Monday, June 9, 2008

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

I have to give credit for this one to Trent from The Simple Dollar.

What is needed:
5 gallon bucket
1 bar of your favorite soap (we use Irish Spring - nice scent)
Washing Soda (I have used Baking Soda as well)

Grate the soap into a pile of shavings and melt it on the stove in 4 cups of boiling water.

Fill the five gallon bucket with about 3 and 1/2 gallons of HOT water.

Pour the melted soapy water in the bucket and stir.

Add 1 cup of Washing Soda and stir.

Add 1/2 cup of Borax and stir.

Let cool overnight and you are ready to wash clothes. You will need to experiment with how much to use. We use roughly the same amount we would use if we were using commercial detergent. The amount prepared above lasts my wife and I (no kids) for about 6 months and literally costs pennies to make. The last time we bought detergent was a year and a half ago AND we still have Borax and Baking Soda left from our original purchase.

Works great! Give it a try and save some cash to help with survival preparations.

EDIT: This will not adversely affect your washing machine in any way that I know of. It contains almost the same ingredients as commercial detergent.

...that is all.

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  1. I tried washing laundry in a five gallon bucket a couple of weeks back. I wish I had this recipe then.


  2. This stuff works great for sure. My wife and I have become believers and I will never pay for laundry detergent again!!!

  3. I showed your post to my wife. She slapped me upside the head and said "if you think I'm giving up my Tide 3, Clorox 2, Downy or bounce sheets you have another think coming" then she sent me off to fix supper. I'll mix up 5 gallons and wash my own clothes with it, thank you very much.

  4. I bet if your wife just "tried" it she would be shocked at how well it works. Laundry detergent is one of those things that has always been expensive for some reason, I say mix up a batch and wash your clothes...let her see and smell the results and she may soften her stance a bit. Thanks for reading!

  5. My state doesn't sell the borax washing soda. Does the baking soda work just as well ?

  6. You need the Borax...but I have used Baking soda in place of washing soda and it works just as good.

  7. I use a similar recipe:

    1 part 20 Mule Team Borax
    1 part Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
    1 part bar soap, grated (I use castile soap, Dr. Bronners)

    I just mix these in a container, I don't add any water, I prefer using it dry, it stores in a much smaller space, and it works great. I usually grate a whole bar of soap, figure out how much it made, then I add the same quantity of borax and washing soda (equal parts each).

    I use 2 tablespoons of powder per wash (you can use a coffee scoop, it's the right size), it will seem like it's not enough, it will not "suds up", but I promise it works, I noticed my clothes came out cleaner, even my hubby's grubby work clothes. It doesn't leave any residue behind, I noticed that I could use less fabric softener too (eventually I stopped using that as well, I either hang my clothes to dry or I use a dryer ball to fluff my clothes as they dry).


  8. I made a batch of dry detergent. It was wonderful!.Smells fresh and the clothes are spotless. I am saving tons of money.