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Monday, August 12, 2013

DIY Laundry Detergent

I am so excited to share this post with you! Well over a year ago, I decided to try making our own detergent at home to save money. With just my husband and I living here, we don't go through a whole lot of laundry, but it seemed like we were still spending an enormous amount on laundry detergent. Before we made our own, I looked up many "recipes" to read reviews and see what I wanted to try. (There are so many versions of this recipe with some variations. If you would like the website of my recipe's inspiration, click here.) We decided that we would try it, but were still curious as to whether or not we would actually like it. There were a few stipulations.

The homemade detergent had to... 
1. Be affordable.   
2. Smell really good.    
3. It had to actually work!
4. Be easy to make.    

Good news...
This detergent is all of the above! We have been extremely happy with it! Like I said, we made it over a year ago, and I JUST ran out on Friday! (Plus, I had given small containers of it to my mom, sister, and brother to try, so it actually would have lasted even longer!) When I originally read the recipe, it stated that it would supply a family of four with 1 YEAR worth of detergent! I don't know what you spend to keep your laundry clean, but that was a huge savings for our little family!

Before I made another batch last Friday, I asked my husband if he really liked it well enough for me to make the same recipe again (since we would have it for at least another year and a half!), and he gave me the go ahead! :)

Here's what YOU need to make your OWN! 

1 box (76 oz) Borax- $3.38
1 box (55 oz) Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- $3.24
1 large bottle (55 oz) Purex Fabric Softener Crystals (your favorite scent)- $8.96
1 large container (5 lbs.) Oxi Clean- $9.47
2 cups Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- about $1.00?
3 bars (5.5 oz each) Fels Naptha- $0.97 each

TOTAL: $28.96!!

{The prices are what I paid at the Walmart in my city. They may vary where you are located, or you could probably find them all online, as well.}

The only tricky part about using this detergent is the Fels-Naptha. The first batch, I used a cheese grater to grate it into little strips. We would start the load in hot water, swish it around real good, then change the temperature to what we needed it to be and added the clothes. If we didn't let it dissolve a little, we would get tiny chunks of soap on some of our clothes. {That wasn't fun when washing a load of darks!} Once we got used to letting it dissolve a little, it takes very little time and it's just second nature now when doing laundry. 

However, with the tip from Jillee on One Good Thing By Jillee, I used the food processor to grind the soap this time. That works SO much better! If you have a food processor, I highly recommend using that. :)

Start by chopping your soap into small chunks.

Throw it into your food processor.

Add about 1-1 1/2 cups of Oxi Clean.

Pulse the food processor a few times to break the chunks up.

Then turn the speed up and blend it until it turns to tiny beads.

In a large container, add the borax, washing soda, and baking soda, stirring together.
(I just used my hands to mix it around. Kinda makes me want to get a desktop zen garden...)

Pour in the Oxi Clean, soap pieces, and fabric softener.

Stir it up really well.

Transfer mixture to your containers and store with lids.
(All those containers are full!)

{To make things easier while doing laundry, I attached some sticky-backed velcro to an old coffee scoop and attached the other piece to the bottle.}

Use about 2 Tablespoons of detergent per load.

*Note: If you are sensitive to detergents or softeners, you are able to omit the Purex Fabric Softener Crystals. (You will still get clean laundry, just not the "pretty" scent.)


  1. Cool! Where did you get the cute containers!?

    1. It is some awesome stuff! :)

      I got the big one with the white lid at Goodwill, and the two with the purple caps are the bottles that the Purex crystals come in. (I now have two since I made the second batch.) :)


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