Over the past several years, I’ve made a number of my own household products. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making my own laundry detergent, but other things kept pushing it to the back burner.
I already had all of the ingredients that I needed so I set about mixing it up this past weekend. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how quickly it came together.
For some reason, I had invisioned it being overwhelminly daunting and time-consuming.
It was not.
I thought that it may be comparable to the boiling and making of lye soap, a hot and tedious task over an open prarie fire, the fringe of my shawl blowing in the breeze.
It was totally not.
I was indeed making soap, a detergent for our clothes, but there was no heat involved and no hours of wearisome stirring.
It was incredibly easy.
Whole Foods Market had Dr. Bronner’s soap bars on sale over the holidays and I chose several of my favorite scents from their selections in prepartion for this diy. The fact that Christmas was over a month ago shows you that I was not in a huge hurry to complete this job. You gotta give me credit for buying things on sale though, right? And working things into our budget?
I loved this recipe and the fact that it used baking soda. Why not try it since I had the baking soda on hand instead of the typical washing soda? The Borax and the Dr. Bronner’s soap already have sufficient washing powers, so I also opted to use regular baking soda to help deodorize our laundry even more. However, if you’d prefer you can certainly use the washing soda instead. Tweak the recipes to meet your needs and those of your family.
Speaking of tweaking, I used Dr. Bronner’s soaps (obviously) instead of the plain castile bars of soaps and drops of essential oils like the original recipe stated. Dr. Bronner’s soaps are pure castile soap bars made with organic oils and scents. It just made sense to use them this time around. If I find that I can purchase regular castile soap bars for a better price in bulk and then just use my Young Living essential oils to scent the detergent, I will. Safe and frugal is my mission.
Switching the soap bars made this recipe even easier—only three ingredients! Simple.
As you can see in the picture, I only made a small batch (one fourth of the original recipe) to test it out this weekend. After doing a number of loads, I have no complaints. I will update you again later with any pros or cons that may find with this particular recipe.
I’m enjoying the lavendar scent right now, but this rose scented bar smells good too.
Here’s my “tweaked” recipe for a small batch.
- ¼ of the Borax box ( I just eye-balled it)
- 2 boxes of baking soda
- 1 bar of Dr. Bronner's soap (whatever scent that you'd prefer)
- Grate your bar of soap into a bowl.
- Add the Borax and baking soda.
- Mix well.
- Use 2 Tbsp. per load.
Depending on whether you have to adjust the amount of detergent based on your machine or load size, this recipe should yield you roughly 72 loads.
For those that may be interested in the cost breakdown here it is:
- Borax- ($3.99) only using 1/4 of the box and 5% off with my Red card—-$0.94
- Baking soda- ($1.24 -2 lb box is cheaper) and 5% off with my Red card—-$1.18
- Dr. Bronner’s soaps (on sale at Whole Foods)—-$3.50
Total: $5.62 which comes out to only SEVEN cents per load (for 72 loads)! Wow.
I actually only paid $4.62 because I used the $1.00/1 Borax coupon that was on coupons.com last month. (Those that follow me on facebook may remember when I shared it.)
That coupon made this trial batch only SIX cents per load! Saving money makes me happy.
I picked up a large glass jar to keep my detergent in. The glass allows me to see when I need to whip up another batch and as a bonus, it’s attractive storage on my laundry room shelf. I need to find a cute measuring spoon at a thrift store and I’ll be all set.
I am thrilled to finally mark homemade laundry detergent off of my to-do list. It was so easy. You should try it.
Do you DIY any of your household cleaners? Have a favorite that you have just loved and has saved you a ton of money? Share. I’d love to hear. I’m always looking for new inspiration.
Thanks for reading.