Yes, it’s true – I make my own laundry detergent. I know what you’re thinking – “What?! She doesn’t have 19 kids and counting, why would she do that?!” Well the short story is that I’m cheap. The slightly longer story is below with instructions on how I make mine!
1) The Why
It’s a pretty predictable story: I saw it on Pinterest, tried it once, and realized that it’s not only cheaper than buying laundry detergent but it’s super easy. A 100 fluid ounces of Tide is $12-$14 and that’s 64 loads of laundry. If you do four loads of laundry a week, that Tide should last you about four months. I realized that for $14.46 (the cost of my laundry detergent materials) I could do laundry for three times as long because you only need two tablespoons per load! Plus, you’ll have leftover materials for the next batch, so it’s actually closer to $10 after you use up the remaining ingredients for batch number two. Not to mention the added benefit of not having to lug huge containers of detergent home from the store…
2) The When
One batch can usually last me about a year. I made the batch I am currently using in JULY of last year. Now, part of the reason it lasts me this long is because I still do all our workout clothes in a sports detergent designed to eliminate sweat, odors, and make our pricey tech shirts and dri-fit gear last longer (If you take care of them, you don’t have to buy more, which makes that sports detergent worth every penny). I also have a weak spot for the smell of Tide Febreze, which is how I still do our sheets…but otherwise, I do all our laundry with this concoction.
3) The How
Gosh, wouldn’t it be so pretty in one of those big hurricane jars? Like the magazines? Yup. Probably would be. But here’s my Sterilite plastic bin that I bought at Target for $6 because I’m super classy…and my laundry detergent is hidden behind a closet door so I’d rather function over form.
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Grate your bars of soap until you have 4 cups – I’ve found that one bar equals about 2 cups…so if you buy a 3 pack, you’ll have a bar leftover for your next batch. That is officially the hardest part of this entire process.
Combine the 4 cups of grated soap with 6 cups Borax, 4 cups Washing Soda, and 4 cups Baking Soda.
Use two tablespoons per load!
– You’re going to have leftover ingredients towards your next batch of laundry soap – rather than keep the 3 or 4 half empty boxes and extra bar of soap cluttering up my laundry area, I combine them all in one container and write myself a note of what I need to add to the batch and store that underneath my sink until A. I need to make my next batch or B. One of the ingredients I need goes on sale or I have a coupon for it and I’ll pick it up and add it in.
– I bought a measuring spoon set at the Dollar Store so that I could have a dedicated Tablespoon to leave in the detergent.
– I decided on my last batch to add a cup of Downy Fresh Protect ($5-6) because I had a coupon for it and I really like how it adds a nice fragrance to the detergent. Totally optional.
And that’s it! I know it seems “extreme” and really cheap to make your own laundry detergent…but I hope after you’ve read this that at least it doesn’t seem difficult as well! I have continued to make my own because its remarkably easy as well as saves money. And I love not worrying about buying it for an entire year…that might be the best part!
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