Sunday, March 24, 2013

DIY Powered Laundry Detergent

With the cost of everything rising everyone is looking for ways to cut cost in anyway possible. I've read LOTS of blog post with different ideas. I was very interested in taking a swing at making our own laundry detergent. Last fall we actually made our first batch. There are 5 of us plus extra kids on the weekends so it didn't last nearly a year, but still was cheaper in the long run.

1 - 4lb 12 oz box of Borax
1 - 3lb 7oz box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Suds
1 - 3lb container of OxyClean (generic works just as good)
4 - 14.1 oz bars of Zote or Fels-Naptha Soap
1 - 4lb box Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
1 - 48oz bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener OPTIONAL
1 - 5 gallon bucket with firm fitting lid

NOTE: The Purex Crystals are optional. You can use the 55oz if you want a stronger scent/softer clothes. By using the Purex Crystals you do not need to use fabric softener.

All items can be found in the laundry detergent aisle with the exception of the bucket. You can find it in the paint department at Wal-Mart or Lowe's.

Begin with grating the bars of Zote or Fels-Neatha soap like you would for shredded cheese. I cut the bars into 1 inch squares and then toss them into the Magic Bullet. You can use a hand grater but it takes MUCH longer. After all of the soap is grated begin layering in the bucket. Pour a portion of the Borax, Washing Suds, OxyClean, grated soap, Baking Soda, Purex Crystals and then mix.

     If you are lucky you can get a cute little mixer like I did!

Continue doing this over and over until all the boxes are empty, making sure to stir after each addition. Place the lid securely on the bucket, pick up the bucket and shake to mix it up really good.

Now here comes some recycling. Use the OxyClean and Purex containers to store the laundry detergent near your washer. If you look inside the removeable cap on the Purex bottle there are lines inside. Fill to the top line with the laundry detergent (approx. 2 TBSP).

When I originally found this it said it last about a year. Since we wash at least 2 loads of laundry a day it last us about 4-5 months. However, it still works out to be cheaper. This last time I made a double batch so that I have 2 of the OxyClean buckets and 2 of the Purex bottles filled in the drawer under my front loading washing machine, and then my 5 gallon bucket.

All of the ingredients are safe to use in your HE washer.

Cost break down:

2 loads a day for 4 months = 240 loads

Borax - $3.38
Super Washing Soda - $3.24
OxyClean (generic) - $5.47
Zote/Fels-Naptha - .97¢
Baking Soda - $2.24
Purex Crystals - 48 oz $4.76

Total = $22.97
.0957¢ per load

5 gallon bucket - one time charge of $5.00

Tide - 80 loads $17.97   .2246¢ per load
Gain - 95 loads $14.97  .1575¢ per load
Arm & Hammer - 120 loads $13.47  .1122¢ per load


  1. This is the same recipe I use. For 5 of us it has lasted so far 3 months with about 1/2 of it left. I love it! I also love how you did the break down of cost. It reminded me how much money I'm saving!

    1. Thanks Misty. We do A LOT of laundry so it doesn't last as long as it may for others but is still a great savings. Plus I personally feel like it cleans better as well.

  2. I've tried this before but I liked the way you broke it down. I'm may have to try it your way and safe for the HE. Yay! We don't have kids yet but I went ahead and followed cause you never know... I found your blog through Girl Who Reads.


    1. Thanks for following. Going to check out your blog now.