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Home-made Laundry Detergent

Updated on March 25, 2012

Cut costs for laundry

Today we are going to discuss how you can cheaply make your own laundry detergent at home and it will probably cost you around $8.00- $13.00 depending on your store prices. Let's start at what you need the first time. You will need to buy a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, a funnel, a flat baking sheet, baking soda or washing soda, borax, and soap. If you want to be more natural then I suggest buying Pure and Natural soap, Fels Napth or Ivory.

Many people have issues with finding washing soda and if you are one of those individuals; I have a solution for you. Use the baking soda. Now baking soda and washing soda are two different things. Baking soda is Sodium Bicarbonate and washing soda is Sodium Carbonate. You can change this by placing the baking soda on a flat sheet and place in the oven at 350-400 degrees from 40 minutes to 1 hour.

You will need the following items.

  • 1 cup of borax
  • 1 cup of soap
  • 1 cup of baking soda (baked into washing soda) or washing soda
  • 4 cups of warm water and 2 1/2 gallons of warm water
  • 5 gallon bucket with lid
  • small boiler
  • long stick or tall mixer of some sort
  • (10-11) 1 gallon jugs or as many old laundry containers as possible.
  • Funnel
  • Essential Oil (this is optional)

Below are my directions for home-made laundry detergent...

  • Grate your soap bar to finely shredded pieces
  • Take 4 cups of warm water and place in boiler, then add your grated soap
  • While your soap and water is warming; fill the 5 gallon bucket 1/2 way with warm to hot water
  • Once your water and soap begins to simmer then lower heat and stir until completely melted
  • Pour the liquid soap into the bucket and stir.
  • Then add the borax and washing soda/baking soda.
  • Add another 2 gallons of water.
  • Stir thoroughly again.
  • Place lid on bucket and let sit overnight.
  • Next morning, take the lid off and stir until texture is less gel like.

Now, on to the fun stuff! Get a funnel and place over the milk jug or the laundry detergent container. Take a cup and dip in the 5 gallon bucket of detergent. Pour detergent into containers. Fill it a little over half full then fill with warm water for the remainder area. Now, if you want more fragrance add 3 to 4 drops of your favorite essential oils to each container. Shake the jug or container to mix the detergent, water, and fragrance well. Whoala...homeade laundry detergent for much less!

Now after you buy those items the first time, you will only need to purchase more baking soda and more soap depending on how much you buy the first time. It will be a long time until you have to buy the borax or washing soda again. (if you bought washing soda instead of baking soda) When you wash a regular load to wash use 1 cup of detergent. For a large load use 1 1/2 cups. This laundry detergent should last you anywhere from 4 to 6 months depending on your washing.

If you are like me you will use about 5 cups a week that is probably closer to 6 months! Not too bad for $8-$13 and it could be even cheaper for you if you had some items you didn't have to buy. Another great thing for me is that you don't have to think about buyin the darn stuff for a long while. If you prefer a powder detergent, then just double these ingredients minus the water. Mix together all ingredients and use 1 tablespoon and 2 tablespoons for larger loads. I am not sure how many loads this will make but I will try it one day and let you all know as soon as I do.

Note: If you want your detergent less liquidy, then use 2 cups of soap, 2 cups of borax and 2 cups of washing soda. This will make your detergent a bit thicker but this is a personal preference. You will eventually get it just the way you like because each person is different. Also, please be sure to let the detergent sit overnight at least 24 hours before stirring to pour into containers.


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