How To: Make Laundry Detergent


April 17, 2012 by Heather

OF COURSE our landlord shows up to fix the bathtub right after I conclude my morning coffee-induced #2 ritual.  Of COURSE that’s when he chooses to come.  How perfect.  I sincerely hope he enjoyed such a pleasant environment.  Not to mention my appearance, but let’s not delve into wonders such as that.

Now, onto other matters.

At the risk of sounding like the how-to blog that this will never become (I am sooo not crafty or super diy-ish), I want to tell you what I did last night.

I made homemade laundry detergent.  Pause for reaction.

Not the gloopy kind that you store in a 5-gallon bucket and have to stir before each use.  (Who has room for a 5-gallon bucket in their laundry room anyway?)  I made a powdered version from this recipe I found after researching a few different ones.

I wanted to make the stuff last month, but every time I went to Wal-Mart they would be out of borax, so I just kept checking whenever I was there and yesterday was my lucky day.  What does that mean exactly when you get really excited about Wal-Mart finally getting in a shipment of borax?  Please, don’t answer.

ingredients: washing soda, borax, fels-naptha soap. all found on the laundry aisle, all together under $7.

shred the whole bar of fels-naptha into tiny soap curls with a cheese grater. resist the temptation to eat a handful, because no, it is not cheese.

The bar of soap will yield roughly 3 cups of shredded curly-Q’s.  To that, add 1.5 cups of washing soda and 1.5 cups of borax.  Mix it all together with a fork and inhale deeply because it smells so fresh and so clean, clean.

Note:  After making this batch, I still have over half a box of both the washing soda and the borax.  The only ingredient used in its entirety was the fels-naptha, which costs a whopping $0.97.

(blurry) final product.

Now, to answer your burning question of BUT DOES IT WORK?  I too was very skeptical:  A.) I’d never used any form of powdered laundry detergent, and B.) This was homemade.  I decided to really put it to the ultimate test….

Andrew’s workout clothes.

Into the washing machine went a couple of towels, some socks, and my dear husband’s absolutely disgusting clothes he wore while exercising.  Listen, y’all.  The soaked-with-sweat shorts were turned inside out with the soaked-with-sweat boxers still attached to them.  I can’t even explain the vileness of it all.  Love you, honey.

To answer your question, the stuff worked like a charm.  I even smelled the freshly laundered crotch of the aforementioned shorts just to make sure.  Since it was a small/medium load, I used one tablespoon of the detergent.  For a large load I’ll use two tablespoons.

I read online about how much $$$ is saved by making your own detergent, but I don’t remember exactly what it said (See?  If this was a proper how-to blog then I would have all of that information…dang it).  It was a pretty substantial amount though.  Plus it just makes you feel like a bad-@$$ trophy wife/pilgrim, which is the combo I am always striving for in life.

Now, I have a question for YOU.

will someone PLEASE tell me exactly WHO or WHAT this lady is nursing?

Come on, Target.  Really?  The sculpted abs?  Were those really necessary?

Ahh, Tuesday.  The most splendid day of the week.  🙂


5 thoughts on “How To: Make Laundry Detergent

  1. Teresa says:

    I just LOVE reading your ‘blogs’! They always make me laugh, no matter what mood I’m in! =)

  2. Jennifer H says:

    Homemade detergent is totally the way to go. If we want to go even cheaper try using baking soda instead of washing soda and use Ivory soap in place of the other. Recipe is 1c. to 1c. to 1 bar grated. That’s the recipe I ended up with and love it. Also if you’re used to using fabric softener try adding a 1/2-1 c. of white vinegar in the softener part of the machine. Works great and doesn’t smell funny at all. Enjoy homemade products!

  3. Lauren says:

    Hahahahah! So funny! You are a gifted writer! I would be ashamed for anyone to hear they way I randomly burst out laughing/snort when I read your blogs. Daniel even knows by my laugh when I’m “reading without him”. Lol

    Well, I am a total bum for not having rescheduled our canceled dinner from before. Daniel an I would like to still have you over for dinner soon. Do y’all have plans next Friday?

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