October 14, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

My friend, Ginger, requested this recipe.  I am more than happy to share it, although, I can not take credit for it.

A few years ago, I saw over at Goose Hill Farm, a recipe for making laundry detergent.  Laura was making the liquid variety and it took a lot of time and waiting.  While I loved the idea of making my own detergent and saving some money, I am always trying to find a balance between saving money and saving time.  So I went online to look for one that was a little simpler.  I found it, but can not remember where.

We made it and gave it a whirl and haven't looked back.  We have a lot of allergy suffers and asthma in our house so it is very important to have things that are gentle.  This fit the bill.  Plus it cost just $.04, yes I said 4 CENTS per load.  When you are trying to make every penny go as far as possible, you can't beat that.

Here is the cost breakdown:

Borax $3.99 a box      ($.57 per batch)
Washing Soda $2.65 a box   ($.66 per batch)
Fels-Naptha  $1.19 bar ($1.119 per batch)

I used to be able to buy my ingredients at Walmart, Target and my local grocery but they are getting harder to find.  Ace hardware carries all the supplies but we don't have one near us.  Now I just buy what I need on line at Amazon.com.  I always look when I am at my brick and mortar stores and buy up all they have if it is in stock.

You can use any soap you like.  Castille is recommended.  I like the Fels-Naptha, though because of its stain removal ability.  With 8 kids, we have a lot of stains to be removed.

1 Tablespoon per load is the recommended however, I have the largest front loading high efficiency machine available so I toss in 2 Tablespoons per load.  If the boys have come in covered in mud, I might throw in one more tablespoon.  I don't know if I need to, or not, but I figure "why not?"

One last note, we usually make a bunch of batches at one time and store them in a five gallon bucket with a lid.  That lasts us about six months.  And we wash several loads a day and more on Monday.

Per batch:

1 bar soap
1 1/2 cup borax
1 1/2 cup washing soda

Start by putting the chopping "S" blade in your food processor.  Then place the grating blade on top.  Now feed your bar of soap through.  Let the machine run for a minute after the bar is grated to chop it up very fine. Then remove grating blade and add the powders.  Spin it for a minute or so to mix well.

That's it!

It would be best to keep a separate food processor for this kind of thing, however, I just have one.  I run it through a pot scrubber load in the dishwasher to make sure there are no traces of anything left in the bowl.

If you try this, do let me know how you like it.

Until next time,



  1. I've been making the liquid version but yours looks even better- will have to try it next time. The ingredients are almost twice the price here in Canada but it is still worth it :o)

  2. ...I tell, ya. Compared to what you would spend on Tide, that is one heck of a savings. Plus it smells good! :)

  3. I heard about this years ago from the Duggar show. I always wanted to try it, I even bought all the soaps to make it.

    I ran across Charlie soap a few months after. I thought if this works I can skip making my soap. Not sure what works better I should do a test on it.

    I did the math and it comes down to .12 a load if anyone was wondering:)

    Thanks for the great ifo:)


  4. Oh, I never did make my own soap:) I just stuck with Charlie Soap.

    I could how ever save about $76.00 a year if I switched to making our own.

    That's money that could be used on lots of fun things for sure;)

  5. Hi, Kat~

    I LOVE making my own detergent and switch back and forth between the liquid and the powder, depending on my mood! lol

    It has certainly saved us a great deal of money. I have been making since I left the public school system to homeschool Kiddo. I think I have only had to buy one bottle of detergent since then, and that was only because we were away! lol


  6. Thanks.I ahd only heard of the liquid version and really sounded a bit more time consuming than I wanted. Also we have the tinest laundry room on the first floor. I would be afraid the kids would get into the concentrate liquid etc..thanks..now i just need a food processor..lol