(UPDATE: I wrote this post about a powder version of homemade laundry detergent. Since then I’ve discovered a recipe for homemade liquid laundry detergent that I like even better! To see that post, click HERE)
I used to think DIY laundry detergent was the dumbest idea ever. Why in the world would I make my own when some detergents aren’t that expensive?
Well, I’m now eating my words. Again.
Now that our family of four is living on one income we’re trying to find new ways of being more frugal. Lately I’ve found lots of money-saving ideas on Pinterest. There’s a make your own EVERYTHING on Pinterest.
Some things are worth making on your own and some things aren’t.
In my opinion, laundry detergent is one of those things that IS worth making to save some money.
I got the recipe from Embracing Life’s Journey. She does a great job of explaining the directions step-by-step (with pictures!) and it’s very easy. It took me about 15 minutes to make one batch.
How much does it cost?
Here’s what I spent to make the first batch:
Super Washing Soda: $3.24 Borax: $3.38 Fels Naptha soap: $.97 for a total of $7.59
Before this laundry adventure I was using a generic Tide formula that cost $6.99 for 64 loads.
When making a batch of soap, you only use a little bit of the super washing soap and Borax. I’ve made four batches of detergent already and I still have a lot of both left. I’m estimating that the boxes of washing soda and Borax will make at least 5 batches of detergent. A new bar of Fels Naptha soap is grated up for each batch.
Each load of laundry uses 2 tablespoons of this detergent. That’s it! So one batch lasts a long time!
Does it clean well?
As far as the cleaning ability, I think this version does well. I should know. I have a 11 month old baby that provides lots of messes on clothes, an athletic husband that creates dirty, sweaty, and sometimes bloody clothes and a 3.5 year old that loves to make messes of all kinds. Let’s not forget me. By the end of most days my clothes are covered in my son’s drool, spit up, and my own general “funkiness”. So yes it does a great job cleaning all those lovely messes.
How does it smell?
I am very picky about smells. If I use a soap it HAS to smell good. This recipe has a fresh lemony smell that I love. As I’m making a batch the scent fills the room and I love it. When I’ve got a load of laundry in it fills my house with the lovely smell.
So if you’ve been thinking of making your own laundry detergent, go ahead and try it. Then let me know how it works out!