DIY Laundry Detergent

There are a few household items that I despise buying. The first would be paper towels. Now, we don’t really go through many but before James was housebroken, did we ever buy a lot of paper towels! We were going through at LEAST one roll a day (He had a lot of accidents.). Am I ever glad that time is over.

The other thing I wasn’t fond of buying was laundry detergent. I say “was” because I haven’t bought any in at least 3 months, and we still have super clean and fresh clothes every day!

I came across a lot of people who made their own laundry detergent and so I decided to try and give it a whirl. I made the first batch about 3 months ago and haven’t noticed ANY difference in the cleanliness or freshness of our clothes. The homemade stuff and the name-brand stuff cleans equally effectively for me! That batch made 2 1.17 Liter bottles of laundry detergent and I used 1/4 c to 1/3 c per load , depending on how soiled the clothes were. Those two bottles lasted me 3 months! That’s about twice as long as my name-brand detergent! Woohoo!

I didn’t actually calculate the savings based on what I paid for the ingredients needed (forgot to save the receipts!) but I have seen calculations that this whole batch costs just .71 cents which translates to about .01 CENT PER LOAD! Isn’t that crazy?! Enough already, here is how you do it!

First gather your ingredients. Yes, there are only THREE! Soap (Fels Naptha or Ivory. I used Ivory), Borax, and Washing Soda


Grate about 3/4 bar of Ivory or 1/4 bar Fels Naptha using a grater or a food processor. Last time I used a grater and it was a disaster! Using the food processor was much easier!

Add grated soap to 1 cup water. Boil and stir constantly until all soap is dissolved.

Pour 10 cups of hot water into a large bucket and add 2 tablespoons borax, 1/4 cup washing soda, and stir until combined.

This time I added 20 drops lavender essential oil to see if I could get a slight fragrance to the detergent.

Cover the bucket (I used a towel) and let sit overnight. When you check it the next day, it should have gelled up considerably. If you can see, in this picture, I puncture the top layer that was gel-like and the bottom portion was mostly liquidy.

Mix it up really well so no more gel remains, then fill up 2 1.17L bottles about half full. (Like my homemade funnel?)

Then fill the bottles the rest of the way up with water, and you have your detergent!

One thing to note is that I do not have a High Efficiency washer, just a plain, old, dingy one. I’ve read that if you use any other detergent besides HE in an HE-machine, it will void the warranty, so be careful!

Now I’m off to play with my dear doggy, catch up with the Walkers, and make some dinner!

This entry was posted in DIY and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

If you enjoyed this post or have a question, comment, or suggestion, please leave a reply below! Constructive criticism is welcome but anything abusive or demeaning will be deleted at my discretion.

Leave a Comment