Cheaper AND Better! DIY Laundry Detergent February 9, 2012 by Bobbi 147 Comments Hi everyone! It’s Jen again from Our DIY Diaries. I can’t believe I was asked to come back and share another project with you all. Maybe I’ll be asked to come back for a third time? Hey, a girl can dream right? ;) Today, we are talking about our dirty laundry and no, I am not talking about the problems and dirty little secrets of our lives….we are talking legit, dirty, smelly, laundry; or more importantly, how we get that dirty laundry clean. It took me a while to come around to the idea of making my own laundry soap. I tend to be very particular about my laundry detergent. I need it to not fade my colors, smell good, and most importantly clean well. I do not have children at home who like to get their clothes extremely dirty but I do have a husband who insist on coming home from softball games each week looking like the Dirt Monster (he enjoys sliding…and is usually always safe). I have never opted for just the cheapest, non-smelling detergent. I love my clothes and was always worried that, by paying for the cheapest detergent possible, I would “get what I paid for”. My favorite detergent was Gain’s “Liquid Apple Mango Tango” with the coordinating fabric softener. It met my every need, with the exception of the price tag. We always bought the size that says it contains 48 loads for $10.97 (Wal-Mart price) and that was just the detergent. The fabric softener was $4.47 for 52 loads. Both lasted us around 3 months based on our 4 loads of laundry a week. That brings the total to around $60-$65 a year. I don’t know about you but I would like to have all the extra money I can get. The husbands law school expenses tend to cut down on my craft budget and that is just unacceptable! I need my crafts to keep my sanity so I started looking for ways to save money. I was seriously a huge skeptic when it came to homemade laundry soap but when I realized the price difference, I just had to try it! I did a ton of research and looked up so many varying recipes and then determined what I thought would be best. I tried one smaller batch, thought it was okay but knew there was room for improvement so I went back and did more, yup you guessed it….research! I’m thrilled to say that it was all worth it and I love our homemade laundry detergent. So what do I have to do to entice you to run to the store and get these ingredients? How about I share how much it cost….are you ready? Try approximately $28…A YEAR! That’s based on 6 loads of laundry a week (It’s just me and Mr. Awesome at home so we normally only do around 4, which means this will last around 18 months!) Now let’s get started. You will need… 1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle 1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle 1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle. (This is optional but I highly recommend adding it) 2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap- Found in the detergent aisle (we chose to do pink for the scent but the white would be just fine. You can also use Fels Naptha) 2 (2 lb) Boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle (You could also get 1 4 lb box, we just couldn’t find it when we went) 1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- Found in the detergent aisle (This is 100% optional. Like I said, my laundry detergent must smell good and I really like soft towels) The hardest most time consuming part is grating the cheese soap. The hubs thinks it looks like pink cheese….has anyone ever seen pink cheese? Ya didn’t think so! I’m not fortunate enough to have a food processor so I was stuck doing this with a typical hand grater. I did try a blender just for kicks and giggles….total fail! Stick to either a hand grater or food processor if you are blessed enough to have one. I should make it known that the soap dissolves just fine, even in cold water. I know that tends to be a concern but you need not worry. Oh and I would recommend using a large mixing bowl to grate into and using the fine side of the grater. The hardest part is now over and all that’s left is to mix everything together. I used a very large bucket that I got from my Father-in-Law and took a layering approach to mix it easier. I took a small amount of each ingredient and layered it on top of each other, then I grabbed a large mixing spoon and mixed it together. I did this probably 5 times but it was so much easier than dumping all the ingredients in at once and then trying to mix it well. Here it is in all it’s mixed up glory. This batch makes A TON! Now for probably the best part…you only need 1-2 Tablespoons per load depending on the size…I’ll give you some time to re-read that since I’m sure your in total disbelief…recover yet? That’s right, you only need 1-2 Tablespoons per load! Now here comes the stroke of genius, if you opted to put the Purex Crystals in your batch, you can scoop the detergent right into your bottle and use the cap as your measuring spoon. There are 3 lines on the side and the middle one is approximately 2 Tablespoons…genius right? Just to give you an idea of how long this bottle lasts, I’ve used about half this bottle and have done around 40 loads, not to mention the huge amount still left in my bucket. I know that I’m not the only skeptic out their so to put your mind at ease, I will share a few reviews with you. Here is my review: I LOVE THIS STUFF! I think it cleans well and I really like the addition of the Purex Fabric softener. I did decide to add a second bottle to my batch for extra softness and smell though and would recommend it to those who want a stronger scent. Minus the Fabric softener, it is extremely mild in scent. It did take a little while to get used to the fact that it doesn’t suds (I kept thinking that I didn’t add enough, but trust me, you did) It just isn’t a sudsy soap. It works so well though and Mr. Awesome thinks so also. We will definitely be using this from now on! Courtney: So far so good. Besides the time consuming of the cutting the cheese, I mean soap, it was easy to make. I have never been a high quality type of girl so it not being a brand name doesn’t bug me at all. I was worried about the hub’s sensitive nose, but he has no problems with it. I am so surprised by how much is needed. I often find myself having to pour some back in the container. Laryssa: Jen was generous enough to give me some of her amazing laundry detergent to try out and I must say that it was love at first sight! (and use). It smells SO good, I came home and put it on my counter for a little bit and it made my whole house smell like clean laundry. When I used it I fell in love even more, I can’t believe how little you have to use to make it work so well! On another note, ( and Jen thinks I am so weird for saying this) but I think it looks so darn pretty too! Not that it really matters because I am the only one who see’s it, but hey it’s the little things like pretty soap that make doing laundry more tolerable! Marla: I used it on a couple batches of laundry and it seems to clean very well and it didn’t have a perfume-y smell that would bother my sensitive nose. So far so good! I will continue to use it. Stephanie: I never thought I would use homemade laundry soap. I guess it seemed a little too “granola” for me, if you know what I meant. But, after hearing Jen talk about it, I was curious. Then she told me about the price and how much it made and I was basically sold on the spot! (and so was my husband!!) I decided unless it didn’t smell good or if one of my kids had an adverse reaction to one of the ingredients, that it was definitely worth the effort. I tried the homemade soap in several loads of laundry and I loved it. It smells good and cleans just as good as the stuff in a box. This is definitely a way to cut corners with our grocery spending. Thank you Jen for introducing me to this. I thought I would answer the question that has been sent in the most by our readers. The question is how well it worked in a High Efficiency Washer. It actually works really well! This is mostly because it doesn’t create any suds. It took me some time to get used to that but it is actually better for the washer. Hope this motivates you all to run out and make our own batch. We would love to hear from you whether it be your questions, concerns, or reviews of the soap after you have made it.
DIY Laundry Detergent Homemade
ANOTHER DRY LAUNDRY SOAP RECIPE: 1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- 1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- 1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle. (This is optional but I highly recommend adding it) 2 (14.1 oz) Bars of scented Zote Soap- Found in the detergent aisle or you can also use Fels Naptha) 4 lbs Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- -2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener
I love this version of homemade laundry detergent which includes a bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener. Been using homemade detergent for about four months and love it.