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Save money with this easy homemade laundry detergent

Updated on March 27, 2014

Savings that add up

These little savings can add up to big things over time.
These little savings can add up to big things over time. | Source

Let me know how it works

5 stars from 1 rating of Homemade Laundry Detergent

The cost of detergent today is getting out of control

It is funny how expensive laundry detergent is getting these days. Especially if you know how it is made and how simple it is to make. With the amount of detergent required in a year for the average sized family the cost can add up. For example a large 50 oz bottle of Tide was priced at $8.99. I would like to show you a way to save some of the cost so you can use your hard earned cash to do something fun as a family. Well at least more fun than shopping for detergent.

For a little more than the cost of a large bottle of name brand detergent we can buy the ingredients to make 20 times that amount. Not only does this recipe save money but the detergent works extremely well at getting the clothes clean.

Lets break down the cost.

  • 76 oz Box of Borax = $3.79
  • 55 oz Box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda = $3.25
  • 24 oz bottle of Dawn = $4.25 (on sale with coupon!)
  • Tap water = Free
  • Total Cost for Supplies is $11.29

Using the recipe below these supplies will make about 21 Gallons of detergent. When you breakdown the cost per gallon we average about $0.56 a gallon to make it.

Each Gallon will provide enough detergent for 16 loads on a conventional washer or 32 Loads on a new HE washer. When you break this cost down your cost per load is:

  • Conventional Washer: $0.03 per load
  • HE Washer: $0.01 per load
  • Compare that with the Tide listed above at: $0.28 a load

Now add to all of this that the recipe is super easy and takes just a minute to make and this becomes a simple choice to make.

All the supplies you need to make laundry detergent

Our Supply Stash
Our Supply Stash | Source


  • 1/3 Cup Washing Soda, Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Borax, Powder
  • 2 TBSP Dawn Dish Soap, Any Scent
  • 1 Old Laundry Soap Container, Gallon +
  • 2-3 Drops (OPTIONAL) Scented Essential Oil, A scent you like to add to the detergen

How to make laundry detergent

  1. Fill 1/2 of your old laundry bottle with very hot tap water. The hot water is to help everything dissolve correctly when mixing.
  2. Using a funnel add the washing soda
  3. Using a funnel then add the borax
  4. Swirl and lightly shake the container to fully dissolve the contents into the hot water. Remember to put the cap on so as not to splash yourself with hot water when mixing your detergent.
  5. When dissolved add the Dawn Dish Soap. Swirl again to help mix it in. You do not want to over shake this causing the soap to bubble up inside the contains.
  6. Top off the bottle with water. Since the other parts have been mixed in already the water temperature in this step does not matter. You are just diluting the concentration down at this point.
  7. Optional: If you like scented detergents you can add a touch of essential oils available at most grocery or health food store. A few drops will go a long way.
  8. The consistency might appear a little watery to you. This is normal. In commercial agents a thickener is added for appeal, but it does nothing to improve the cleaning action of the detergent.

Measuring the detergent

Standard Washing Machine:

  • For a standard washing machine you will use approximately 1 cup per load.
  • Add the detergent as you normally would in your liquid detergent dispenser.

HE Washing Machines:

  • For HE washing machines you want to use about 1/2 cup per load.
  • Add the detergent as you normally would in your liquid detergent dispenser.

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    • Eiddwen profile image


      4 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and very useful.

      Voted up, shared and wishing you a great day.



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