Now that I’m living with my boyfriend and his 2 little boys, we are running through my measly laundry detergent stockpile like nobody’s business. Even with a coupon and store sale, finding deals on laundry detergent these days are far from what they were a year ago.
I’d heard about making your homemade laundry detergent but the recipes usually included boiling down soap and pouring the mixture in a huge 5-gallon bucket to let it “slime up”. I didn’t have the space or the desire to make any kind of mess like that in my tiny apartment.
After reading through comments on several different blog posts on the subject, I stumbled upon a powdered recipe, and friends, I’m now SOLD. It’s so easy to do and costs far less per load than what you would spend on store bought detergent.
Let’s get to it!
- 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 bar Fels-Naptha, Zote, or Ivory soap
- Optional: Essential Oil for fragrance
- Grate ONE bar of Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap using a cheese grater. This took me a few minutes – it’s hard work grating soap! Fels-Naptha has been around for over 100 years and is used as a laundry stain remover and pre-treater. It works especially well on oil-based stains.
I found found Fels-Naptha at CVS in the laundry aisle for $1.39 (free after using one of my ECB’s), but you can also use Zote (found at Walmart, Big Lots, dollar stores, etc) or even a bar of regular old Ivory will do just fine. Look up high on the shelf or near the bottom. It’s not a well known product so it likely will not be at eye level.
- Add ONE cup of Borax to your grated soap. Borax helps to remove tough stains, is a natural alternative to colorsafe bleach & is going to give a boost of cleaning power to the Fels-Naptha soap.
Many grocery stores and big box retailers like Walmart & Target sell Borax. I picked up 20 Mule Team Borax at Target a few months ago for $2.99. For recipes like this, a box lasts a super long time.
- Add ONE cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. Don’t confuse this with baking soda, they are two different compounds. Washing soda has a higher alkaline level which helps to act as a solvent to remove a range of stains. Unlike bleach, washing soda will not stain.
This product may be tricky to find. I discovered that at least in my area, the only retailer carrying washing soda was Ace Hardware. Check out their website for additional store locations near you or pick up a box on Amazon.
- Pour ingredients into a food processor (or in my case, blender) and pulse/grind for about 20-25 seconds, or until everything has blended into a fine powder. Although this step is not necessary, I find it keeps the powder from separating from the ground soap and also helps the soap chunks fully dissolve in the washer.
- There you have it! Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent in no time at all. I keep mine in an old food storage container with a tight fitting lid. Easy peazy.
How To Use:
Small Load – 1 Tablespoon
Normal Load – 2 Tablespoons
Heavy Load – 3 Tablespoons
Homemade laundry detergent does not contain sulfates so it will not suds up like ordinary detergent but don’t worry, your clothes are getting clean. Plus, because this formula is low-sudsing, this is safe for you folks with front loading HE washers.
Do you make your own homemade laundry detergent? How do you like it? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below!Pin It