I can't believe I'm saying this...but...

I did it.  I made my own laundry detergent.

I'm not trying to "go green" necessarily.  It's just natural and that is good. 

Segue to personal rant...I can't stand the entire "go green" movement - I'm so tired of being told by "the Man" that I need to go green or all the little kittens will die (I'm looking at YOU NBC!!).  The Man needs to worry about his own stuff and let me take care of my own. 

I don't want all the furry little kittens to die.  I love all animals (especially the edible ones).  But I just have had it up to my eyelids with the "going green" propaganda.  I think my frustration has to do with the negativity surrounding bringing children into the world and each of them having an irreparable and nasty little carbon footprint.  Couldn't be further from the truth.  Anyway...Back to the original post. 

A few years ago, I saw an episode of 15 Kids and Counting where the Duggars (love them!) made their own detergent.  They outlined how much it cost them to make their own compared to the cost of detergent.  Since that day, everytime I pay for detergent, it hurts.  I have always intended on trying it. 

We cloth diaper, and recently, the cloth diapers have been giving Elena a terrible rash.  I have had her in disposables for almost a month and it's killing me!  The rash started when I switched from Tide to Kirkland's detergent.  I am hoping that by making my own detergent, I can eliminate the rash and use our hard-earned money for other things - like date night.

Tutorial: How to make laundry detergent.

Step One: Purchase a 5 gallon bucket (Lowe's), 1 box of Borax, 1 box of Washing Soda and Ivory Soap Bars (all found at our local grocery store!).  Costs listed below.

Grate the Ivory Soap.  You will need 2 cups of grated soap. 

Boil 4 cups of water.  Add the grated soap and lower the heat to medium or medium low.  Stir until all the soap is melted into the water. 

Pour the hot soapy mixture into the 5 gallon bucket.  Add 2 cups of Borax and add 2 cups of Washing Soda.  Stir until dissolved (just a few minutes).

Then pour in 2 gallons of water, stir again and let it sit overnight.

I am told it will be similar to a gel substance.  I am going to stir it in the morning and pour some into a gallon milk jug container.  When my Kirkland's detergent container is empty, I will pour the mixture into that.  This mixture needs to be shaken before used.  You put 1/4 cup of this in with each wash!  (So only 1/8 or less of a cup for diapers.)  I would love to hear if any of you have had success with your own detergents or general household cleaners.  I am just getting into the swing of things and love tips and tricks!
Total Cost:
$2.65 - Ivory Soap
$3.69 - Borax
$2.99 - Washing Soda
$3.75 - 5 Gallon Bucket
= $13.08

I only used 1/4 of the ingredients so I should be able to make at least 3 MORE batches with the ingredients I bought.  One 4 oz bar of soap made 2 cups grated and I have 3 more.  The Borax and Washing Soda boxes are still almost full!

*UPDATE: 6-Month Homemade Laundry Detergent Check-in!

**UPDATE 5/12 - I started making my laundry detergent with Fels Naptha soap.  I love the smell and it does a fantastic job!


  1. I'd love to see a followup post to this after you've had a chance to use it! I keep meaning to try to make it and haven't gotten around to it yet. But this is one place we could definitely save some money!

  2. It's fun to watch you learning to be super mom. I find it surprising that Elena had rashes AFTER you switched from Tide. From experience and what I've heard kids are especially sensitive to Tide in particular. Elena is trying the fussy girl thing out from the get go I guess.

  3. Let us know how it works this would be a great money saver for us.

  4. interesting. I also personally dislike the go green stuff too for alll the reasons you said.

  5. I've had quiet a few friends that have done this. They love it, but I'm still leary.. don't know why, but I have to finish up my 'stock' of laundry detergent before I try this..

  6. I had a friend who told me how to make laundry detergent before. In fact you use nearly the same ingredients as she does, the only difference is you cook yours. When I've made it I just mix equal parts borax and baking soda with shredded bar soap. The mixture comes out to be 1 cup each of the baking soda and borax for every 2 cups soap shreds. I just use it like powder detergent in the washing machine for regular laundry. Your method would probably work better for delicate/ gentle wash loads. I'd just use commercially made stuff for that. Truth be told, I've fallen out of the practice of doing that, though I think I might get back into it again. At Costco detergent is about $0.11/oz and the stuff you made is less than $.03/oz. I never thought of cooking the mixture. I might try that. It would be nice to not have to buy different detergent for gentle cycle wash. Thanks for the idea!

  7. Fun! I too would be interested in a follow up post, particularly in relation to the cloth diapering. We've gone so far as to look for washing soda at the store but didn't look elsewhere when we didn't find it on the first go 'round. I hope Elena's bum heals and can be happy again in cloth!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...