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Budget: Homemade Laundry Detergent

Budget Laundry Detergent

Make your own Powdered Laundry Detergent for much less!

I have a different kind of recipe today.  I’ve heard a lot about homemade laundry detergent in the past few years.  However, I was hesitant to try it because (1) I had heard mixed reviews about it, and several people said they didn’t feel like their clothes were clean, (2) I want my clothes to “smell” clean, and for me that requires a scent.  So, I put the idea up on a shelf for my family.

However, with a few new(ish) products, and some additions to the recipe, I created something that we could live with.  I hope you all enjoy it as well.  The addition of the oxi-clean and scent-booster do increase the price, but overall it’s still MUCH cheaper than other laundry detergents.  With the exception of the bar of soap (you can use either fels naptha or Zote), all the other packages include enough to make about 3 batches of the soap.

Here is what you need:

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 bar Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated; I used a cheese grater)
1/2 cup Oxi-Clean
1/2 cup Scent Booster (like Downy Unstoppables)

Mix everything together.  I mixed mine in a washed out, gallon ice-cream bucket.  It would easily have held a double recipe, with room to spare.  It was a perfect size, and I use a 2 Tbsp. coffee measuring spoon to measure it out.  Most recipes I’ve seen recommend 1-2 tbsp, but I added extra ingredients, and have a really large washer, so I opted for the 2 tbsp.

You can also add in some of the new Purex Crystals (or I think Gain has a powder/crystal laundry softener as well).

I added the Amazon widget just in case you need to see what a product looks like.  If you purchase from Amazon through my link, you can help support my site.  However, I do not recommend purchasing your ingredients through Amazon, because the items are much less expensive at Wal-Mart or similar stores.  I was able to find every single ingredient at Wal-Mart in the laundry aisle.  And this stuff seems to last forever.


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  1. I added the Downey Unstoppables & or the Purex crystals in my homemade detergent. Love it!

  2. Krystal Strahm says:

    Is it safe for the HE front loading washers?

    • Krystal, I don’t have a front loading washer, but I have read from other sites that it is safe and works in HE front loading washers as well.

    • I have a front loading washer and I did some research on line. I have found that its safe to use.The reason is because HE soap has little to no suds, and neither does the homemade soap. I havent had any issues using it in my washer.

  3. I was thinking just this morning as I threw wash in the machine that I needed to look into homemade detergent again. I have used it in the past (same recipe as yours but without the Oxi-Clean), and it didn’t work well long-term; the clothes did not come clean. I have been using generic free and clear liquid from Costco and adding Oxi-Clean to it. The OC will take even old stains out much of the time! You have given me the inspiration to try the homemade again with the Oxi-Clean because that is likely the missing ingredient! Thank you!

  4. love this idea. I've never thought of adding oxi-clean.

  5. love this idea. I've never thought of adding oxi-clean.

  6. love this idea. I've never thought of adding oxi-clean.

  7. You can also make your own homemade OxyClean – not that you have to, but I thought this was a fun looking recipe and have been wanting to try it myself:

  8. Visiting via the Blog hop………. great blog!

  9. Tiffany Moulton says:

    I love the unstoppable addition! I would've never thought to add it but the next time I whip up a batch I'm going too:) thank you for the idea!

  10. this is a great idea!! i have been wanting to make my own detergent but havent found a recipe i want to follow. Im going to try this one out! Lets hope I can find all the ingredients here in Korea…Id love it if you would share this on our new In the Kitchen link party! Our readers would love to see this! Hope to see you there!

    • Thanks, Jess! I just submitted my link, and checked out your site a bit…looks like you have a lot of excitement in your life!

  11. Love the unstopable idea. I always miss the smell.

  12. I have to use the he type laundry soap. Can I use this?

  13. I make the liquid version and. Love it! Huge money saver!!!!

  14. Chastity K. Larson says:

    Thank you! This Works much better than the liquid soap I have been making. And smells awesome.

  15. How many loads does this make?

  16. Alisa Bough says:

    Is there a way you can just print the recipe and instructions? When I printed this, I wound up with 11 pages. It printed all the comments.

    • Crystal says:

      Oh no! I’m so sorry! What I usually do is to copy the text I want and paste it over onto a word document. However, I have been meaning to look into a way to make my recipes more printer-friendly! I will be sure to contact you when I’m able to get that set up. Thank you for reading and I hope the detergent works for you.

  17. Thanks for sharing at THE LAUNDRY ROOM link up at MAKE YOUR OWN HERBAL MONDAY :) Please join us this week for the HOME DECORATION link up. This would include instructions (and recipes or household tips) on how to make potpourri, room sprays, candles, herbal wreaths, create herbal sachets, pressed flower decorations, etc…. Home decoration DIY’s (such as repurposing and recycling projects for the home) and Misc. DIY’s would also be welcome! Have a wonderful week ~ JES :)

I love to hear your feedback and value your thoughts! All I ask is that we remain respectful and civil, even when we disagree. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate you!

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