One of the first posts I ever did on this blog was about making my own laundry detergent. And while I still use my homemade stuff, the post was dated for a number of reasons, most notably that I use Yardley soap instead of Fels-Naptha now. And the original pictures were pretty horrible. I've recently updated the original homemade laundry detergent post to reflect those changes, but I also wanted start fresh with a new post.
Homemade Laundry Detergent?
I started making my own laundry detergent in the Spring of 2009, and our family uses it exclusively for all our clothing, sheets and towels, and even our cloth diapers! I was initially very nervous about putting a homemade "concoction" into our relatively new high efficiency washer. Since the homemade detergent does not suds up like commercial detergent, I've found that we do not have any build up in the washer or on our clothing.
We also use this detergent for our bum Genius cloth diapers and have not had any issues with the diapers getting coated and repelling, stinking, or having a nasty detergent build-up.
I have looked at tons of homemade laundry detergent recipes through the years, and consider this to be my own now, though it was heavily influenced by Frugal Upstate.
- 1 bar of soap, chopped (I use Yardley Oatmeal &Almond)
- 1/2 cup Borax
- 1/2 cup Washing Soda
Chop up the bar of soap and grind in your food processor until the soap is in fine pieces. Add borax and washing soda to the soap and grind again until everything is well blended. That's it! I use a large mayo for my detergent, and keep a tablespoon measure in with the powder. Unless you are washing really dirty things, you only need a tablespoon of this detergent for each load. Even though I wash cloth diapers, I only use a tablespoon per load!
This homemade laundry detergent is a huge money saver for us! We wash all of our clothes and our cloth diapers for about 2 cents a load of detergent. The Borax and washing soda can be found in most grocery stores in the cleaning and detergent section, and cost $2-3. Since you are only using 1/2 cup per batch, these boxes last a long time! Yardley soap is priced at $1 at my Dollar Tree and 97 cents at Walmart. I usually wait and stock up on Yardley at Walgreens. About every 6-8 weeks they run a sale where Yardley is 69 cents a bar!
Making it Work for You
We've had a ton of success with homemade detergent, but its not for everyone. In fact, I would not still be using the homemade stuff if I had not switched bar soaps because I did not like the way it turned out with Fels-Naptha. The type of soap you use might make all the difference for your family.
Have you ever tried homemade laundry detergent and not liked it? Or have you tried it and loved it? Maybe now is the time to take the plunge and make a batch. I'd love to hear what you think!