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Pinterest Project 2: Laundry Detergent

It’s amazing what we spend our money on, and how much we can really save if we look to use more homemade products.  In my first Pinterest Project post, I showed you how I made homemade body wash.  Today, we’ll look at how to make laundry detergent!

The original recipe actually comes from ultimate mom Michelle Duggar of the Duggar Family.  If this works for 20 kids, it has to work for my family!


1 Bar of Fels Naptha Soap (I bought mine for $.97)

1 c. Super Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer $3.24)

1/2 c. Borax ($3.38)

4 c. HOT tap water

You’ll also need:

1 cheese grater

1 5 gallon bucket (with lid)

Helpful, but not necessary:

A cordless drill with mixing bit.

Photo by Laura

This will net you some SERIOUS SAVINGS!  My wonderful husband (who is much better than I at math) worked it out for me.  This is how it breaks down.

The 10 gallons of laundry soap this recipe will yield has an average cost of $1.62/gallon. Using 1/4 c. of the soap per load, it will take over 333 loads of laundry to use $1.00 worth of detergent. And I do this so I can justify a $5.00 cup of coffee.  And now, so can you!






1. Grate the bar of soap, and add to the 4 c. of hot water in a medium pot.










2. Heat over medium-low heat, constantly stirring, until the soap has dissolved into the water.  It looks like mac and cheese without the noodles at this point.  DON’T EAT IT!










3.  Fill HALF of your 5 gallon bucket with hot tap water.










4. Add the soap mixture, the 1 c. of washing soda, and the 1/2 c. of Borax to the water and stir until all powder is dissolved.










5.  Fill the rest of the bucket with more hot water,  and gently stir.










6.  Put the lid on the bucket, then let it sit and thicken overnight.

7.  The next day, you’ll find it has an interesting slightly solid yet liquid form.  This is when I get my husband’s cordless drill with the mixing bit (usually used for sheetrock mud and other fun stuff) and stir the heck out of it so it gets to a slightly gelled consistency.










8.  Pour detergent into a container, but only fill half way.  (This is the part where I make a huge mess.)










9.  Fill the rest of the container with water and shake.  After you replace the lid, of course.

10. Use 1/4 c. of soap per load for a front loading HE washer, and 1/2 c. for a top load washer.  You may want to shake before each use as well.

OPTIONAL:  If you’re concerned that home made detergent won’t smell as good as your regular stuff, you can add some essential oil to it after it has cooled (10-15 drops per 2 gallons of detergent.)  I think I’m going to get some orange essential oil for mine!

Let me know how you like this EXTREMELY CHEAP way to do laundry!

My next post will show you how to make your own fabric softener!


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