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Have I mentioned lately that I am really, really cheap? No? Well now you know and knowing is half the battle. 😉 Okay, maybe I’m not cheap, but I really don’t like paying for something that I can make myself. That would be how I ended up with a list of over 200 things you can stop buying and start making at home to save money. Laundry detergent is oat the top of my list of common expenses you should stop spending money on. That list has grown rather significantly since I started. It began as 30 things I simply stopped buying and started making but since I would rather take the time to make something than spend the money to buy it most of the time. With that said, I also like things that are super easy for me to do. Hey, I’m a busy single Mom and I like things that are easy or make my life easier.
Enter my homemade powdered laundry detergent recipe. Of all of the homemade cleaner recipes I use, this one is by far one of the easiest that I mix up. There are only three ingredients and two steps to making it. It is so easy that my daughter has been making it for me since she was just 10 years old! Once you make yours, you’ll understand what I mean when I say it is simple to make. When you make your own homemade powdered laundry detergent, you have the choice of using Ivory bar soap, bar castile soap, Fels-Naptha or Zote. Personally, I opt for either castile soap (Six Dollar Family) or for Ivory. Fels-Naptha is amazing and there are a ton of uses for Fels-Naptha around the home, but both it and Zote are known to be nasal irritants. Because of that, I try to stay away from any use that calls for me to grate them into tiny little pieces.
Homemade Cleaner Recipes – Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent
This particular recipe is for a large batch. I tend to make it up every few weeks to save myself time so when you make yours, know that if you follow the recipe exactly, it will make a lot. It keeps perfectly well as long as you store it in an airtight storage container and keep it from getting damp. If your laundry room is humid as mine can be sometimes, I would advise only keeping the amount you need to do laundry with in the laundry room and storing the extra someplace else.
When you go shopping for your homemade powdered laundry detergent ingredients, make sure that you don’t confuse baking soda with washing soda. They are two entirely different products. Baking soda will not work in a homemade laundry detergent unless you are using it to enhance the final product. It is unnecessary to do that with this one though since it cleans so well. Washing soda is found in the laundry aisle, usually on the top or bottom shelves and comes in a much larger box. Borax, Fels-Naptha and Zote can be found in the same place. If you’re not sure about using a homemade powdered laundry detergent, you can also make homemade laundry detergent with castile soap that is liquid. Both work incredibly well and are super budget (Six Dollar Family) friendly! They also work very well along side of our DIY Reusable Fabric Softener sheets too! The combination is how I clean my home for less than $10.00 each week!
You will need:
- 8 cups Borax
- 6 cups Washing soda (also called soda ash)
- 3 bars Ivory soap, Castile bar soap, Fels-Naptha or Zote
- Food processor or cheese grater
I told you this is one of the easiest homemade cleaner recipes I make and here’s why:
To start, grate the bar soap as well as you can. It is far easier to use a food processor for this, but if you don’t have one, a simple cheese grater will work. It is a lot more work though with a grater so I highly recommend that you pick up a food processor if you’re planning on making this often. Next, mix the grated bar soap with the Borax and the washing soda then give it a good stir.
Tada! You’re done!
To wash clothes, use 2-3 tablespoons per load. If your laundry happens to be abnormally dirty, you can use up to 5 tablespoons per load, but you really shouldn’t need it. Both the Borax and the Washing soda are there to help with stains and odors and both will help boost whichever soap you decide to use.
If you want to add a scent for your detergent that is different from the bar soap you’re using, you can use an essential oil. Lavender essential oil, lemon essential oil or cinnamon essential oil all make an incredibly nice smelling detergent. You could also use soap fragrance oil as well if you wanted to skip the essential oils. If you’re going to add fragrance, add just a few drops to your finished detergent and stir every well to ensure that the liquid from the scent is thoroughly mixed into the product and there are no clumps.
Since I know I am going to get asked this, I do not know if this will work in an HE machine. I don’t own one and have never tried it. I highly suggest that you contact the manufacturer before trying this in your machine if you have an HE machine. This homemade powdered laundry detergent does work very well in cold water so don’t be afraid to switch from hot to cold.