor to grate it all up. Most people want it more grated (and would use a different blade,) but I loved the cheesey look of it.
2. Next, mix grated soap and the rest of your ingredients together. It seems that most people mixed right into the tub where they were going to store their soap. I wanted to make sure it got completely mixed up, so I used a big black garbage bag lining my bucket and poured everything in there. (Another hint: do this outside! All the powder can be a lot to breathe in.) Gather up the top of your garbage bag and keep tossing all the ingredients over and over until fully mixed.
And here is your finished product. Store soap in a sealed container with a scoop. I transfer what I’ll need for a month into a smaller jar to keep in my laundry area. Use 2 Tablespoons of detergent for every load of laundry. Make sure to put the detergent DIRECTLY INTO THE TUB, not the detergent dispenser.
There are so many things I love about this homemade detergent:
- It’s Cheaper: I’m estimating this will save me between $80-$100 over then next 6-9 months
- Less Packaging: better for the enviroment
- Less Lugging: I hate with a fiery passion lugging all those giant items home from Costco, but love that I can pick up these small items and keep the tub in my garage
- Never Running Out of Laundry Soap – Priceless
And if you’re looking for a liquid detergent recipe, check out One Good Thing by Jillee
Q4U: Have you made your own laundry detergent before? Do you have other great, ideas about how to keep your bills down? Share them in the comments below. If we love it, you may be asked to write a guest post here on the blog (and receive one of Kathi’s books!)