Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have seen this craze all over Pinterest lately.  And in my attempt to save us a little moolah, I figured it was worth a shot.  The “recipes” looked pretty safe and simple and I love the sense of accomplishment I have when I make something on my own. 

So, I found this pin on Pinterest and decided to use it as my guide.  I will say that I bought most of my ingredients on Amazon since we have Amazon Prime and the shipping is free…why not?  But I did buy the Oxiclean, the Borax, and the large 2 gallon jar at the store.  Here are what the ingredients look like (since I had never heard of washing soda or Fels-Naptha till now) and how much you will need of each:

4lb box of Baking Soda
4lb box of Borax
55 oz of Washing Soda (made by Arm n Hammer found in the laundry isle)
3 – 3.5 lbs of Oxiclean powder (I couldn’t find 3.5 pound containers, so I used 3 pounds)
3 bars of Fels-Naptha

So, the first thing we did was line a 5 gallon Home Depot bucket with a plastic trashbag. Then I dumped about 1/3 of each of the powder ingredients into the bucket. 

Then I used a cheese grater, and grated up the bars of Fels-Naptha one at a time.  It actually looks a lot like cheese, but it is much easier to grate. 

Then I threw that into the bucket with the powders.  And mixed that all up.  Repeat that until you have used all 3 bars, and all of the powder ingredients.  (I used my hand to mix it, just make sure you wash your hands before and after).  So then you should have a powder mixture that looks like it has bits of cheese in it! 

The technique we used to get it in to the container was to lift the bag out of the bucket, and cut off one of the corners of the bag and let it empty into the container.  And voila!  There you have homemade detergent! 

It works great in our HE front loader washer, I just place the detergent directly into the drum instead of in the compartment.  You only need 1-2 tablespoons per load.  And it really has no scent at all.  I’ve read where you can add essential oils or fabric softener crystals to the mix to make it smell better, but we prefer the no-scent route.  And all these basic ingredients are great for sensitive skin.  It was a win-win for us and I know it’ll save us money over the year because of how long it lasts!


  1. Been wanting to try this!!! Thanks. May have to do it. Really, no scent? We have sensitive little baby skins here so we use the free and clear stuff. Would love to find something cheaper. Miss you guys. We need to catch up soon.

  2. No scent that we can smell! I had John smell the towels just out of the dryer. This stuff is supposed to be really good for sensitive skin. :) Miss you all too!