I am excited to share this with you today! I have been using this homemade laundry detergent since November, just trying it out before I shared it with you. And since I LOVE it, it is time to finally share.
This detergent is CHEAP, smells great, is fast and easy to make, and it works really well.
You will need 4 ingredients (pictured above) which you can find at Walmart or pretty much any grocery store – 3 bars of Fels Naptha soap, large box of Baking Soda, large box of Super Washing Soda, and a large box of Borax.
The Fels-Naptha soap will need to be grated. You can grate it by hand with a hand grater or if you have a food processor you can grate it in there. I grate mine in my food processor.
It looks just like cheese after is grated, and it smells wonderful!
You can just mix up the grated Fels-Naptha with the other powders just like that but I like to blend mine up to make it finer. I just blend (again with my food processor) some of the washing soda or borax with the grated Fels-Naptha until it is much finer.
Store in an airtight container (this is only 1/2 of the batch, it makes 2 full canisters like this.)
Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.
(I typically use 1 tablespoon for regular loads, 2 tablespoons for extra large or extra dirty loads.)
Some people will add a large container of Oxy Clean powder to this recipe too. But at $7 a container, to save money, I only add oxy clean to my white loads (in place of bleach) or extra dirty loads in addition to the detergent.
Now for the price breakdown – here is a picture of all the ingredients and prices at my local Wal-mart (in the laundry care aisle).
- Fels-Naptha – $0.97/bar x 3 = $2.91
- 1 box of Borax = $3.38
- 1 box of baking soda = $2.24
- 1 box of Washing Soda = $3.24
Once grated and mixed together it equals 26 cups of detergent (416 tablespoons).
If I use 1 tablespoon per load that gives me 416 loads (2.8¢/per load, so less than 3¢ /load.) If I use 2 tablespoons, I will get 208 loads (5.6¢/per load, so less than 6¢/load.) And since I only do 2 tablespoons for extra large loads or extra dirty loads, I will get somewhere in between 208-416 loads making my cost 4¢ – 5¢ load.
Compare to these 2 powdered detergents that I priced at Wal-mart (just a sample to show you cost – you can figure out your cost per load of your favorite detergent.)
Gain: 120 loads for $14.97 = $0.12/load
Tide: 102 loads for $17.97 = $0.18/load
Even if I used 2 tablespoons per load I would get 208 loads (double the Tide above) and I would pay less than $12.00. I would have to buy 2 boxes of Tide for $35.94 to get that many loads. So you can see it will save you a lot of money!
One other thing about it that I love. We hang dry a lot of clothes (jeans, sweaters, shirts, etc.) to prevent fading, shrinkage, etc. And jeans especially would end up smelling ”musty” or that “left too long wet in the washing machine smell” – know what I am talking about? Because they took so long to dry, no matter if I took them right out of the washer when done, by the time they were dry they would usually smell. NO MORE! Not with this detergent! I think the baking soda really helps with that.
A couple more tips:
- Everything I have read has said you can use this in HE (High Efficiency) Washing Machines since this detergent does not sud much, if at all. I personally have an HE top loader washing machine and it has worked fine in mine. I do try to add the detergent to an empty machine, start the water and let it run for 10-20 seconds while I am sorting or gathering clothes, just to let it dissolve some into the water. Even with regular store bought liquid detergent, my machine instructions recommended adding the detergent at the bottom to an empty machine.
- There are MANY homemade laundry detergent recipes out there. This is the first one I have tried, but I encourage you to do a quick search on Pinterest or google if you want to compare or find more recipes.
- You can also take this basic recipe and turn it into a homemade liquid detergent. MaryEllen posted her method for doing that here. And once again, do a simple search and you will find even more ways to do that.
- Check out my “homemade & healthier living” board on Pinterest for some more recipes I have pinned.
If you have any other questions, ask away in the comments and I will be sure to answer them and even update the post if I need to.
Have you ever thought about making your own homemade laundry detergent? It is SOO much easier than I imagined and I LOVE the way it smells! (Our clothes smell fresh & clean too.)
Do you make any other cleaners or detergents? Next I want to try making dishwasher detergent – so if you have a good recipe for that, let me know.