Saving Money With Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

I used to loathe spending money on laundry detergent.  Every load screamed at me, “Just look at all those dollars headed straight down the drain!”

But, not anymore.  Now, I whip up my own batch using three simple ingredients.  It’s quick and easy to make, comes out to only pennies per load, and performs just as well as most other detergents (for heavily soiled garments, I do a little pre-treating with a Fels-Naptha bar, and for whiter whites, I toss in some baking soda at the beginning of the cycle).

This mixture can be used in high efficiency machines, and it is also safe for all sewer and septic systems.  As an added bonus, your fingernails will look impeccably clean when you get through putting it all together — just make sure you use both hands for the soap grating!

I’ve seen many different recipes for Homemade Laundry Detergent on the web.  Some are made with different soaps, others are made with different measurements.   I’ve settled in on this one for its simple ingredients and ease of making.

Okay, here’s the 4-1-1…

     Ingredients:

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar

1/2 cup borax

1/2 cup super washing soda

Instructions:

1.  Grate the Fels-Naptha bar with a hand grater.  You want to grind into the smallest pieces possible.  I’ve found that a zester works best for this.  The larger the pieces, the more difficult it will be to get the soap to mix with the other ingredients.

2. In a large container, thoroughly mix one cup of the grated Fels-Naptha bar with 1/2 cup borax, and 1/2 cup washing soda (you can get about 4 cups from the whole Fels-Naptha bar).  It should look like this when you’re through…

Store the soap in a lidded container (I think it looks pretty in a glass jar).  Use one tablespoon per load — two for extra large or heavily soiled loads.

What could be simpler than that?

Happy Savings!!!

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2 thoughts on “Saving Money With Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

  1. I’ve often wondered if I could make my own detergent, hand soap, etc. Very interesting. The one thing I want to research further is the safety of borax around children. (Not that my kids are doing my laundry these days, but can it be assumed that it rinses completely? My kids are still in the chew on the clothes stage so want to be sure.)
    Thanks for all your resourceful & money-saving ideas. If you learn a good way to make liquid hand soap, I’d love to know!

    • Michelle,
      Borax is a naturally occurring product, however there is conflicting information out there as to its safety. Here’s a great link with more information: http://herbanlifestyle.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/borax-safe-or-not/. Here are some things you definitely want to stay away from in your detergents: nonylphenol ethoxylate or NPE; phosphates; and bleach. According to the Safe Mama Website, you can make this recipe and simply omit the borax, if you’re worried about its safety. I’m going to do some more checking into it, and see if there might be another alternative. Thanks for bringing up the question!

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