Monday, January 26, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Okay, so I've started off rough with only one blog entry. I do have a good excuse though....I've been studying for a grad school test, while taking care of two little ones! Anyway, I thought I would start off by telling you a little about how we have been saving money at our house. It was kind of a New Years resolution to find new ways to save money around here. We're pretty careful about what we spend our money on, but this year I thought we could be creative! I was browsing our receipts and noticed we were spending A LOT of money on household cleaning supplies. Laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, dust spray, bathroom cleaner, you get the picture. After seeing this, I went straight to the internet and began looking up recipes to try and make our own cleaning supplies. I was pleasantly surprised at the results! Not only am I saving money by making some of our own cleaning supplies, but I'm also helping the environment at the same time. Keep in mind that we are still trying some of these recipes out as we use the rest of our old store-bought supplies up. Here is the first recipe for laundry detergent:

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 bar bath soap
1 cup washing soda
1 cup baking soda
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax

Grind together in your food processor (I used a blender). Use 2 Tablespoons of mixture for each full load of laundry. In place of the bath soap you can use a laundry pre-treating soap called Fels Naptha. It works great for getting stains out!

I think all of these ingredients together cost less than what I was paying for the Tide I was using. I was paying around 32 cents per load, no I'm down to about 6 cents per load! I found most of them at our local HyVee grocery store. Wal-Mart here doesn't carry much in the way of selection when it comes to cleaning supplies. It took me roughly 10 minutes to make and I store it in an old Rubbermaid container (with lid). I love this stuff because it actually works better than the store-bought detergent! My husband had a lot of old work shirts that smelt like sweat in the arm pit area. That smell is now gone! We've also noticed that more untreated stains are coming out of the girls' clothing. I couldn't be happier with the results. I'm saving tons of money on something that works better and is better for the environment! If you decide to try this let me know how it works for you!


  1. Yay! Great Blog Katie. One day when I do run outta laundry detergent, I will try this out. So glad to hear it works so well and saves you money!!

  2. We are doing this at our house, too. I've got recipes for everything--from deoderant to toothpaste to dishwasher soap. We are slowly fazing out our storebought stuff and replacing it with homemade. Let me know if you want some recipes. :)

  3. Is this the Duggar recipe? I printed that off a while ago and want to make it, but I use the laundry soap that is free of scents and fragances because of Chase's asthma and the girls dry skin. Since you have made it could you tell me if it has a mild scent and is mild on your skin?

  4. Heidi~
    It is very mild on the skin, we too have sensitive skin at our house. It's not the same as the Duggar recipe. You don't have to boil anything. You just grind up the soap and mix it all together. There is some fragrance in the soap I use, but I think it's fairly mild compared to store-bought detergent. Also, you can use half a bar of the soap and the recipe works just as well.

  5. Thanks for the recipe...I seen this on the Duggar family (I read that not same recipe) and thought about it but didnt know if I would be able to find the ingredients....but I guess I will go hunt them down since I am down to just one bottle of detergant. Please keep sharing all those recipes for homemade cleaning agents.

  6. Heidi, you might want to try it and use an all-natural bar soap. Our favorite is Baby Mild, by Dr. Bronner. It's olive oil based.

    Here's another recipe that uses less of the washing soda and borax, and omits the baking soda, which can be irritating:

    Laundry Soap

    1 c. Dr. Bronner's soap, grated
    1/2 c. washing soda
    1/2 c. borax

    Use 1 T. for light loads, 2 T. for heavy loads. Use 1/2 c. vinegar as a fabric softener.