Laundry Detergent Homemade

Well, last week I read a post here, at Dukes and Duchesses, about making your own laundry detergent and I emailed Randi to ask how it turned out.  She replied that is worked well but like most detergents you buy you still need to use spot removers.
So I set out to give it a try.  I clicked on the page she references for the “recipe” and picked one to try. (Really I just went with the first one! LOL)

1 quart Water (boiling)
2 cups Bar soap (grated)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
§  Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted.
§  Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.
§  Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
§  Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Stir the soap each time you use it (will gel)

Well I made my selection and went in search of my ingredients.  I found everything at our local Wal-mart except the washing soda, they weren’t even sure what I was talking about but said to try Kroger.  I went there (it’s just across the street next to Home Depot, another place we frequent), and found the washing soda.

I then mixed everything according to the above recipe and put my detergent in a five gallon bucket.  I used a food processor to grate my soap and 3 bars made 6 cups so I put 4 in zippies and used the 2 I needed for the recipe.


Here is what I paid for my items:
Borax, 76 ounces:  $2.98 for $.03021 per ounce
Washing soda, 55 ounces:   $2.79 for $.050727 per ounce
Ivory soap, 44.7 ounces:   $3.76 for $.084116 per ounce

So using the recipe the cost per batch is:
Borax   $.62736
Washing soda   $.811632
Ivory soap   $1.34586
Total  $2.78 per batch.

A batch yields 168 loads of laundry using the amount suggested  in the recipe per load (1/4 cup).  SOOO, the cost per load is $.01657!!!  Compare this to our normal detergent, All Free & Clear at $.11427 per load ($10.97 divided by 96 loads, price from and you can see the cost-benefit.

I would like to insert here that I used Ivory in my recipe and previously used the All Free & Clear because certain detergents make me itch.  I have tried to keep it simple.

Now as to  how does it work?  Well I have washed about 5 loads with it and cannot tell a difference between it or what I had been using.  I have washed delicates, work clothes and dress clothes with it and seen no evidence of problems.  I did give a hard test with our inescapable red clay.  We live on a mound of red clay in North Georgia!  I washed some of our work clothes with only the detergent to test it.  It did not completely remove it but it did get some out of the pants.

It is hard to tell but in the first picture, I laid out our pants for you to see.  The second picture is my pants after I washed them, I couldn’t get my husband’s because he was wearing them.  There is still red clay but not as much.
I have to show you my cute containers!  I used my Cricut and Make the Cut software (yes I am aware of the lawsuit and may be looking into a Silhouette if I can’t use my software any longer) to label them.

I am currently researching some more cleaning solutions using my ingredients because I still have a lot more left to use up.  🙂  Apparently, there are a lot of uses for Borax and washing soda that I had no clue about!  Dishwashing powder being the one I will try next.

So, my end results please me enough to continue using it i the future.  If you decide to try it, let me know how it goes!


4 thoughts on “Laundry Detergent Homemade

  1. So glad you tried it. I was doing laundry yesterday and wondering if you had given it a go. I've tried the homemade dishwashing powder as well … thought it worked fine but I've still opted to go back to storebought. Not sure why. I think it's psychological. 🙂


  2. Laundry and dishwashing detergents have just gone “No phosphate” and neither our dishes or clothes will ever be as clean as before. This was done because of river pollution in the state of Washington, and the phosphates in our detergents are not the same ones that caused the pollution! The ones in our detergents are not fertilizers, so we lost, big time.


  3. Awesome tutorial. I'll have to try this out! Laundry detergent is one of the most expensive household items we buy because it's one of the few things where we buy the expensive brand to reduce stains and all that.

    Thanks for the sweet comment on my top 2 tuesday post! I'm actually not having twins, but I may as well be because my son is less than a year and a half and I'm due anytime now with #2 🙂


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