Apr 27, 2012

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Here's another CHEAP & EASY idea.  Of course, it's not really my idea.  I have no clue what genius put this all together but my friend Ashli is the one who told me about it.  She's a very environmentally friendly and money savvy girl.  Once, while catching up on the phone, she told me she made her own laundry detergent.  At first I kind of scoffed it off thinking it wouldn't be worth my time.  She then told me that it lowered her costs of laundry detergent down to 1 penny a load.  1 PENNY! Maybe this was worth my time.  You see as a mother I feel like I'm always doing laundry and always running out of detergent.  Most families spend anywhere from 10 to 13 cents per load of laundry and do on average 6 to 10 loads per week.  Those pennies really do add up.  And remember if it wasn't also easy I wouldn't be doing it.  

Here's what you'll need:

One 5 oz bar of fels-naptha soap
1 cup of washing soda (this is not the same as regular baking soda, you can find it in the laundry isle)
1 cup of borax
4 cups of hot water
One 5 gallon bucket with a lid

Grate the soap with either a cheese grater or just use a paring knife to shave the bar.

It should look something like this.  (My two year old was quite upset when I didn't let her sample it because she thought it was cheese).

 Add the shaved soap to the 4 cups of hot water and cook over medium heat until all the soap is melted.

Then fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water, add the melted soap and the washing soda and borax.  Mix the solution until all the powder is dissolved then fill the bucket with more hot tap water to within about 2 inches of the top.

And there you have it! You can now go do a load of laundry for only a penny!  You only need about 1/4 cup per load and this mixture will last you a long, long time.



Adrienne Branch,  9/07/2012  

I've seen this done on the TLC Show 19 kids and counting but now that I also see it on your blog I just might try it. Does it wash and even smell the same as store-bought detergent?

Julie N. 9/07/2012  

Thanks for the question Adrienne! I had no clue that TV show family uses this, that's awesome! I guess with 19 kiddos you'd have to do things like this. Anywho, I feel like it washes just as well as anything else I've used. (That being said I've never used anything expensive!) It doesn't smell like the store bought stuff because it doesn't have extra fragrances added to it, which I suppose you could do. Either way I still feel like our clothes smell good and clean, even though nasty boy clothes that are all over our house. Next time I'm in Ohio I'll stop by the let you get a whiff!

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