Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

My family jokingly refers to me as Betty Crocker or Suzie Homemaker. (At least I think they are joking.) It's true! I love to bake and garden and sew and knit and, well, do stuff around my home. My friends and family know this and will often pass on a recipe they think I'd be interested in.

However, making my own laundry detergent was never something I thought I'd make. People sent me directions for it and it just seemed too messy and time consuming. Why should I when I can buy a bucket like this for $14 at Sam's Club?

Finally I was just bombarded with laundry detergent recipes and I surrendered. YOU WIN! I'll try it!

Now I am kicking myself....why hadn't I done this before? You know that bucket above? The one I bought for $14? Well, I just filled it with homemade laundry detergent for less than $3!!

It took me 15 minutes (not counting watching water boil).....15 minutes!!!! Five minutes to grate a bar of soap and an additional ten minutes to melt it in boiling water, add Borax, washing soda and baking soda. Then add more water. That's it!!

The first batch I made, I admit, I didn't expect it to clean the clothes well enough. After all, I'm washing cloth diapers here folks! But I was wrong. This detergent is wonderful and it doesn't smell! No heavy perfumes, just the smell of clean! I've found many store detergents cause diaper rash in Yahoo but I haven't had any baby bum problems with this one.  

I used the laundry detergent recipe from Suzanne at Chickens in The Road(I did cut back the Washing Soda to about 75% of what the directions called for). My Betty Crockerness pales in comparison to Suzanne! She can and does do it all! I want to grow up to be like her someday.

What are you waiting for?? Go to the hardware store, buy a bucket with a lid and get going! You won't be sorry. There are tons of recipes on the web. I suggest you experiment and find one that works for you! Good luck!


  1. i have so been itching to do this! but we bought a like 12 jugs of laundry soap when it was on sale at meijer, when i run out i may try!!

  2. I wonder if there is such thing as homemade biodegradable/greywater safe laundry detergent.... sure there is... will look into it. Great work! xo m.

  3. I am going into my second year of making my own laundry detergent. I made the liquid detergent mostly for about a year then converted over to the dry detergent because it was quicker, easier, and a lot less messy to deal with. For the liquid I used to use one of those square kitty liter buckets. Now I make up approx 2 weeks worth of dry detergent up at a time and store in a marshmallow container: 2 cups grated fels naptha, 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup borax....using 1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons per load. I always have store bought on back up but RARELY use. I MUCH prefer the homemade stuff. It smells good, cleans good and makes more economical sense.

  4. Thanks Country Girl! That sounds much easier. I think I'll be trying that recipe next.


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