Family Magazine

Frugal Tip: Make-Your-Own Laundry Detergent

By Catherine Mcdiarmid-Watt @frugalfreebies
Image: Washing machine, Laundry, Tumble drier by Steve Buissinne on Pixabay
I have to admit it - I was too lazy to make the liquid version of home-made laundry soap. But this one looks much easier to make!
DIY Laundry Detergent
-- Uses only 4 ingredients (six ingredients if you add the optional OxyClean and fabric softener),
-- Ingredients will cost you about $28 a year.
-- This recipe will make a batch that will last you a whole year!
• 1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax
• 1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm + Hammer Super Washing Soda
• 2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap or Fels Naptha or Ivory Soap, grated
• 2 (2 lb) Boxes of Arm + Hammer Baking Soda
• 1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean
• 1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener
She says you only need 1-2 Tablespoons per load depending on the size of your laundry load - and that it works in HE washers too!
Credit for the idea and photo to Bobbi on
Cheaper AND Better! DIY Laundry Detergent
-- Make sure to read Bobbi's post for complete instructions and important tips - plus all the great comments from her readers - there were 814 comments when I last checked!
From our Facebook fan page:
Donna C Phillips posted: It does not produce suds. So don't get excited when you don't see them!
Selina Dixon posted: I use to make the liquid for the standard washer I had/ but was afraid to use it in my HE we have now. When I used it before, I never noticed if it produced suds or not... LOL. I will try it again
Michelle Christiansen posted: I am sooooooo doing this!!
Esther Mendoza posted: works wonderful and if you use Zote. They have a box of flakes at Walmart makes laundry smell fresh *-* try it
Tabby Brock posted: I made some last night.
Jessica Stillman posted: Does it matter what kind of soap you use? I mean, can I buy some homemade soap from a local vendor and use that instead?
Bobbie Jo Youmans posted: I have been making this same recipe for over a year it, and you can add a few drops of essential oils also for fragrance. I have used Fels Naptha and seems to work the best but love to use the homemade soaps too.
Melinda Kaye posted: Does anyone know how this is on sensitive skin??
Jenifer Jacobs Webster posted: I make this recipe and @Melinda, I have sensitive skin and also know another lady whose husband has more sensitive skin than me, and it works great. But on the other hand, a relative of mine has a reaction to the Purex crystals, so if you've never used them before I don't know. I absolutely love this recipe, and will never go back to regular laundry detergent!
Melanie Haile posted: I made a big batch of this soap and I love love love it. And it only takes a capful. That is awesome!
Mary Fahrney posted: How does it work in HE washers?
Anne Girucky posted: I make my own laundry soap and it lasts me 6 months. Cheap and it really cleans great.
Christine Mueller posted: Is there anything that cleans as good as Tide, but doesn't have the harsh perfumes? My entire household is a 'free' of perfumes and dyes household. Haven't found a homemade detergent that works, and doesn't cause allergic reactions. Anybody out there knows of a recipe?
AnneMarie Jackman Canu posted: I made both last week and love both!
Vicki Hopkins Gaulden posted: I've been making my own powdered laundry detergent for about 2 years now (and yes, I have an HE). It's basically the same recipe you posted. I recently ran across a recipe calling for Castille soap. Supposed to be liquid but mine is more like wet powder. Have to tinker with it, but I did add some lavender and tea tree essentials to make it smell wonderful
Catherine Agnes Roebuck posted: @Christine, try Country Save detergent. It's not homemade but it's unscented, dye-free and works wonderfully.
Jacque Miller posted: I still love this recipe. My clothes are so soft and fresh.
Kristie Fietzer Rhoden posted: Not to mention that the powdered soap eliminates the wet dog/musty smell that you get when guys sweat in their shirts. The smell comes from the animal fat added to the liquid to keep it liquid-y.
Kristie Fietzer Rhoden posted: Christine M~I too cannot have anything scented, and some of my family has sensitive skin ~ I have been using Tide Free powder, but would like a homemade version!
Suzy Embry posted: I just made me a batch! My skeptical sister was impressed!
Melinda Kaye posted: Thanks Jenifer, I have only used them for one bottle worth except for the clothing for the sensitive one, so I have no idea if she can or can't use it. I am really thinking about making this though (maybe hold off on the crystals this time...) or I can make the batch and put the crystals in after I try a load. Lol, we will see!
Amanda Mathis posted: This is how I make mine. but I add a baking soda to the mix just to beat out any hard water issues. I have never had issues with making mine since I do it in 3 month batches and it's no joke.. you only spend 15-20 bucks a YEAR for it. :) I been doing it for years now and I have an HE washer and never had an issue with it...
Janisis Goocher posted: Been making my own for 2 years with no problems. Total cost for 2 years= $24!!

NOTE - If any of the above links are not working or the freebies or coupons no longer available, please post a blog comment below and I'll edit it!

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