Laundry Ingredients

Cheap And Easy Laundry Detergent

I love DIY. Some of you may know this. The reason though is pretty simple. I’m a cheap ass. So when coming up with a DIY project I take in a lot of info and condense it down to the cheapest, easiest method. I’m a lazy DIY’er so I find the easiest way to do something. I goggled around for a while and found the easiest way. So let’s get down to making some laundry detergent.
Laundry Ingredients
Laundry Ingredients

The Ingredients

The soap we will be making today only has three cheap ingredients. The three ingredients are a bar of Fels-Naptha, 20 Mule Team® Borax, Arm & Hammer® Super Washing Soda. The reason I chose this recipe, being a dry recipe over the more common liquid version, is space. The powdered version we will be making takes up a lot less space. It is concentrated and only takes one tbsp per load. After mixing all the ingredients together It took up a tiny amount of large container I bought. Being that I currently live in an apartment and don’t have ton of space for storing multiple containers of detergent. If you are an apartment dweller or tiny house denizen space is a premium.
Grating Soap
Grating Soap

To Make

This is super simple to make,hence why I like it. To begin with you will need to shred your bar soap. I went with Fel-Naptha though ivory or even better handcrafted soap will work. I really should have grated the soap finer but it worked out anyway.
Once your soap is grated add one cup of Borax to the soap.
Washing Soda
Washing Soda
Then add one cup of Washing Soda.
Mixing soap
Mixing soap
The directions said to mix thoroughly. I stirred it at first then just poured it into the container and shook it. This was when I saw that the grated soap was pretty big and didn’t mix well. So make sure you grate it as small as you can. Some people used their food processors for this. I had mine being used to make a mango cilantro sauce.
Dissolving The Soap
Dissolving The Soap

Washing A Load

I didn’t want to write about this till after I washed a load to evaluate it. To use this laundry soap it’s best to dissolve it in warm water first. I grabbed a pint mason jar and added my tbsp to it. I shook the jar until most the soap had dissolved. I washed my clothes and they came out clean with a pleasant smell. You can get fancy and add scents to it but I’m a man and am fine with the smell it has.
I don’t know why I ever put off this project for so long. I have been waiting till my store bought stuff ran out and being a single guy laundry soap last a long time. At about one load a week soap usually last me a year or so. This homemade stuff with the exception of having to buy more bar soap should last a very long time. The benefits to this soap are so numerous. It is much cheaper at about .5 cents per load. It does not have a toxic gick in it. I am trying to remove all the toxins possible from my life with the realization that complete removal is impossible but for something as simple as this it’s a no brainier
Do you make your own soap? Do you make powder or liquid? Let me know in the comments!

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12 thoughts to “Cheap And Easy Laundry Detergent”

  1. I started making the same laundry soap about a year ago. I don’t bother to dissolve it. I usually start the washer, add the tbsp. of laundry soap and let it run while I get the clothes sorted. But in a hurry, I just dump everything in and it all works out fine. I use a thing called a madeline (sp) to slice the bar soap into smaller pieces, you can use a vegetable peeler, and then throw it into a food processor to make it more powder like. And I double or triple the recipe and then can forget it for months and months.

    1. That’s a good idea! I’ve been just grating the bars while watching tv, but this sounds easier. And we just got a food processor too!

  2. I too am a frugal SOB (Cheap ass). actully, i like making my own because i know there’s no harsh chemicals in it. I started using the same formula a little over a year ago.Grating the bar of soap is a pain in the butt, so I found what i think is tinned, antique cheese grater (Looks like a clamp on the table, steel ‘salad shooter’. It has 3 inch steel drum that turns with crank handle. Feed the whole bar of soap into the top chamber and start cranking the handle.the shredded/ grated soap just falls out the front into pie plate. This antique gizmo works like charm and grates a whole bar of soap into fine particles which dissolve readily in the washer. I eventually tweaked the recipe to include proportionate mount of ‘Oxi-Clean’
    Oh, I also add about 2 drops of essential oil of bergamot, (you can use any fragrance of essential oil you like or prefer). add this to the dryer cycle,(usually on a sock). When dried, the scent remains throughout the whole load… Lemon scent is pleasant and manly too.
    I use the ‘Fells’ Naphtha soap but when my local store ran out, i tried a much larger bar of ‘Zote’ laundry soap. at .99cents /per bar, it’s twice the amount of soap at half the price of Fells and works just as great.
    I’ll never go back to the store bought commercial detergent

  3. I love this soap, I also like it because it is more environmentally friendly that most commercial soaps. Also instead of buying the bar soap you can save the little pieces from your bath soaps and shred those, that way you waste nothing and gives it a good smell.

  4. Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to
    give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?
    Thank you!

  5. I make my own too. found a recipe on the net that was pretty much the same but add Sun Oxy and purex crystals too. it was something like make “a years worth of laundry detergent
    for 4”. I use 1 Tabs. per load. note: when using a food processor to grind up the Fer soap add something dry as well so it mixes better then add to the whole detergent and mix….

  6. I’ve made my soap for years with left over bars of bath soap. I occasionally clean a house and I take home all the sliver bars that people just can’t throw away. I cut them into smaller chunks and the into the old blender. I then add baking soda and sometimes borax. I predesolve the soap in a pint jar. When I do a load, I immediately refill the jar to get ready for the next weeks load. These low suds soaps work good in the new effency low suds washers.

  7. I make my own with pretty much the same ingredients. I have a grating adapter for my food processor and that cuts the work down to seconds. Just cut the soap into small chunks because it makes an aawful racket when trying to grate too much at once, which can’t be good for the food processor. I mix all of the ingredients into a 3 bladed Ninja to further cut down the soap and to mix everything. Use small pulses here because the soap will melt.

    If you make laundry soap you should also look into dishwasher soap. I am at work and don’t have my recipie but there are several out there.

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