Homemade laundry detergent is one of those things that is both easy to make and can save your family a lot of money at the grocery store. Today I wanted to share with you my recipe for homemade laundry detergent. Making homemade detergent is easier than you might think and the cost comparison makes it worth the small amount of effort required to make this.
Walmart challenged me to take on a fun Spring project and today I want to share with you a recipe and some ideas for spring cleaning your laundry routine by making your own homemade laundry detergent.
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Homemade Batch of Laundry Detergent?
Homemade detergent is made up of three ingredients: Fels-Naptha or Ivory Soap, Washing Soda, & Borax. The current pricing on these three ingredients is:
Fels Naptha Soap- $.97 per bar
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (55 ounce box)- $3.24
Borax (76 ounce box)- $3.38
One batch of laundry detergent takes one cup of the borax, one cup of the washing soda, and one bar of soap. Dividing the total materials required to make one batch of soap means that it would cost $1.81 total to make a batch. At one to two tablespoons per load, it comes in at a mere $.04, compared to $0.17-.0.21 per load like the other name brands. That’s a pretty impressive savings! When you multiply that savings by a billion loads a week (if you live in our house), that is some serious savings!
Where Do You Find Borax, Washing Soda, & Fels Naptha Soap?
These supplies are all right in a row in at your local Walmart and are located on the opposite side of the laundry detergents, over by the stain removers! Why am I sharing this information? Simply because I could not find it and wanted to save you the trouble of walking up and down the detergent aisle like a lost little child like me!
Is Laundry Detergent Hard to Make or Time Consuming?
Some of the most time-strapped people I know are making their own detergent. I was able to make a triple batch of this soap in about fifteen minutes and that is along with taking pictures for this tutorial. The real time-consuming process of it is grating the soap, but if you have a food processor, that can be accomplished in no time at all.
How Do you Grate the Soap?
You can definitely use an old-fashioned cheese grater, but the soap can clump up and not completely dissolve in your load unless you grate it extremely fine. I allow my food processor to do the work for me because it is much easier to do and gives you the opportunity to also double or triple your batches of laundry detergent, in no time flat.
The process of grating the soap is easier than it sounds. You simply want to cut your bars of soap in half lengthwise so that you can feed them through the shoot of your processor. Assemble the processor with your cheese grater attachment and feed your soap in slowly and gently through the top shoot. Once all the soap has been grated, dump it into a bowl and remove the cheese grater attachment. Reassemble the processor with the basic blade and then put the grated soap back in. Spin it again until the soap resembles fine small pellets. That is it! Your soap is ready to be incorporated in your laundry detergent!
Is Homemade Detergent Safe to Use With High-Efficiency (HE) Washers?
The true beauty about this homemade detergent is that it doesn’t have a lot of suds. The main reason you can’t use laundry detergents not made for HE washers is because of the suds factor. Thanks to the small amount of suds and the minimal amount of soap you need to use to wash your loads, it is the perfect detergent to use with your HE washer! You can use this homemade laundry detergent with confidence!
Is This Homemade Laundry Detergent Septic Friendly?
The ingredients in this soap contain zero phosphates and zero fillers (like montmorillonite clay) that cause commercial powder detergents to clog lines. I am sure other items that you have lurking in your home are less septic friendly than this one so this is a perfectly safe product to make and use.
Now that you know all about it, let’s get started on our project!
1 box of Borax
1 box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 Bar of Fels-Naptha Soap (or more if you plain to double, triple, or quadruple your batch)
Jar for Storage (found in the kitchen supplies)
Coffee Scoop (found in the kitchen supplies aisle, optional, but is great for perfect measuring of your detergent)
How to Make Your Detergent
- 1 bar (or 4.5 ounces) of shaved bar soap (Ivory, ZOTE, Fels-Naptha)
- 1 cup of borax
- 1 cup of washing soda
- Shred your bars of soap as shown in the tutorial above.
- Mix one cup of borax, one cup of washing soda and the grated soap in a large bowl until incorporated well.
- Use 1 tablespoon per load (or 2 tablespoons for heavily soiled loads).
- Store in a glass jar or well-sealed plastic container.
Do you make your own laundry detergent? What is your winning recipe for the perfect homemade laundry detergent? Feel free to share your tips!