Make a Year's Worth of DIY Laundry Detergent for Less Than $4!

Homemade laundry detergent? It works. And it's amazing. And it's really, really inexpensive. This is an easy DIY project. Read on:


I've been on a mission the past few years to rid our home of nasty chemicals. I believe that there are ways to get things clean by using safe and natural things instead of products with mysterious ingredients with names I can not even pronounce. 

I've been making my own laundry detergent for two to three years now and have saved loads (see what I did there?) of money. And it works great! All you need are a few, easy-to-find ingredients. This recipe makes a 5-gallon bucket of concentrate (10 gallons once mixed with water) and lasts our family four to five months. 

Stuff you'll need.

Stuff you'll need.

Ingredients:

Looks like cheese, but you don't want to eat it.

Looks like cheese, but you don't want to eat it.

  • 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap (found on laundry aisle at WalMart)
  • 1 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda)
  • 1/2 cup borax (This is not boric acid and it is completely natural. Our family has never had issues with it, but it you want you can leave it out.)
  • essential oil (optional)
  • 5 gallon bucket with lid 
Stirring it up with help from Z. I use a tool made for mixing drywall compound and chuck it in Ron's drill. Works like a charm!

Stirring it up with help from Z. I use a tool made for mixing drywall compound and chuck it in Ron's drill. Works like a charm!

Instructions: 

Grate the soap bar into a small saucepan and cover with hot water. I use a food processor, but a cheese grater would work fine. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continually, until the soap completely dissolves. 

Put washing soda and borax into a 5-gallon bucket and pour the hot, melted soap mixture over it. Stir until the powders are dissolved. Fill the bucket to the top with more hot tap water. Stir, cover securely, and let sit overnight. 

This smells amazing.

This smells amazing.

The next morning you can add essential oil(s), I added 20 drops of Young Living's Purification to mine because it's good at neutralizing odors and we enjoy the smell. Whether you add essential oils or not, the next step is to stir well. Mix equal amounts of soap concentrate and water to smaller, easier-to-handle containers and shake well before each use. 

For top-loading machines: Use 1 cup of soap per load

For front-loading machines: Use 1/2 cup per load

Breakdown of cost: 

Finished!

Finished!

Fels Naptha bar - $.98

Washing Soda - $3.49 for a 55 ounce box

Borax - $4.99 for a 76 ounce box 

If my math is correct, this comes out to approximately $1.11 for 10 gallons of laundry detergent (or $0.11 per gallon) that lasts me 1/3 of the year. That's a whole year's worth of laundry detergent for a family of six for under $4!


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