Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Want to reduce your Laundry Detergent cost by more than 75%. Try making your own Laundry Detergent.

I found this Laundry Detergent recipe and nine others over at



1 quart of boiling water

Ivory soap - 2 cups shredded (1 bar)

2 cups Washing Soda - not to be confused with Baking Soda. Still made by Arm & Hammer.

2 cups Borax


Add finely grated soap to boiling water and stir until dissolved. Since I have a large family I just happened to have a 16 quart stock pot in which to work. If you don't have something this large use a pan that can hold 1 1/2 quarts of water to start the process. Once the soap is melted pour it into a large pail or if you have a large pot then you won't need too.

Add the Washing soda. Beware it will foam. (Note - I accidently used baking soda (grabbed the wrong box) in the pictures instead of washing soda so the your end results will look a bit different. Use the Washing Soda - don't make my mistake.)


Then add the borax. Stir until every thing is dissolved. Add 2 more gallons of water.


Pour into old laundry detergent containers, or leave in a covered pail.

Makes just shy of 9 quarts of laundry detergent. Stir or shake before each use. About 1/4 cup per wash load will be good.


I went to my local grocery store and priced out laundry detergent. It ranged from $3.23 to $1.52 per pint. With $2.35 per pint being the average cost.

I spent around $7 on soap, borax and washing soda ( WalMart prices) and I figure that I can easily get about 3 batches of laundry detergent (this recipe) out of the supplies I purchased. So $7 for 27 quarts or 54 pints. That's less than .14 cents per pint compared with the average $2.35 per pint. And that in my book is savings you can take to the bank.

Don't forget to check out Tip Nut for other laundry detergent recipes and helpful information on alternative soaps, scenting your detergent etc.

Happy Washing!


Sara said...

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but I made 2 or 3 batches of this stuff (or a very similar recipe) and my whites all turned a nasty gray. Now, I'm not a huge stickler about laundry, but I just could not tolerate the way they looked. I'm not sure why it happend, but after going back to ,ahem, real laundry detergent and using bleach, they're finally white again.

Maybe as a compromise you could use the homemade stuff for everything except whites?

fawndear said...

TipNut also has a lot of answers to frequently asked questions here about homemade detergents. I think I just use bleach with the laundry detergent when I wash my whites, regardless. Cause my kids are so messy. Maybe that's why I haven't noticed the whites graying like you have.

fawndear said...

Then again, maybe it's because I've just started doing this.

fawndear said...

After talking with my friend the stain guru. She told me in cases of whites to gray clothing she would put vinegar in the rinse cycle using the little Downey Balls. She sometimes also uses an extra rinse.

Tink said...

Awesome tip! How do you like it compared to like Tide? Does it do just as well?