Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe: Just Two Cents Per Load!

Homemade laundry detergent recipe, Cheap Recipe Blog

What if I told you that if by using you own homemade laundry soap at home, you’d be spending just 2 cents per load?

Liz over at Carpé Season was kind enough to share her recipe (formula?) for homemade laundry detergent. First of all, she gets automatic cool points for making her own laundry soap at home. And second, how sweet is it of her to offer to guest post for me when she’s undoubtedly busy preparing for baby #2 due at the end of January? Thank you, thank you, thank you, Liz!

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Hi! I’m Liz from Carpé Season, and I’m so happy to be guest posting here on Cheap Recipe Blog because this is, hands-down, one of my favorite and most-used blogs. Carpé Season typically focuses on seasonal cooking by making the most of seasonal ingredients. But as you can see, this post is about soap…which is not food, unless you are my toddler son and obsessed with putting bubbles of any kind in your mouth.

So why laundry detergent? Well, after reading Haley’s post last month about homemade hand soap, we got to talking about homemade laundry detergent because the process for making the two are pretty similar. Plus, what’s always in season? Laundry. And with a new baby on the way in January, you can bet I’ll be fulfilling all of your stereotypes about new mamas with bags under their eyes, endlessly schlepping laundry baskets up and down the basement stairs.

Make your own laundry detergent at home for much less

I started making my own laundry detergent a couple of years ago, after reading this cost breakdown. I’ll sum it up for you: homemade laundry detergent is going to cost you about 2 cents per load as opposed to your standard Tide load, which is going to hit you up for 20 cents per load. Or, to put it another way…if you did one load of laundry per day, you’d save yourself roughly $65 per year. Do you also have $$ signs in your eyes, or is it just me?

If you’re not convinced yet, please let me tell you how easy this process is. It literally takes 15 minutes to put a batch together (a batch that will last you 52+ loads) and includes only 5 steps (more specific instructions below):

How to make homemade laundry detergent at home

1. Grate a bar of soap into curls.

2. Boil water.

3. Add grated soap to water and dissolve.

4. Pour boiled soap mixture, borax, and washing soda in a large bucket and mix.

5. Pour and mix in more water.

Done. And two of the steps include pouring, so does those really even count?

Ingredients to make your own homemade laundry detergent at home

Finally, this stuff works. My clothes feel and smell clean (without any of the perfumey after effect some detergents have), and they don’t appear to be any more worn down than what I had experienced using store-bought detergent for many years.

I hope I’ve at least convinced you to think about making your own detergent. It really is super easy, effective, and best of all, cheap…which can feel really good as you head into this holiday season and see all of those gift-buying receipts piling up.

Homemade less-toxic dishwasher detergent, from Cheap Recipe Blog

Find out how to make your own homemade, less-toxic dishwasher detergent at home.

Recipe For Homemade Laundry Detergent

Yield: Approximately 52 cups/loads

Ingredients:

Ingredients: 1 bar of soap (I use Dove unscented, but whatever you prefer is fine!) 1 cup washing soda ½ cup borax 4 cups + 3 gallons of water (optional: essential oil) Materials: Cheese grater Medium sized pot* Long mixing spoon* Large 3-gallon+ bucket with lid *(I went to a thrift store and bought a cheap pot and spoon because I was paranoid about soapy residue on my cooking pots and spoons).

Directions:

Bring 4 c. of water to boiling in a large (preferably covered) pot. Meanwhile, grate your bar of soap into small curls (or cut into tiny pieces with a knife). Once water is at a rapid boil, add your soap curls, and stir until mostly dissolved. Once dissolved, pour your boiled soap mixture, washing soda, and borax into a large bucket. Add and stir in 3 gallons of water. At this point, you could also add in about 30 drops of your favorite essential oil if using. Cover your bucket and allow to sit for 24 hours. After 24 hours, stir your detergent. At this point, it’s ready to use. Mine always has the consistency of liquid gel, similar to dishwasher detergent. Additionally, the color may vary a bit depending on the type of bar soap you used. Notes: 1. Use ¾ to 1 cup of detergent for a large load; less if your load is smaller. 2. You can either leave your detergent in the bucket and use a measuring cup to scoop it out, OR I’d recommend asking friends for their old store-bought detergent bottles, giving them a good rinse, and then using a funnel to pour your homemade detergent into the used bottles...labeling well, of course. The used-bottle way is just a little less messy and a little more convenient, but definitely not necessary!
Adapted from The Simple Dollar

6 Responses to “Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe: Just Two Cents Per Load!”

  1. 1

    Eileen — December 6, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

    Yes yes yes! Homemade laundry detergent is MILES better and cheaper than the name brands. I usually make mine in powder form–a cup of washing soda, a cup of Borax, and a bar of grated Ivory soap–and it lasts us months and costs practically nothing. Plus, no perfumes or irritants! THE BEST.

  2. 2

    Homemade Laundry Detergent | Carpé Season — December 6, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

    […] Head on over to check out the recipe, and be sure to check out Haley’s other fantastic work while you’re there! […]

  3. 3

    violet — December 7, 2013 @ 7:00 am

    Love the idea-didn’t know it could be done.

  4. 4

    Debbi Wade — December 8, 2013 @ 1:02 am

    Question – is it a typo that the homemade costs 2.25 per load and the Tide or equivalent costs 20 cents per load??? see below:
    “I started making my own laundry detergent a couple of years ago, after reading this cost breakdown. I’ll sum it up for you: homemade laundry detergent is going to cost you about 2.25¢ per load as opposed to your standard Tide load, which is going to hit you up for 20¢ a load. Or, to put it another way…if you did one load of laundry per day, you’d save yourself roughly $65 per year. Do you also have $$ signs in your eyes, or is it just me?” That threw me off a bit.. I think I will definitely look into making this though.. no dyes etc… is it safe in an HE machine as well?

    • Haley replied: — December 8th, 2013 @ 4:33 am

      Thanks for pointing that out! You’re right, it’s about 2 cents per load… not $2.25 per load.

  5. 5

    J. Thwaites — December 9, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

    Is this detergent suitable to use in a front load washer, as only high efficiency, low sudsing soap is supposed to be used in them?

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