Sunday, June 22, 2008

Make it Yourself . . . Laundry Detergent

When I first got married I really wanted to make my own laundry detergent. I had read the Tightwad Gazette. I was so excited, but I never got around to making my own detergent. Well, that was eight years ago and I finally found all of the ingredients to make this detergent. I got my instructions from The Simple Dollar. Washing soda is really hard to find. But apparently I hadn't looked very well at my local Kroger store. You can also order it online if you can't find it locally.

These are the ingredients you start with. I looked all over for them and finally found all 3 at my local Kroger store.

This is what your "soup" looks like once you have added the shaved (or grated) soap to the water. My husband suggested I use the vegetable peeler and peel the soap into the water.

This is a picture of my son helping me stir.

Here is the finished product. Several other websites mentioned that it will actually look like an egg noodle soup. It does.

I have washed several loads of clothes with it today and they have come out clean so I am happy with this process.

And, it does not take that long to do. It takes about 20-25 minutes for the soap to disolve and then a few minutes to mix in the washing soda and borax and then just let it sit until the next day.

The cost: The Fels Naptha soap costs $1.29, the Washing Soda was $3.09 and the Borax was about $2.49. Considering you only use 1 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup of Borax this was SUPER cheap!

I use one cup per load. According to Simple Dollar this amount will last about 48 loads.

Check out more Make It Yourself Ideas here.


  1. How much detergent do you use each time? How many loads do you expect this amount of detergent to last?

  2. Good questions, I have updated my post to answer these, but I will answer here too. According to the Simple Dollar's post you use one cup per load of laundry, and this should last for about 48 loads of laundry.

  3. Cool! I'm thinking of trying this when our current detergent runs out.

  4. I have the stuff..but using Zote Soap...just haven't done it yet... Sept. my husband and I start Dave Ramsey's Financial university...

  5. Help me understand something: How can so much water and so little borax, soda & bar soap do a good job? Seems that would only be about 1T per load, if that. The back of the borax & soda boxes says to add 1/2 c to detergent to "boost" cleaning power. That's per load. I used this recipe 1st time then made up my own recipe next time making it twice as strong. Either way it's cheap. I use Fels Naptha. I'm 66 and remember my grandma shaving Fels Naptha into her wash water when I was a child.

  6. I tried this but it made my clothes smell musty. Then I read online that if you have hard water using home made detergent makes you clothes smell musty

  7. I also have hard water, but my clothes never smelled musty. I know if I did leave my clothes in the washer too long that did sometimes happen. Sorry it did not work for you!

  8. I would like to know how to use this homemade detergent with my new high efficiency front loading washer. The manufacturer's warranty states that if any detergent other then "HE" detergents are used, it voids the warranty because the other types produce too many suds and can ruin the washer.


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