Last year, I started making my own laundry detergent. I can’t remember exactly what made me want to try it. Probably a combination of Pinterest and saving money. It’s always fun to look for efficient ways to make your money stretch further.
Now that I have been making my own detergent for about a year, there is no going back. I have tried two different recipes and thought I would share the pros and cons of both.
There are several homemade recipes to choose from… including liquid or powder mixes. I went with a powder recipe both times because it seemed easier to make and store that way. Unfortunately, I don’t have the website for the first recipe anymore.
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
- 1 bar of soap grated (I used Dove unscented.)
This is a simple recipe and only takes about 30 minutes to make. All you have to do is use a cheese grater to grate the soap and then add all the ingredients together. One tablespoon is enough for a load of laundry.
Store brand detergents contain a lot of fillers which is why you have to use more per load.
- quick to make
- stores in small container
- works great for everyday laundry
- gentle enough to use on baby clothes
- one batch lasts about 6-8 weeks
- had trouble removing milk stains
I used the above recipe up until Christmas, but when I found this one on Pinterest, I decided to give it a try.
This recipe calls for:
- one 4 lb.12 oz. box Borax (detergent aisle)
- one 4 lb. box Arm & Hammer Baking soda (cooking aisle)
- one 55 oz. box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (detergent aisle)
- three bars of Fels-Naptha soap (detergent aisle)
- two small containers (3.5 lbs. total) of Oxi Clean or store brand (detergent aisle)
You will need a five gallon bucket lined with a trash bag to store your detergent in. I bought a paint bucket from Walmart. This was originally one of the holdups for me. I didn’t have a place to store a five gallon bucket in my laundry room. But when I saw this pinned on Pinterest, I noticed that a smaller container was used to keep detergent easily accessible. Grate the three bars of soap and then mix all the ingredients together.
The bucket can be stored somewhere else if needed… it was for me. I haven’t found the time to make a cute container for my detergent, but mine gets the job done.
Like the previous recipe, you only need one tablespoon per load… or in my case, a coffee scoop because I can’t drink coffee anymore. (Read more on that here.) The container above is about a three month supply.
- one batch lasts nine months to a year
- works as well as store brands at removing stains (even milk stains)
- smells great (it even freshens your house as you grate the soap)
- gentle enough for baby clothes
- roughly costs $20 a year
- takes a little longer to initially make (mainly because you have to grate three bars of soap
- need a place to store a five gallon bucket
I have been using this recipe since Christmas and think I will stick with it. I think the addition of Oxi Clean really helped. A plus for me is that I can wash Noah’s clothes with ours since this detergent is gentle enough for her skin. And because of that, I don’t have to keep several kinds of detergent handy. I do, however, use Charlie’s Soap to wash her cloth diapers. From what I have read, some of the homemade recipes can mess up the absorbency of cloth diapers. And that’s one thing you don’t want to mess up!
Charlie”s Soap and bumGenius cloth diapers can be found on the Products I Love Amazon Affiliate link to the right. I own and love all of these products! (If viewing on a mobile device, it appears below the post.)
I love using my homemade laundry detergent and look forward to trying other homemade cleaning recipes. Does anybody else make their own detergent? Or have different variations of the recipe? What other homemade household cleaners have you liked best?
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