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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

I talk a lot about making my own cleaners here.  There are a lot of reasons to make your own cleaners, but in today's economy, I think the strongest persuasion is the price.  

One of my new favorite cleaners is a DIY natural laundry soap that I found browsing Pintrest.  Not only is this made from earth-friendly ingredients, it's also super cheap, and almost easier than just going to the store to buy detergent.  In fact, I believe once you do the math, it comes out to about .5 a load.  You can't beat that even buying in bulk.

You'll only need three ingredients to make this laundry detergent:
  1. Borax
  2. Fels Naptha Soap (or any other mild soap)
  3. Washing Soda-I use Arm and Hammer. 
Even better, I didn't have to go searching for ingredients.  All 3 items were displayed on the same shelf in the laundry section at my local grocery store.

To make this soap, all you need to do is finely grate 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap using a cheese grater.  This took awhile, but maybe I'm just a slow grater! Once you're done with that part, though, you just need to measure out 1 cup of washing soda-it's very important that you get washing soda and not baking soda-and 1 cup of Borax and pour them into the same container as the soap and mix it well.  I put mine in a pretty glass jar, but a plastic Ziplock container works just as well.

Once you've got it mixed well, it's ready to use.  The original instructions I read said to just use 1 tbs for a normal load of laundry, but I found that it cleans better using about 1 1/2.  I also add a splash of distilled vinegar to make my clothes softer.  It certainly helps when you're used to liquid laundry detergent and fabric softener.

I've used about half of my first batch of detergent, so I can honestly say that I love it.  It smells so fresh and clean while it's washing, but when you pull your clothes out, they just smell clean, with no extra scent.  I guess that can be a pro or a con, depending on your preference.  I think on my next batch I'll experiment with adding some essential oils for scent, but otherwise, I can't imagine ever going back to regular detergent again!


  1. I must try this. Hope I can find the soap.

  2. It was very easy to find! I stumbled across it in the laundry section at Wal-Mart :)