Making Your Own Laundry Detergent

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated February 21, 2009)

Laundry detergent is one of those supplies you need no matter what. You need to have clean clothes and without exception that includes having some kind of laundry detergent. When you go to the store you have endless variety of what you can buy and could spend who knows how long figuring out what you should buy and what should work best. Laundry detergent from the store, however, can sometimes get a little pricey and if you're cramped for money, using your cash for expensive laundry detergent may be difficult for you. One of your solutions for this dilemma is to simply make your own laundry detergent.

Making your own laundry detergent really isn't that intense and can result in you saving some serious cash. Before beginning the process of making your own detergent, make sure you have the following:

  • 1 bar of soap
  • 1 box of washing soda (this can be found in any laundry aisle)
  • 1 box of borax (optional)
  • 1 five gallon bucket
  • 3 gallons of tap water
  • large spoon
  • measuring cup
  • a knife

You begin by heating up four cups of water and, as it approaches boiling point, use the knife to start shaving pieces of the soap bar into the water. Keep the water temperature just below boiling and shave the soap until it's all in the water and stir it to make sure it dissolves. Pour three gallons of hot water into the five gallon bucket (this is most easily done by using an empty milk jug) then mix in your hot, soapy water mixture. Stir this in for a few minutes and then add one cup of the washing soda.

Keep stirring and, if you're using borax, add one half of a cup. Stir for a while longer and then let sit overnight for it to cool. In the morning you'll have a slimy mixture that is your homemade laundry detergent. It may look gross but it cleans clothes and it will last a long time, saving you money.

This method definitely works if you want to hit hard on frugality, but if you want to stay on the safe side, brand name laundry detergent is your best bet (plus it probably smells a little better). Also keep in mind that the above recipe includes mostly soap and soap works differently than detergent. For the best expectations of laundry cleanliness, you'll want to go with the stuff from the store. So if you decide to go the homemade detergent route, it's simple, cheap, and I wish you good luck!

Author Bio

Charlotte Wood

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