I hate that moment when you go to wash clothes or dishes or even go to the bathroom and you remember: I’m out of detergent/dish soap/toilet paper. (Especially when it’s the toilet paper moment.) A really fabulous moment is when you realize that you can make that item with things you already have in your house! (Um, I would NOT recommend this with toilet paper.) I started making homemade detergent a few years ago and found that it worked just as well as the store bought brands at a fraction of the price. It also only takes a few minutes to make, which is helpful for those of us who are busy or, you know, lazy. Want to know how easy homemade detergent is to make? Rob took the kids around the block for a walk the other day and I both made dinner and homemade detergent (not together, ew) in the short time they were gone.
If you are interested in making homemade detergent, I would give two caveats. First, we don’t use a HE washer. There are many recipes that claim to be safe for them out there, but my sister-in-law swears they aren’t (after paying a repairman to fix her front-loading washer). Be wary of using this in your HE front-loading machine! The second caveat is that I am not super picky. To me the clothes go in and they come out clean whether I’m using an expensive brand (though being honest I only buy those with coupons) or homemade detergent. If you have a particular smell or brand you love, don’t make homemade detergent.
The first time I made this homemade detergent, it was based off a recipe from Money Saving Mom. I’ve since changed the soap I use and also I add essential oils for scent. The clothes don’t come out smelling strongly the way laundry might if you were using a scented store brand, but they do smell clean and fresh.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 cup Borax
1 cup Super Washing Soda
1 bar of Ivory (or Fels-Naptha) soap, grated
20 or so drops of essential oils
For essential oils, I used Lemon from Young Living (if you want to order, my member number is 1822352 or contact me for a great deal on a starter kit!) and a few drops of Thieves, one of my favorites with a cloves-y smell. Great for a light, citrus-y summer scent! When I wash clothes, I use about 1/8 of a cup. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but the clothes come out smelling fresh. This amount of laundry soap lasts me maybe a month to six weeks, but it probably depends on how often you wash clothes. (I should also point out that I fill the entire machine to the top every time. So I’m using little soap per clothes. Also, you should really get your laundry lessons from someone more domestic.)
Borax and Super Washing Soda can both be found in the detergent aisle and come in boxes the way many powdered dishwasher soaps do. Both can be used for a variety of cleaning purposes, so I usually keep them stocked at home. I got this nice glass container for about $4 at Walmart. It previously held rice on the kitchen counter.
Ever tried this recipe for homemade detergent or another homemade product that was a lifesaver? I have a board on Pinterest just for homemade products so follow along if you want other easy homemade idea!