“You make your own homemade laundry detergent?!” I hear it all the time. Why, yes. Yes, I do. But before you compare me to the Duggars, let me explain why. Because as frugal as I am, even I will admit it seems a little, well, Duggar-ish.
When my oldest daughter was two or three her skin kept breaking out with these little bumps. These bumps stuck around for weeks at a time.
At first we thought it was bug bites. Then we thought it was warts. Her pediatrician told us it was just excema.
To make a long story short, after two trips to the pediatrician and a visit to KidMed, I finally got a referral to a dermatologist, who was able to give us a diagnosis and some cream to get rid of these outbreaks. I was told some kids are just more susceptible to this condition, and there was nothing I could do to prevent it.
Don’t get me wrong. I was grateful for a treatment.
But I didn’t want to just treat the symptoms. I wanted to be proactive and get rid of the problem before there was a bump or two or ten to get rid of.
So who did I turn to for real answers? Google, of course.
In a nutshell, I started learning about the effect household cleaners and chemicals have on health. And, after starting to make my own homemade household cleaners (which is WAY cheaper btw!) I jumped on the crazy boat and decided to try making my own homemade laundry detergent.
A decision that has changed my ever-loving life. So long, dermatologists and your expensive copays!
I thought I would just be “trying it out,” and only made one batch. Little did I know this one little batch would last six months. And only cost 20 bucks. Um, what?
Making my own laundry detergent was 100% the trigger for her breakouts. She NEVER gets them anymore. The second I cave in and buy detergent from the store, she breaks out again. Even now, seven years later, I still make my own to avoid these embarrassing and uncomfortable bumps.
AND I literally save about $200 a year by making my own. TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS!!! That is the cost of a last minute getaway with my family. That is the cost of a weekend at the beach. That is the cost of a family summer pass to a local amusement park. SO worth it!
I have tried many many many recipes over the years, and have tweaked some things to find what works best for us.
The first recipe I ever used was this homemade liquid laundry detergent. It worked for us for a long time. But the amount of time it took to make initially always seemed inconvenient. And one day I decided to just try another recipe that didn’t take so long to make.
Then I started making this quicker liquid laundry detergent. It took 2 minutes to put together, which was amazing. But it lasts less time. Maybe a month or two? I still use this recipe every once in a while if I am in a pinch and can’t get to the store for ingredients for the recipe I use now.
Finally, after years of experimenting, I have narrowed it down to a science and have a simple recipe to share! This is my go-to and it lasts for. ev. er.
Without further ado, here is the recipe.
To make your own homemade laundry detergent, you will need the following ingredients.
- Baking Soda (one box)
- Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda Laundry Booster (one box)
- Borax (one box)
- Zote laundry flakes (1.5 boxes) – Other people use Fels Naptha soap instead of Zote but it comes in a bar that needs to be grated. Walmart sells this box of soap that is already grated. Yes, please!
- Oxiclean (I use one tub. If you have boys or extremely messy hubbies and/or kids, you might want two.)
- A large container to hold it in. I use a large glass jar I already had. Again, I originally got it from Walmart for 10 or 15 bucks. It holds the perfect amount.
- Lemon or lavendar essential oils for fragrance, optional
Take a large garbage bag, and put it inside a clean trash can. (Trust me, this is the easiest method. I’ve tried them all.) You will definitely want to go outside to mix everything.
Dump the baking soda, super washing soda, borax, zote, and oxiclean into the bag. Dump it ALL! (Save the little blue dispenser from the Oxiclean. It is the perfect little scooper to measure out the detergent for each load.)
Close the bag to keep all the dust inside and give it all a good shmushing with your hands. I pull the bag out, and just massage it until everything is all mixed up nice and good. My bad for no pic on this step. But my hands were busy. You know, shmushing and all that.
Cut a hole in the bottom of the bag and pour the contents into your large container. I have a large glass container that has a lid and it is perfect!
Throw in the little blue scooper from the Oxiclean tub. Cover with a lid. And you’re done! Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
This batch lasted me six and a half months for a family of four. We usually do 3 or 4 loads each week. And we only use 1-2 tablespoons of detergent depending on the size of the load.
Making your own laundry detergent costs pennies per load. It is made with much gentler cleaners. And it lasts forever.
It is low-suds, so it is great for HE washers. And it works perfect in cold water, so it will save you some money on your power bill as well.
If you like a fragrance, feel free to add some drops of lemon or lavendar essential oil. Honestly, if you don’t really mind the chemicals, feel free to still use dryer sheets in the dryer. You could either cut them in half, or reuse them for a couple of cycles to make your dollars stretch even more.
That’s not an option for us, what with my daughter’s sensitive skin and all. Needy little stinker! Just kidding. I just loves hers so much!
Well, there you have it. I hope this is something that will benefit your family as much as it has mine. You will also be shocked at the amount of money you will save!
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