Homemade Laundry Detergent

This is a guest post by Erin from “I am Frugal.” She recently wrote about how her family saves money on snacks. Her advice is simple and practical. If you enjoyed this post you may want to subscribe to her blog.


For the past six months or so I have been making our own laundry soap. I was a little skeptical at first to make my own and wondered if it would really work on my kids dirty clothes. But because of the cost of making my own laundry soap, which is about $.01 a load, I finally gave in and decided to buy the supplies one day when I was in need of some laundry soap. I figured it cost me about the same amount to by the supplies as it would to buy me a thing of laundry soap so if it didn’ t turn out I wasn’t really out that much money. I was VERY surprised at how easy it was to make the soap as well as how it worked in getting my family’s clothes clean. I am now on my 3rd batch of laundry soap and have never had any problems with the soap. Each batch of laundry soap makes about 2 gallons of laundry soap or more than 70 loads of laundry.

To get started you will need:

20 Mule Team Borax -about $4

Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda- about $3

Fels-Naptha Soap bar- about $1

Total, all of this cost about $8, but the Borax and Soda you are only going to be using 1/2 a cup so this will last you for a LONG TIME. For the Fels-Naptha bar you will only be using 1/3 of the bar for each batch of laundry soap that you make so you will only have to buy one of these bars every once in a while and it is your cheapest cost. One thing to note about these ingredients is that I was NOT able to find any of these ingredients at Walmart. All of these ingredients can be bought at smaller stores like Albertsons, Smiths, and Maceys in the laundry section of the store.

To get started bring 6 cups of water to a boil. While your water is coming to a boil Grate 1/3 of your Fels-Naptha bar with a cheese grater. It will look like this:

When your water has come to a boil add your grated soap bar and mix until it is dissolved. When it is dissolved add 1/2 cup of Borax and 1/2 a cup of Soda to the mixture and stir again until it is all dissolved. It will look like this when it is all dissolved:

Now take 1/2 of the mixture, about 3 1/2 cups, and pour it into an empty milk jug. Now add water to the milk jug until it reaches the top and put on the lid. Shake the jug for a couple of minutes to mix it all together.
At this point you can either leave your first half of the laundry mix in the milk jug or you can do what I do and pour it into an empty liquid laundry detergent bottle like this one:
If you pour it into the liquid laundry detergent bottle then you will want to pour the rest of the mixture that is still in your pot into the milk jug again and repeat the process of adding the water and shaking the bottle again to finish making your laundry soap. When you are done you should have 2 gallons of laundry soap made. You are now done with your laundry soap!! I am able to pour 1 gallon of the laundry soap plus about a third of the second milk jug into my big bottle and then I just leave the rest in my milk jug to be used later when my bottle is running low.

To use this laundry soap, shake up the mix before each use and then pour a 1/2 a cup of laundry soap into each batch of laundry.

If you are wondering why this laundry soap works like it did, let me tell you why:
Mule Team Borax is a natural laundry booster that helps your laundry detergent to work better, Arm and Hammer Washing soda is a laundry booster as well as neutralizes and eliminates odors, and the Fels-naptha bar is a stain remover.

Final Price for 2 gallons of laundry soap:
$.33 for 1/3 of the soap bar
$.30 for 1/2 cup of the borax
$.20 for 1/2 cup of the soda
Final Price: about $.70 for a batch of laundry soap or $.01 a load!!

That is ALOT cheaper than even the Purex brand Laundry soap that I was buying before which costs more than $5 for 65 loads of laundry,

So give homemade laundry soap a try and save some money in the process!

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