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Frugal Living: Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Posted: 05/08/12 12:32 PM (Modified: 05/08/12 1:33 PM)


I just made a new batch of Homemade Laundry Detergent and I thought I would post this recipe again for those of you who have not seen it. Hands down, this is one of the most popular posts on our site and my personal favorite as well. Normally, I use Ivory soap but I have switched it up with Fels Naptha which seems to get those tough stains out.

{Homemade Laundry Detergent}

1 Bar Shaved Soap (Fels Naptha or Ivory. Ivory is much easier to find, my detergent below though is yellow because I used Fels Naptha).

1 cup of Borax

1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

Essential Oil (Optional)


Stir the ingredients together (after shaving the soap) and use 2 TBS per load of laundry. This method should work well in HE front loader washers as well since it is a low-suds formula.

I always keep some of this on hand, I primarily use detergent that I've been able to pick up for next to nothing with coupons but when I run out, I grab my homemade detergent. It's great if you have any skin sensitivities too!

How much are you really saving? Well, I'm glad you asked! I checked out the Tide prices at Walmart and compared them to my homemade detergent recipe. Check out the breakdown:

Tide per load cost .23

Homemade Detergent cost per load .07


40 loads of Tide $9.24 at Walmart

40 loads of Homemade Detergent $2.80

We are talking MAJOR savings just by making your own detergent! It takes about 5 minutes to make and can be easily stored in a Mason jar on the shelf or put it into your old detergent box.

Old to new | New to old
May 18, 2012 12:47 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I just made the powdered version of this soap. By using 2 Tbsp. per load, I am only going to get about 24 loads out of a batch not 40. I think it is cheaper to make the gel version, which lasts a family of 4 about 2 months for the same amount of money. Althought this a definately cheaper than buying store bought. :)

Aug 3, 2012 06:01 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

When I was younger, my grandmother used to put small shavings of bath soap in a jar and added a little water, and used to wash clothes. Worked well the best I remember

Sep 8, 2012 04:53 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

How do you make the gel?

Sep 9, 2012 07:46 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I use the recipe from the Duggar Family website to make the gel soap, 10 gallons!!

Jan 28, 2013 09:31 am
 Posted by  jcalkins

I too use the recipe from the Duggar Family website to make the gel soap which is the same thing as above you just add water to dissolve the soap. Which will work well if you're washing your clothes in cold water. What I did find out was to probably not dillute it as much as the Duggar's family recipe called for. I also noticed it didn't get stains out as well as Tide detergent did. Any other opinions on how to still make your own laundry detergent and save money?

May 22, 2013 04:29 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

How can I make one jug of this to see if I'll like it? I just don't want to make 20 jugs and not like it.

May 23, 2013 07:06 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

if you follow the directions for the powdered version you will get about 3 cups...I tried this 2 days ago and I love it!!! Everything feels and smells cleaner and my whites look brighter too. For tougher stains use 3 tbls per load or rub the soap bar on the stain before washing.

May 28, 2013 03:34 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

It makes about 3 cups. You can cut it in half if you like to make less. -Jessica

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