How To: Homemade Laundry Detergent: Part I

Today, I made some liquid homemade laundry detergent for the first time. There are many videos & tutorials online, and I’ve previously made the powdered version (with great results). This 5 gallon supply should wash 160 loads, and last my family about 4 months. I had all of the ingredients at home from other projects, so I did not purchase any of these recently. The cost of the ingredients used is approximately $2.30, which equates to $0.01 per load. The average cost per load using store bought detergent is $0.20 per load, which equals $32 for washing 160 loads. For my family, the total cost for regular store bought detergent is $96 for a whole year, while the total cost for homemade laundry detergent equals $6.90 for a whole year. This is a savings of over 93%!!

Here’s are the steps I followed:

1. Gather the ingredients.

  • 2 Cups Washing Soda
  • 1 Cup Borax
  • 1 Bar Fels Naptha
  • 30 Drops Lavender Essential Oil (Optional, and can be suited to your preferences)

2. Grate or Blend the whole bar of Fels-Naptha Soap.

3a. Add grated soap to 8 cups of boiling water. 

3b. Stir grated soap and boiling water until dissolved.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 cups of Washing Soda and 1 cup of Borax. Set Aside. Fill 5 Gallon Bucket/Storage Container with 8 cups of fresh HOT tap water.

5. Add Dissolved Soap/Boiled Water mixture to the hot water in the storage container. Stir.

6. Add Washing Soda/Borax mixture to storage container. Stir.

7. Fill up the rest of the container with water.

8. That’s it! Simple, right? Cover and allow to gel overnight. The next morning, it will have a thick gel-like consistency. Stir and break it up with your hands. It is now ready for use. Use 1/2 cup for a regular load, and 1 cup for a tough load.


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