Due to the mounting costs of remodeling, I am always on the look-out for ways to cut spending on products we use regularly. This spring as I was scrolling through my facebook feed, I came across a post that caught my eye. In the article, the author shared her experiences saving money by making her own laundry detergent at home. Now, I’m no stranger to DIY and making things from scratch. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to DIY household products, but what intrigued me was that this “recipe” was actually supposed to make enough laundry soap to last an entire year. One less item to have buy at the grocery store—Great! Finding a recipe that has been used for generations, giving me peace of mind that my laundry soap isn’t loaded with harsh chemicals and fillers, even better…I’m in!
And by “I’m in!” what I actually mean is, I went to the store and purchased all the supplies to make my detergent, then it sat in a box on my laundry counter for three months until I got around to making my first batch…Meanwhile, during those three months, I ran out of laundry soap twice and had to buy some more at the store. The third time I ran out, I resolved to setting aside the time to follow through on my plan and now, sitting on my dryer is a very lovely jar of my very own laundry soap! A year’s supply was said to cost just $30 according to the breakdown in the article. Having read mixed reviews on scented laundry beads causing allergic reactions/rashes, I opted to leave those out of my concoction, so this batch cost roughly $25, plus the cost of the jar which I already had.
In order to make your own laundry detergent you will need the following ingredients:
- 3 bars Fels Naptha, grated
- 1 box Borax
- 1 box Washing Soda
- 2 cups of baking soda
- 1 container of Oxyclean
When I initially grated the Fels Naptha soap, which looks suspiciously like grated cheddar, I wondered how well it would dissolve in the the wash, so I went a step further and ran it through the food processor with about a cup of the dry powder to mix it in. After I layered the Fels Naptha with the powdered layers in the jar, I proceeded to stir the entire jar until it was all blended together. This was easier said than done. Most of the things I used to stir the large batch didn’t do the trick. I used a heavy-duty slotted serving spoon and a wooden spoon, but they didn’t seem to be strong enough to incorporate the mixture from the bottom to the top, so I eventually switched to a long handled BBQ spatula/flipper and that worked like a charm! The scoop I chose to use for measuring each time I do a load of laundry is actually a coffee scoop that measures just under 2 tablespoons, which is just the perfect amount for a large load of laundry as long as I make it a heaping scoop. I’ve had great success by adding the detergent to hot and warm water before adding the clothes. Everything seems to dissolve just fine and my clothes come out perfectly clean! Whether this will actually last for an entire year, the verdict is still out, but every time I do a load of laundry I feel a little burst of pride knowing “I made that!”