Saturday, February 16, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Been to the grocery store lately?  Did you get "sticker shock" as bad as I did? As many of you may know by now, I am always looking for ways to save money. As a Stay-at-home-Mom (SAHM) the way I contribute to the bank account is by not spending unnecessary money.
That being said I wanted to share with you one of my biggest money saving products..Laundry detergent.  As you can image with four children, I do a lot of laundry.  I have chosen Monday as my day of the week to do all my laundry.  Yes, I do it all in one day.  I like to have the job done and not have to think about it for another week.  This does require all day and sometimes I have to finish the next morning with the last load but for me, this is the best way to get the job done.  Since one of the chores that my children do is making sure their dirty laundry gets to the wash room and putting away their clean clothes, doing laundry on Monday also makes chores easier for them to remember (kids always seem to "forget" their chores).

Enough about my routine.  Lets get into how to save yourself a lot of money by making your own laundry detergent in less time than it takes to go to the store and buy it.  I got this recipe from Jill at the The Prairie Homestead (thanks Jill!).
These are the ingredients that I use.
The black bucket is used only to
measure water with. You can
use anything to measure 1 gallon.

What you will need:  1 bar of Fels Naptha soap
                                   1/2 cup Washing soda
                                   1/2 cup Borax
                                   5 gallon bucket

Step one:  Shred the bar of soap using a box grater.  I use the same one that I use for cheese.
Step two:  Mix the soap with 3 cups of water in a medium pot.  Heat and mix at medium until the soap is dissolved.  Make sure to mix well.
Step three:  Once the soap is dissolved pour into a five gallon bucket.  Add the Washing soda and  Borax.  Mix well.
Step four:   Add three gallons of warm water and mix well.
Step five:   Let this sit overnight before using.  You should end up with a lumpy, liquidy detergent.
Use 1/2 cup of detergent per load of laundry. 

I have found that this will wash around 100 loads of laundry!  That saves me a ton of money.
I found all the ingredients at a local super Wal-Mart.  The Fels-Naptha cost $1(the most expensive product to this reciepe) and the washing soda was $3.24 per box and  the Borax was $3.38 per box.  If I get approximately 100 loads of laundry per batch you can imagine I pay a very small amount per load.
This has been my biggest money saver and the detergent works great.  I sometimes miss the scent of the detergent that I used before, but for the money, I can go without the smell.

This is the container I keep detergent in my laundry area.  It fits nicely in place of the washing powders that I use to buy.  I keep the half cup measuring cup with it so that it is easy to measure.  I keep the rest in the five gallon bucket in the closet.

Happy Laundry Day!! - Michelle


  1. We make our own laundry soap too. It is so much cheaper! I haven't tried making the liquid kind, but we make a powder with fels naptha/borax/baking soda/washing soda. I have been using it for 6 years now, and with the amount of laundry I do I would say it is worth it :-)

  2. This seems like a silly question to ask, but... where in your Wal-Mart did you find the washing soda? I have searched ours high and low and cannot find it.

    1. Leesa,

      They are on the same aisle as washing powders, but across from them near the fabric softeners. One row up from the bottom. The first time we purchased them, they were out at Walmart and had to go to Ingles (hillbilly version of Kroger)

  3. Hi! New follower by way of

    The Homestead Barn Hop and I’d like to invite you to join me at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

    I hope you can make it!


    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  4. I have found washing soda at Ace Hardware, also. Perhaps you have a hardware nearby that may carry it?