A few weeks ago I stumbled across a blog called Why Not Sew? Erin had a recipe listed for making your own laundry detergent. I was really excited to see her recipe because it was for a small amount only 2 gallons of homemade detergent. Most blogs have you making 5 gallons. I only had enough bottles saved to make 3-4 gallons. I was able to take her recipe for 2 gallons and turn it into 3 as recommended by Jill from One Good Thing By Jillee.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to give this recipe a try. The reviews were so good and the money you save is so incredible that I knew making the small initial investment could be well worth it.
What made me initially take notice of this recipe was my last shopping trip for laundry detergent. I was almost out so I decided to get another bottle at Wal-Mart. A large bottle of Tide was coming in at almost $18 a bottle at our local grocery store that same bottle was almost $21. WOWOWOWOW that is crazy!! I can go through that bottle in about two weeks. I know when you see cents you think well that’s not too bad, but it is when you think about how many loads you may do a week or even in a month. I can normally wash 15 loads a week sometimes as many as 20. Add the fabric softener, and any stain fighters to that it can become hefty in a years’ time. I was paying over $500 a year in detergent alone!! With this recipe I would be looking at $35.00 a year for the detergent.
So how does it work?? It was fantastic! Actually I think it works better than the laundry detergent I was using before. My clothes not only smell better but they look cleaner in general. One thing I was noticing before I made this homemade detergent was our towels never really smelled that great. They didn’t smell bad, but they didn’t smell as clean as I would have liked them to be considering you are rubbing them on your clean wet body after a shower. After using the homemade detergent the towels smelled so fresh even my husband said they smelled good. Humm looks like we made the correct decision to switch.
I made a mistake by using a bar of Zote verses a bar of bath soap and ended up with a huge disaster on my hands instead of 3-5 gallons of detergent I ended up with 10 gallons of detergent. I had to run to the hardware store and buy a 5 gallon buckets to make it all work. Unbenounced to me I was actually making the Duggar Family Recipe you know the family with something like 19 kids! HOLY COW! So with that being said I think I will have enough laundry detergent for almost 1 year costing me about .02 cent per gallon!
I didn’t add step by step pictures as I made the detergent because I was in a bit of a hurry at my last minute decision to make the detergent at midnight, but I will capture them next time. In the mean time you can see EXCELLENT step by step picture directions by Why Not Sew? CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PIC’s
- 1 bar of bath soap ( like Dove or Ivory) If you are looking for a larger quantity visit the Duggar Family (This is the one I ended up using)
- 1 cup of Borax
- 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (Not baking soda)
- 3-1 gallon jugs
- Large Stew or Gumbo pot
- 1 cheese grater
- 1 large spoon
- 1 funnel
- Essential Oils (Optional)
Directions: (Click here for picture steps by Erin)
- Grate the soap with a cheese grater, then add to a large pot.
- To the pot add one gallon of water
- Cook until the grated soap melts down and stir well
- Add the Borax, and Super Washing Soda, then bring to a bowl continue to stir.
- You will notice the detergent coagulating right away
- Add additional 2 gallons of cold water to the pot and stir well.
- Divide the detergent between three 1 gallon jugs
- *optional* Add 10 drops of essential oils to each gallon, close then gently shake the bottle to mix