DIY of the week...homemade laundry detergent

Published on 9.14.2011 in

I'm cheap.  I mean, really, really cheap.

Do you know how much I hate to spend $8 on a bottle of soap every month?  Suck.

So, when my cousins came this summer and said they made their own laundry detergent, I bought the supplies.

And then, my cheap self waited until I'd already used my other bottle of detergent before I made my own.  Hence the two month wait to make it.

Using the Duggar Family Recipe, my mom and I made the laundry soap over Labor Day weekend.  Didn't take long, and I've been using it since.  Haven't had any major problems and it seems to get the clothes clean.

It made a lot though.

An entire 5 gal bucket of this gloop.

And actually, it's 10 gallons, because you mix it half/half with water and put it in an old laundry soap container for easy dispensing.

Total number of loads this makes?  640 for my front loading machine.  Yes, that's right.  640.  So, if I do 4 loads of laundry a week, this batch will last me...3 years.

The breakdown:
Bar of Fels-Naptha soap - $.89
Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda - $3.24 (-$1 coupon = $2.24)
Box of Borax - $2.69
5 gal bucket with lid - $1.50

Total cost: $7.32

**Please note that this is for the full box of soda and borax, plus the bucket.  The next time I make it, my cost for 640 loads of laundry will be $.89.

My boys don't share, but if you want to...

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5 Response to DIY of the week...homemade laundry detergent

Kristin K
September 14, 2011 at 8:59 AM

I did this for my cloth diapers, minus the fels-nappa...I guess you can leave that out if you want...:) Yea, for homemade detergent!

September 14, 2011 at 10:45 AM

I love this idea but have a question. I love the smell of a good detergent. Do you still get the good scent from just using dryer sheets? When we were using the unscented/dye free stuff nothing smelled very good.

September 14, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Great question! I've only used unscented soap for a very long time...so unfortunately, I'm a little biased when I say that it smells good. Basically, it smells better than what I used before. But, I do know that you can add essential oil drops to make it smell, like lavender, etc. Just add as desired.

September 14, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Kristin - Thanks for the tip. I've been thinking about moving to cloth diapers, but didn't like the super expensive soap. Off to buy diapers...

September 14, 2011 at 3:41 PM

this might just be worth a shot as laundry continues to pile up. I am totally ok with it smelling like "soap" think I'll be checking into some essential oils though.

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