Three Step Homemade Laundry Detergent

It is time for us to rebuild our laundry detergent supply.  Years ago when I was a coupon fanatic I would have stockpiles of laundry detergent that I would have purchased for pennies on the dollar.  I no longer have time to coupon and honestly those types of deals just don’t seem to exist anymore.  My days of getting five years worth of free toilet paper are long gone.  Don’t get me wrong – you can still save a great deal with coupons these days but you need to spend more time doing it with apps, clipping, matching etc… The technology should have made couponing easier but it seems to have really bogged down the entire process.

But, I digress… There are many ways to save other than with couponing.   One way to save is to make your own laundry detergent.  There are many variations out there and I will share what we use.  In a previous post I shared a liquid detergent recipe I use.  Both are very effective – just depends on whether you want powder or liquid, and BOTH last a very long time.

This recipe makes 1280 loads of laundry – the equivalent to 1280 pods!  If you are doing a large load you will want to consider it like two small loads – just like you would with pods.  Each small load is only ONE TABLESPOON of completed mixture.

You can make a smaller batch if you want but then you will need to measure ingredients – without decreasing the batch there are only a few steps.

1 Four pound box of Borax

1 Four pound box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

1 55 Ounce box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

1 80 Ounce box of Biz Laundry Booster

4 Bars of Zote Soap

2 Bottle of Gain Fireworks Scent Booster – Original

First you need a bucket.  Now many people will choose to mix everything together in a five gallon bucket but this mixture can get very heavy and difficult to mix if you are mixing it in a tall bucket.  I always make it in a rubbermaid storage container so it is more wide than tall and a great deal easier to mix.  The benefit of the five gallon bucket is that you can also store it in that bucket – but since I put mine in smaller containers anyway (more manageable for the kids) – it really doesn’t make sense to struggle with a five gallon bucket.

The added benefit of using this Rubbermaid type container is that we turn it over and use it as a table to shred our soap on…

Step 1 is the most time consuming and requires some energy.  But once you are past this step the rest is a piece of cake.  The four Zote bars need to be shredded.  There really is no simple way to do this although you can purchase Zote flakes instead but that increases the cost of the homemade laundry detergent.  So for us we choose to shred our own soap.  Additionally I usually prefer the pink Zote soap but only white was available on this shopping trip.  The pink is more fun because it adds a bit of color to the mix – that’s the only reason so I got over it and used white.

If you can, get help shredding.  It takes just a few minutes to do the first bar but after that you slow down – not as easy as it looks.  In fact my son did half a bar and called it quits.  But half a bar of help was better than none.

Step 2 – simply pour everything you have, including the flakes, into a bucket (or in my case a Rubbermaid storage container) and mix well.

Note on Gain – my daughter and I have severe allergies so we can’t really handle much in the way of scents.  We can handle Gain and love the scent of “Original” but even then we only use one bottle.  It is better if you use two if you don’t have allergies and choose any type of scent booster you want.  Find something that you like, on sale and with a coupon to further your savings.  Be sure to add about 45 to 60 ounces.

Step 3 is to transfer all our mixed laundry detergent into smaller more manageable containers.  Now if you are using the five gallon bucket you can skip step 3 altogether.  These containers are simple Dollar Tree containers (half gallon) and we fill them.  Each holds about 256 loads (256 Tablespoons).

Isn’t it pretty?!  Oh yeah and I won’t be worrying about buying laundry detergent for a very long time.

These ingredients cost a total of $45 which comes down to 3.5 cents per load!  For example a large bottle of Tide equates to 20.7 cents per load.  The savings is amazing.

Have you tried making laundry detergent?  What works best for you?


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