Monday, March 29, 2010

Laundry Detergent

I started making my own laundry detergent not for any other reason than I was cheap. I have five kids to feed and a husband who is another 3 mouths to feed :) so I needed to find some ways to save a buck. I believe this is the same recipe you'll find online if you look around so, if you already make your own this won't be anything new, sorry.

Here is the team that you need, 20 Mule Team Borax ($4.39), Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking) ($3.10), and a Fels-Naptha bar ($1.09). I have only been able to find these items at smaller more local grocery stores. I also like to put in some essential oils any of the citrus ones will really help in cleaning, Lemon* is the least expensive so that is usually what I use.

Grate the bar of Fels-Naptha with a cheese grater. Place the grated Fels-Naptha in a saucepan and cover with 6-8 cups of water. Heat on low until dissolved. Add 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of Borax and mix well. Pour mixture into 5-gallon bucket. Fill the bucket with warm water, and stop when you get within 3 inches from the top. Stir well. This is where I add my essential oils, I usually just dump the whole bottle in. As it cool, it will thicken. Use 1/2 - 1 cup per wash load. Safe for H.E. Washers too.
Yields approx. 75 cups

Once your laundry detergent cools, stir it one more time with a wisk. You might have to put your hand in there to reach the bottom. It will look kind of like egg drop soup, but the more you stir it the more pasty it will look. You can either use the detergent right out of the 5-gallon bucket, but if your like prefer less mess. I had saved a couple of my empty orange juice and apple juice jugs and then poured my detergent into the empty bottles. Make sure to rinse them out first. So it ends up costing somewhere between $2-$3 for every 5 gallon bucket, not including the essential oils.

*Lemon-Is an amazing oil it is an antifungal, antiviral, and much more. I use it all the time to clean the house, clean off my babies face when she paints it, clean markers off the wall, and obviously to clean our clothes and our dishes.


  1. I do the same thing, except I don't melt the soap, I use it as a dry detergent for my laundry. (I have a front loader, HE and it works wonderful).

    I love you blog, I am excited to read it...I think maybe we are hippy sisters! LOL...(you need to start using a close line now...)

  2. Megan, my kids have their dad's extremely sensitive skin, so I have to use free and clear everything. Do you know how your soap does on sensitive skin? I'd really like to try it.

  3. Meg, this blog rocks! Thanks for taking the time to share what you know! I love it! Keep it up! I am almost out of laundry detergent, can't wait to try the home made kind!
    -holly sorensen

  4. Just kidding, I should have scrolled down - haha