How To Make Laundry Detergent

Home Made Laundry Detergent Ingredients

Here is what you are going to need to make this recipe of Laundry Detergent:

Ingredients

  • 20 Team Mule Borax $3.89
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda $2.99 **note this is NOT BAKING SODA!!!**
  • Fels Naptha Soap $.99
  • Essential Oil (optional)

Supplies:

  • Hand/Box Grater/Food processor with grater attachment.
  • Large Stock Pot (if you don’t have a large one this recipe can be cut in 1/2)
  • Long spoon/spatula/plastic scrapper/whisk
  • Measuring cup
  • Food processor/blender/immersion blender (COMPLETELY optional)

Home Made Laundry Detergent Ingredients

Grate the entire bar of soap.  This can be done by hand on a box/hand grater (as pictured above) or it can be done in a food processor with the grater blade attachment.  If you are not able to find the Fels Naptha, Ivory will work as well.   You want a soap that is low in fragrance and low in extra moisturizers.

Home Made Laundry Detergent Ingredients

Put the soap shreds in the bottom of a pot and cover with water.

Place on the stove and heat till the soap dissolves completely.  This may take a few minutes.  Stir if you want to speed up the melting process.

Home Made Laundry Detergent Ingredients

This is what the soap shreds and water look like after everything is dissolved.  Kind of foamy.  But it is soap!!

Home Made Laundry Detergent Ingredients

  • 1/2 C. Borax (pictured on the bottom – pure white)
  • 1 C. Washing Soda (pictured from the 1/2 c to the 1 1/2 c mark)

Now add the 1/2 c. Borax and the 1 c Washing Soda. Fill the rest of the pot to the top with hot water.  I would suggest using a 5 gallon bucket if you don’t have a large stock pot.

If you would like to add a few drops of essential oil now is the time.  3 drops per gallon should be good for starters.  Add more if you like but keep in mind once you add it you can’t take it out.  So add your drops with care.

Keep in mind essential oils are COMPLETELY different than the yummy smelling oils that you burn in your oil warmer on your counter top.  DO NOT USE THE FRAGRANCE OILS.

Stir, stir, stir till everything is dissolved.  If you want you can plunge your hands into the bottom and feel that all the borax and washing soda has been dissolved.

Home Made Laundry Detergent Ingredients

Here is my finished product.  Now let it sit over night and up to 24 hours to cool and gel.

Home Made Laundry Detergent Ingredients

24 hours later it doesn’t look that much different.  It has congealed and slightly separated.  But we can fix that.

Home Made Laundry Detergent Ingredients

See how it has sort of separated a bit?  Reminds me of Making Mozzarella.

Home Made Laundry Detergent Ingredients

Go ahead and stir it all together.  Use your hands if you want.  It feels neat in your hands squishing all the lumps.

At this point your laundry detergent is DONE.

If you used a 5 gallon bucket use 1 cup per load of laundry.  If you used a large stock pot like I did use 1/2 cup.  Also KEEP A LID ON IT.  Especially if you have children or pets in the house.

Just be sure to stir it before each use.  It tends to separate out a bit because this is a home made recipe.  Commercial detergents use emulsifiers to keep their ingredients from separating.  But we are pinching pennies here.  We don’t have commercial emulsifiers.  We have pure, economical detergent that will get our laundry clean.

Home Made Laundry Detergent Ingredients

Now if you have a food processor or blender and want your detergent to not separate you are able to get it more fluid by blending it a bit.

 

Home Made Laundry Detergent Ingredients

My food processor has a mix liquid fill line.  Mind the line.  If you don’t when you turn on the machine you will have liquid laundry detergent squirting out of the lid.  Not that I know from experience or anything **cough cough**.

 

I still have a liquid laundry detergent container from my days of purchasing laundry detergent. I unscrewed the vent cap and filled it with my new detergent.  As seen in the video I used a soda bottle with the bottom cut off as a funnel to help get the detergent into the container.  I do give the whole thing a shake before I use it but it is not nearly the stirring that is needed if I were not to use the food processor to blend the mixture.

 

Now did we actually pinch pennies?  Here is my cost analysis:

Raw Ingredient:

  • Borax $3.59
  • A&H Washing Soda $2.59
  • Fel Neptha $.99
  • tax $.43
  • Total $7.60

Total Cost for one recipe (5 gallons):

  • Borax $.18
  • A&H Washing Soda $.43
  • Fel Neptha $.99
  • Total $1.60

5 gallons will yield 80 cups of soap or $.02 per LOAD!!!

Do you follow me on Pinterest?

Here is my ‘Cleaning….If I Must’ board to get you started:

About Sarah

Sarah is married and a mother of 3 small children. She is always in search of a better or lower cost way to go through life. She finds excellent deals and creative ways to save money around the home. On this blog she hopes to share with you how she pinches pennies and how you can too!

  • Anonymous

    Caught you on Fox43 today and had a quick question. When using a 5 gallon bucket, do you still use the same recipe (is this considered a recipe)? Also, how much water is added to the bucket to mix the final mixture?

    Thanks for the tips.

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  • http://www.howipinchapenny.com Sarah

    So glad you saw it and so glad you made a comment! When using a 5 gallon bucket just fill it to the top (with in an inch or two) with hot water and then use the full recipe of 1 bar, 1/2 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda. Then use 1 cup of finished detergent per load. Use 1/2 cup if you are using a large stock pot like I did on the show. Happy washing!!!

  • Anonymous

    So glad you saw it and so glad you made a comment! When using a 5 gallon bucket just fill it to the top (with in an inch or two) with hot water and then use the full recipe of 1 bar, 1/2 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda. Then use 1 cup of finished detergent per load. Use 1/2 cup if you are using a large stock pot like I did on the show. Happy washing!!!

  • http://www.largepot.net Large Pot

    This is cool! And so interested! Are u have more posts like this? Plese tell me, thanks