Sunday, January 6, 2013

Home Made Laundry Detergent

For this blog we wanted to share a simple way to make your own laundry detergent that is very easy to do and saves you a bunch of money.

If you Google "home made laundry detergent", you will find a bunch of recipes for both liquid and powdered detergent.  We prefer the powdered version, because it is easier to make and you make it in smaller batches.

The ingredients are simple:

1 bar of any castile soap, Ivory, or Fels-Naptha laundry soap.
1 cup of washing soda.
1 cup of Borax detergent booster.
Measuring cup.
Food processer or something to grind up and mix the ingredients.

That is all you need in the above quantity to make one batch of powdered laundry detergent.
Everything to make a batch of powdered laundry detergent.
Once you have all of your ingredients, proceed to cut up your bar of soap so that it will be easier to grind up in a food processor. 

You can grate it with a hand grater, but that is hard and takes too long for me.
Fels-Naptha soap cut into chunks ready to be ground up.
I then give it five or six bursts to chop up the soap into little particles.  At this point it is still way too corse to use yet.
Fels-Naptha soap after its first run through the food processor.
I add in a little bit of either the soda or Borax and then run it in the food processor some more until it is ground into much smaller particles.
Ground up Fels-Naptha soap with some Borax mixed in to help make it grind up better.
The below is all the finer our food processor will grind up the soap.  A bigger food processor would probably do a better job, but we have not had any problems with the soap in our washing machine and it seems to dissolve fine.
What your soap should look like after it is ground up.
 At this point, it is now ready to add in the remaining washing soda and Borax.  I do this all in the food processor in order to mix it all up so that it is evenly distributed.  
Borax and washing soda added into ground up soap.
 This is what you should have after mixing all of the ingredients together in the food processor.
Finished laundry detergent.
We then put it in a zip lock bag to store it until it is used.  We use 2 tablespoons to a load of laundry even though most of the recipes call for only 1 tablespoon.
The finished product.
Since we have started using it, we have noticed that our laundry looks and smells cleaner.  Of course, the bar soap you use will dictate what fragrance your laundry detergent has.

I have not done the math to see how much it costs us to make this, but the Fels-Naptha soap is around $.97 at Wal-Mart.  The Borax detergent booster is around $4.50 for a 76 oz box and the Arm & Hammer Washing Soda is around $3.25 for a 55 oz box.

So to add it up for one batch the soap is $.97 cents with the Borax and washing soda both costing $.47 cents a cup for a grand total of $1.91 a batch which is about 3 cups of powdered washing detergent.

Using 2 tablespoons of the washing powder per load will get you around 48 loads with the cost being $.04 cents a load.  That is pretty cheap for a washing powder that does a great job.

Also I guess I just did the math.

If you are interested in the liquid version, here is a recipe for that off of The Thrifty Mama web site.

We also use white vinegar in place of fabric softener which also helps keep the washing machine clear of soap residues.

Well after making the last batch of washing detergent, we forgot to turn on the water while washing the food processor in the dishwasher and needless to say, it did not survive the high heat wash.
Food processer after being exposed to a high heat wash without water in the dishwasher.

Our tablespoon was melted too in the dishwasher disaster.  I will not say who forgot to turn the water on, but it was not me.
Melted tablespoon.
Speaking of disasters, our Yukon mirror was torn of when it was hit by a mailbox.  I will not say who hit the mailbox but it wasn't Misty.  I guess we both have something to tease each other about!

Anyway, we hope you try this for yourself and see whether it is as good as we think it is, but of course, this is at your own risk and we do not take any responsibility if it messes anything up.

Everything we have read on the internet says it is OK to use in High Efficiency washers and we have not noticed any harm to ours, but in case it would cause you problems, remember, you can not always believe everything you read on the internet.

With that, we will call this a blog and post another one, later on in the future.

God bless and hopefully you and everyone around you are kept safe and out of harms way.

Don, Misty, and Kids...


  1. Cute blog.....I love camping too...also a new follower.

    1. Thanks Lisa for the comments. We appreciate them.