Homemade Laundry Detergent

In an effort to save money to pay off some bills, we have recently chosen the path of frugality. This means making my own laundry detergent, baby wipes, household cleaners, etc. I've found that they work just as well, if not better, than store bought products but at a fraction of the cost (and added chemicals, I might add)!

If you are interested, I am posting the recipes on my blog. In order to make them easier to find, I will post each recipe separately. Feel free to email or comment with any questions. I'd also love to hear your frugal tips if you have any to pass on!

Homemade Laundry Detergent Gel:

  • Grate 1/3 bar of soap in saucepan. I use Fels Naptha,which can be purchased at our local Kroger or online at places like Soaps Gone Buy. If you can't find Fels Naptha, you can also Zote or Ivory soap. I've found when using the Ivory, the entire bar must be used.
  • Add 6 cups of water & heat until soap melts.
  • Add 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (please note that this is NOT the same thing as baking soda) and stir until dissolved. These can be found in the laundry aisle in our local grocery stores.

  • Remove from heat. This is when I add my essential oil. (This is not necessary, but I like having a scented detergent. I usually use about 40 drops of essential Lavender oil.)
  • Pour 4 cups hot water in bucket. I was given some Kitty Litter buckets which I washed out and use for making my soap but a 5 gallon bucket or any other 2+ gallon container with a lid will work as well.

  • Add soap mixture & stir.
  • Next add 1 gallon + 6 cups water and stir again.
  • Let sit for 24 hours to form a gel before using. This will not be a thick gel. It's actually kind of "gloopy" for lack of a better word. :) It's a bit sudsy because I swirled  the bucket around a bit. Smells SO good!
I use old laundry detergent bottles and bleached out milk jugs to store my homemade detergent. The bottle caps like the yellow one pictured below hold a little bit more than the 1/2 cup required per load so I use a Sharpie to mark the 1/2 cup mark on the lid and use it to measure my detergent.

 This detergent is VERY LOW (to none) sudsing but it's the soap that cleans your clothes, not the suds! I have heard that this recipe can also be used in front loaders, but reduce the amount to 1/4 cup.

No suds!

This recipe makes enough for approximately 64 loads and costs around 1 penny per load!

I'm off to hang my laundry on the line! If you line-dry as well, remember to pour about 1/2 cup white vinegar in the rinse cycle which will act as a fabric softener. 


Brutus Duffy said...

That's so cool-thanks for the recipe!