Bizz & BooBoo

A hippie mama doing her best!

Laundry Detergent – Easy & Inexpensive! September 7, 2011

I never knew what it meant to do laundry (I mean real laundry) until I had kids!

I remember being able to do a couple of loads on my day off when I was in college and I would be set for the rest of the week, maybe longer. At that point spending $8-$15 per container of laundry detergent was no big deal because it would last me a long time.

Once you have kids – whether babies or toddlers (and I am sure teenagers and on up, I am just not there yet) you will never again be caught up with laundry! It doesn’t have to be overwhelming – do a load every day and set a day each week or every other week to wash all the bed sheets and big stuff. But – it does get expensive. I prefer to use detergent that is fragrance free, and as natural as possible – so that means it usually costs even more.

Living on a frugal budget I needed to find a solution – and I have! It doesn’t help find socks lost in the dryer – but it does help save money and clean my clothes all naturally!

I make my own liquid laundry detergent (and have made powdered as well)! It ends up being less than .10 cents per load and cleans my clothes marvelously without any harsh fragrances or chemicals!

Here is how I do it:

Ingredients and Supplies needed:

  • Borax
  • Bar of Soap (I used Dr Bronner’s Citrus this time!)
  • Washing Soda
  • Water
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Saucepan

That’s all folks!

The process:

Put 4 cups of water into the saucepan and start to heat up while you take your bar soap and either grate it or cut off shavings with a knife (I did the shavings, easier than grating for me!)

Once the water just about boils add your soap and stir it steadily (without boiling) until all soap has dissolved.

*Caution – If you walk away and forget about this and it gets too hot it will OVERFLOW SUDSY WATER all over your stove (not that I know this from experience or anything….)

Once the soap has completely dissolved remove from heat.

Add 3 gallons of hot water (I just used hot tap water – didn’t have to be boiling hot) to your 5 gallon bucket.

Pour the soapy water in and mix well for several minutes.

Next add 1 cup of washing soda – mix well until completely dissolved!

Finally add 1/2 cup borax (this can be omitted if you do not want to use borax – but it does help with set in stains and really dirty camping clothes) – mix well until completely dissolved.

Cover your bucket and let sit overnight.

The next day you will have a mixture of slimy awesome goo. I use about 1/2-1 cup of this liquid detergent per load.

Have fun and enjoy your laundry!


Similar Posts:

Homemade Dish Soap

I have hairy legs!

Waste Not, Want Not


*This post was shared on my Gather Page on 9/10/2011!


10 Responses to “Laundry Detergent – Easy & Inexpensive!”

  1. Kelly A Says:

    This is great. I’ve been wanting to make my own laundry detergent for a while now. =)

  2. Shari Miller Says:

    Or if you want an economical pre-made laundry detergent that is free from the fillers that make your clothes stiff and dingy, the fragrance chemicals, the suds-making chemicals, etc, check out Norwex laundry detergent. Love it. A small bag will do 400-800 loads of laundry in a front-loader…. Contact me if you want a sample. I believe you will absolutely LOVE it! Check out to order.

  3. Mom Says:

    A small container would make a wonderful Christmas present, with the directions for making all written out 🙂

  4. Tiffany C. Says:

    Hi! Thanks for stopping by the Midweek Hopalong! I’m now your newest follower. Great post btw. Have a great day!

  5. Katie M Says:

    when i was ready to make my own laundry soap, i researched all the options out there including soap nuts and the recipe you posted. since i didn’t want to spend the time with all the boiling and i don’t mind powder detergent i went with the dry version:

    1 bar of shaved bar soap (Ivory, ZOTE, Fels-Naptha — note: these all contain animal tallow, if that is an issue for you)
    1 cup of borax
    1 cup of washing soda

    mix thoroughly and use 1 Tbsp per average size load
    literally took me less than 10 minutes!

    i used fels naptha (but next time will use dr bronner’s or something with no animal fat) and grated it with a cheese grater.
    my clothes seem as clean as when i was using any other brand of store bought powder detergent.

    • That is awesome Katie – thanks for sharing!!! Sounds very similar to the first time I made the dry version. The only reason I like the liquid better is because I do all my wash in cold water…. and I prefer to jut throw the soap in and not have to worry about if everything dissolves 🙂

  6. Mindy Says:

    I’ve thought about this….but do you think it would be ok in a front loader?? We are supposed to buy the HE detergent but I really don’t know why…maybe the Detergent guys got together with the Maytag guys and just decided it was good marketing? 😉

    • For some reason this comment went to my spam and I JUST saw it today – I am so sorry! As far as I know the reason you should purchase HE detergent instead of conventional is because you want less sudsing because the HE is so efficient. I have heard (I don’t have an HE) that using the homemade detergent works wonderfully and you have to use even less (may 1/4-1/2 cup per load). Let me know how it works for you if you try it!!

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