Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tutorial: Home Made Liquid Laundry Detergent. $.01 a load! Environmentally Friendly!

I woke up this morning excited! Last night I made my first batch of liquid detergent, and I was hoping it would set up how I wanted! Thank goodness, it did! The best part about it is that the whole batch only cost $.68. Making it $.01 a load! **This recipe CAN be used in HE washers, as it is low sudsing.**

Here's what you'll need.

  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup Washing Soda, NOT to be confused with baking soda
  • 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha, Zote, or Dr Bronners.
  • Optional: Essential oil for fragrance. The soap already has a fragrance, so if you don't use an oil your clothes will still smell nice and clean!
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Beverage dispenser, or old laundry jug
  • Hand mixer
  • Grater or Food Processor
    Borax, Washing Soda, and Fels Naptha can all be found in the laundry aisle at Walmart.
First cut your bar of soap into thirds. Save one third to use and save the rest for your next batch! Then finely grate the third of soap, or you can use a food processor and it'll be a lot faster!

Next, in a large sauce pan melt the soap down with 6 cups of tap water. Be sure NOT to boil your soap. Continuously stir to avoid any soap to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Once your soap has melted, stir in 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup Washing Soda. It should become thick at first. Mine eventually thinned back out. Stir until the Borax and Soda have dissolved.

Next, add 4 cups of hot water to your bucket and then add the soap mixture. If you wanted to add your oil, you should add a few drops to the water during this step. Stir Well. Now, add another gallon of hot water, plus six cups. (22 cups) Keep on stirring!

At this point, you can let your mixture set over night to gel up.. After an hour or so, I got a thin layer of gel on the top and I stirred the mixture up. And continued to do so every hour until I went to bed. I'd suggest starting the batch in the morning so you can stir it throughout the day.
In the morning, I surprisingly didn't have a hard gel like the recipe said I would. I did have some lumps, however. Using my hand mixer I smoothed the bumps out.

I placed my beverage dispenser in the sink to transfer the liquids. I'm pretty clumsy, so just in case I spilled I didn't want it to get everywhere. I will tell you though, I didn't even spill! I was too proud of myself. (: If you don't have an extra beverage dispenser, or don't want to buy one you can use an old laundry jug, or just keep the detergent in your bucket and scoop it out as you use it. But, of course mine had to look cute.

From here I added command hooks to the side to hang my downy ball, and measuring device. 

There you have it! Home made laundry detergent, for less than $.01 a load. In the jar is my home made powdered detergent, you can find that tutorial here. 

For regular loads, use 1/2 cup or 2/3 for heavily soiled loads. You should get about 64 loads from one batch. Remember, you can use white vinegar for your softener. Just add 1/2 cup to your downy ball or add during the rinse cycle. It won't make your clothes smell like vinegar. (: 

Now, for the price break down.
-Fels Naptha: $1.12 a bar, cost per batch 37 cents.
-Washing Soda: $2.23, cost per batch 17 cents
-Borax: $3.27, cost per batch 14 cents.
So, It only cost 68 cents to make an entire batch.  At 64 loads a batch, that makes it about $.01 a load! How frugal are we?!

Many women say that they've been using this recipe for years, and it works better than anything they've ever used. I'm really liking it so far, and I like even more that I'm saving money!

Let me know how it works out for you! 


  1. I love this!! I made it last week and didn't have a chance to try it out until today. Our clothes came out so soft and smelled so good without being over powering. I didn't use any essential oil this time because I wanted to follow the recipe exactly the first time so I knew what to expect next time. The only thing that threw me off was it seperated. The total recipe made more then my Era jug would hold so I put it into a glass jar. Since I saw it happen after a little while in there I just shook the Era jug when I was going to do another load. I like using natural, found at home, type of cleaning products so this will go great with all of my other "tools." Thanks girl, keep it up!!

  2. I have the same problem with mine separating. I emptied it back into the bucket and mixed it with the hand mixer bette. That seemed to help too. Otherwise, I just shake up the bottle before hand. I'm glad you like it!

  3. Is this safe for High Efficiency washers?


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