Homemade Laundry Detergent

My new homemade laundry detergent.

As you may have figured out by now, I’m a pretty frugal person.  If I can make a product at home and save money while not including any strange chemicals, I’m all about it.  I make my own lotion, lip balm, shampoo, hand soap, and body scrub, but one thing that had so far evaded me was laundry detergent.  

I had tried making a liquid detergent before, but it was somewhat labor intensive, and ended up looking like some sort of slime you’d see on Nickelodeon.  I’ve never really been a fan of powdered detergent because I was always concerned it wouldn’t dissolve.  And so I continued to buy plant based liquid laundry detergent.  I got it at a bulk store so it was still a savings but I hated paying for something I knew to be mostly water.

Finally, as my last big bottle got low, I decided to give it another try.  I looked on some of my favorite websites, but all the recipes looked like what I’d already attempted.  I decided to try a powder, but wondered if I could make it with liquid soap instead so it would still have a little bit of moisture to it.  I figured maybe that would help it dissolve better.  I googled “liquid castile soap laundry detergent” and came across a great recipe from Stacy over at Stacy Makes Cents.  I actually had all the ingredients it called for, so I decided to give it a try.  The instructions were very simple, and in about 5 minutes, I had laundry detergent!  I’ve been using it for a couple weeks now, and I have not noticed any difference in the cleanliness of my clothes since switching from commercial detergent.  Mine isn’t quite as wet as Stacy’s, but it dissolves just fine in the washer.  I haven’t tried it on a completely cold cycle yet, but it does well in the cool cycle, so I plan on giving that a shot soon.  I turn on the water, scoop in a couple tablespoons and stir it around, and then add my clothes.

Make sure to go check out Stacy’s post and get her recipe.  If you use scented castile soap your detergent will obviously have the same scent, but if you use unscented you could add whatever essential oils you like to give it a nice fragrance.  I prefer my laundry detergent unscented, so I skipped that step.

I’m excited because now I can make a big batch of detergent for pennies, and use the money I’d previously been spending for something better like pastured chickens or grass fed beef.  In my mind, its all about the simple steps that help you meet your goals and stay in budget.

What money saving tips do you have for around the house?


4 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Detergent

  1. I have been making dry detergent with grated soap, washing soda and borax for a while now. It works well enough (I still apply castille/baking soda/etc directly to stains,) but I find grating the soap to be a serious hassle. I recently bought some soap nuts online. I haven’t had a chance to try them yet but I am definitely looking forward to giving them a shot. I only paid a few bucks ($3.50) for a fair sized bag, so I’m considering it an inexpensive way to go. If these don’t work out for me, I’m going to give Stacy’s recipe a try, looks nice and simple (and no grating!)

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