Making our own laundry detergent is one of the ways that Brian and I meet in the middle (or as I jokingly said to him, like a Venn Diagram). He likes the low cost of making our own detergent and I like knowing what ingredients are going into the wash.
I’ve made our own detergent before, but thanks to extreme couponing, we also used store-bought brands.
My last batch of detergent was last summer, and with doing a load of laundry almost everyday, I probably have a couple of months last. Since we planned a trip to Wal-Mart, I picked up some more ingredients today and wanted to share the recipe. You can find variations all over Pinterest too.
I keep mine basic:
- 1 box (76 oz.) of Borax
- 1 box ((55 oz.) of Super Washing Soda
- 1 box (4 lbs.) Baking Soda
- 3lb box of Oxi Clean
- 2 bars of Zote, or 3 bars of Fels Naptha soap, grated
Mix all the ingredients together and use 1-2 tablespoons per wash. All the powder stirs up a fine dust, so make sure you can either do it in a well-ventilated area or outside.
There are variations on adding Purex crystals, or making a liquid version. I try to keep my scents to a minimum. I think the detergent gets the job done, and I like that it’s not overly scented. I get headaches just walking down the laundry detergent aisle in the store from all the “fresh” chemical smells!
This recipe also works well with cloth diapers. I haven’t had issues of leaking or ruining diapers, but I guess a lot of it will depend on the type of diaper, water, washer, recipe, etc.
I’m going to use Zote for this batch to try it out, but as you can see below, my current one uses Fels Naptha.
For tougher stains, I spot treat. My favorite is the Shout Grease Buster. I guess I am a messy cook, or I need to make sure I wear an apron! The Grease Buster works, even with oil stains that aren’t new.
I store my detergent in this large plastic container we’ve had for years and years. I’ve stored detergent in mason jars, and I’ve seen people store them in pretty glass jars too.
The price of all the ingredients (Wal-Mart prices):
- Borax: $3.97
- Washing Soda: $3.97
- Zote: $.97/each
- Baking Soda: $2.18
- Oxi-Clean: $6.98
Total cost to make everything, not including tax: $19.04
Not bad to have to buy and make detergent once a year! Have you made your own detergent? With so many recipes and variations, you really can’t go wrong!