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In the past, I’ve talked about how to save on store bought laundry detergents and what a good price is. Y’all always surprise me with how resourceful you are and many of you prefer to make your own! If this is new territory for you, there are lots of options and certain products that are required if you want to make sure your clothes are actually clean.
I’m more of a cost-savings kind of girl than an “all natural” products person, but you get the advantage of both with these if you do them right.
You can do either a powdered laundry detergent or a liquid version. There are pros and cons to both. The powdered detergent takes up less space in your laundry room, but it may not dissolve as easily if you are a cold-water washer. This means you end up using more ingredients to get the same level of clean. Both recipes are fine to use with HE washers, although you may be able to reduce the amount needed.
Recipes for Homemade Laundry Detergent
Powdered Laundry Detergent Recipe
(Yields 3 cups = 40 loads)
Grate the bar of soap with a small cheese grater or put it in an old food processor until powdered. Combine the three ingredients into a large container. You can get creative with a pretty glass jar like the one above or just reuse an old plastic container. For a small or un-soiled load, use approximately 1 tablespoon of your soap. For heavy or very dirty laundry, use 2-3 tablespoons.
Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe
(Yields 2 gallons = 64 loads)
Grate the bar of soap and place it in a large stockpot with 6 cups of water. Pour in the washing soda and borax and stir until everything is completely dissolved in the water. Remove from heat and stir in an additional 2 c. of hot water. Pour into the container of choice an add an additional 1.5 gallons of water. Allow the soap to sit and gel for 1 day. Shake well and use 1/2 c. per load of laundry.
I checked the prices at Walmart for these items as I felt that would be cheapest.
Fels-Naptha Soap Bar, $0.97 ~ $1/ cup
20 Mule Team Borax, 65 oz, $4.47 (~8 cups) = 56¢ per cup
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, 55 oz, $4.12 (~7 cups) = 59¢ per cup
To calculate the per load price, I just added up the cost of the ingredients and divided by the number of loads.
Powdered Detergent: 5.38¢ per load
Liquid Detergent: 1.42¢ per load
Depending what you choose, the cost is between 1 and 5¢ per load! As we have seen, store bought detergent prices ranges from 4¢-20¢ per load with coupons & sales.
Keep in mind that because we all have different preferences, sensitives, water hardness and laundry routines, there will be some trial and error involved to decide what works for you. If you already make your own detergent or decide to, I’d love for you to share your experience, frustrations and victories with homemade laundry detergent in the comments!