I’m a fairly frugal cavemom, and have been making my own cleaning products and personal grooming goodies for a while now. I never talked about it much- people tend to give you odd looks when they find out you make your own deodorant and lip balm and furniture polish. But since joining Pinterest, I’ve discovered that it’s not only socially acceptable to be a frugal DIY’er, but even encouraged. Celebrated, in fact.
Self-sufficient penny-pinchers, REJOICE!
One of the things I HATED paying money for was laundry detergent. I can make it at home for cheap, and it works just as well as the commercial stuff. Plus I get that quirky sense of pride because I’m doing something different and unusual.
I confess, I kinda like it.
Does that make me odd?
Maybe. But I try to embrace my eccentricities (it’s a lot easier than fighting them, let me tell you!).
I’ve tried several versions of homemade laundry soap, but this one is the hands-down best, by far. It costs just pennies to make, it lasts a long time, it doesn’t leave your clothes saturated with commercial scents, it’s easy to make and it does the job. You can’t ask for more than that!
I saved one of our last purchased super-sized laundry detergent containers to resuse for my homemade stuff- I liked the little spigot on the bottom for convenience. You can also save gallon milk jugs, juice containers, etc, or purchase some containers specially for your soap.
Dawn dish soap is my personal favorite (and the most recommended by others) because it gets grease and oil stains out the best! You can choose any scent of Dawn you like, though it doesn’t leave much scent behind.
Be sure you don’t get the kind with moisturizers for your hands- it affects how the clothes get clean. I highly recommend the classic, plain-ole’ blue Dawn.
This laundry soap is thin, not viscous like the commercial stuff. You may be tempted to use more than the recipe calls for, but I assure you, there’s no need!
FYI, this is safe for HE machines, because it doesn’t create suds the way the commercial laundry detergents will.
Homemade Laundry Soap
3 Tablespoons Borax
3 Tablespoons Washing Soda
2 Tablespoons Dawn Dish soap (choose your favorite scent)
Combine the ingredients with 1 cup of VERY HOT water. Stir well until the ingredients are dissolved.
Pour into your gallon container, and add 3 cups of cold water. Put the lid on and shake well!
Alternately, you can put your ingredients into the container and add the hot water (it does not have to be boiling) and shake, but the kids like helping me measure and pour so much, we do it this way!
Add cold water to the jug until the liquid reaches the top (the bubbles will flow out and over, that’s okay!), then cap, shake well, and it’s ready for use. Use 1/2 cup of soap per load of laundry.
I personally do it a little differently, however. I mix up the ingredients, pour into the container with one cup of hot water, then add 7 cups of cold water (more measuring and pouring for the kids). Because the soap is less watered down, it only requires 1/4 cup per load of laundry.
Maybe it’s just me, but I like the fact that I’m using so very little. I’m always impressed with how well it works! Plus, I can mix up a double batch for my gallon container, so it lasts longer (and it’s easier when the kids aren’t clamoring around…just double the ‘ingredients’, Add one cup of hot water and shake/stir to dissolve, then fill the container up with water).
So how much does it really cost?
I found a cost breakdown on the internet, and the prices were within pennies of what I myself have paid. Thanks to Lisa for sharing (wherever/whoever Lisa may be!).
“I paid 3.83 for borax at Walmart , 1.99 for washing soda, and $ 2.00 for dawn . …(with rounding up to) nearest whole dollar … 1 box of borax is 76 ounces so it makes 50 gallons of detergent equaling =0.08 per gallon. One box washing soda is 55 ounces which will make 48 gallons of detergent=0.05/load. The dawn was 48 ounces so it will make 36 gallons of detergent =0.04 per gallon. … each gallon cost is $0.17.”
In comparison, a gallon of Tide costs $7.98 at Walmart.
Let me think…I could pay $8 to do laundry, or I could pay $0.20.
Doing laundry already sucks enough without my having to pay that much for it. I think I’ll stick with the homemade stuff.
Consider this eccentricity embraced.