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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Making My Own Laundry Detergent

I've been making my own laundry soap because I just can't bear to actually buy it in the stores with the cost of everything. All total, this recipe cost me about $1.06, some hot water, less than 30 minutes time and fills a 300 ounce laundry container.

Here's how I do it:

1 bar of Ivory $.32
1 cup Borax $.30
1 cup Washing Soda $.44

Begin boiling one quart of water.

Start shaving the Ivory (use a vegatable peeler) into the pot of water.

Once boiling, turn it to low and stir until dissolved. Keep your eye on it at all times, it can boil/suds over easily.

Pour this into a clean mop bucket and add Borax and Washing Soda. Stir to dissolve.

Add two gallons of warm tap water and lavender, rosemary or tea tree oil for fragrence if you like.

You will have to shake and/or stir this mixture and maybe add more water after a few loads to get the right consistency.

This stuff is cheap (a little more than a penny a load) and more natural. My laundry comes out just as clean and smells better too. It's better for your wallet and your environment. I was using All Free & Clear. Last time I checked it was $10.97 for 150 oz. I could not find the 300 oz. container at my big Walmart to compare the price. My hunch is they stopped selling them because nobody wanted to drop $20 at once on detergent even if it was cheaper that way.

I found this recipe and more like it at


Ruthanne said...

I have come back to this post over and over again - I am so tempted to try this, yet hesitant because my family is sensitive to change. My husband and one of my children have extremely sensitive skin. Did you notice anything different when you started making your own?

Thank you for sharing!

Steph said...

All the ingredients are more natural then whatever else they put in those detergents. You may already use Ivory but I am under the impression that Dove is not as harsh as Ivory for bathing. But you won't be bathing in this, just washing your clothes. Do not, however, use Dove or another moisturizing bar for the laundry detergent. You can try just adding the Borax and/or washing soda to a few loads before mixing a batch and see how that works. If it doesn't work there are other household cleaning uses listed on the boxes so it won't be wasted. Likewise, dissolve a few shavings of Ivory in hot water and see how that feels. Check for more recipes. I wouldn't recommend using the fragrance oils if that's might be a skin sensitivity. Having said all that, once I noticed that the laundry felt stiff and pickery when I brought it off the line. I wonder if it was from some pollen or dust in the air or if it was my detergent. If it was from the detergent, no one else complained and I only noticed it that once. Our water is also very hard, which attributes to less soft clothing. I think I will start using the fabric softener tips too. Good luck, Steph

Surviving and thriving on pennies said...

I make my own soap as well. But instead of using the Ivory bar of soap, I use a handmade or natural one. Usually Trader Joe's Oatmeal bars ($1.49 for 2). The oatmeal is a softener and I don't need liquid softener or sheets. I use those balls (found mine at Rite Aid for $3) that you throw in and stops static from producing. So I pay nothing for softener. I find my clothes are actually cleaner, softer and I feel so good about my laundry. My children and I (4 daughters) all have excema and that is why I make my own soap. We all are allergic to dyes, perfumes and have all year long allergies. So yes you can use and I recommend using this recipe.