Making your own laundry detergent at home is not only environmentally friendly, it can also save you a TON of money. A regular 30-40 load bottle of detergent at the store can range from $8-$20. However, with this recipe, you can make 10 gallons (that’s right gallons!) of detergent at home for about $3. What? Did I read that right???? Yep, 10 gallons for less than one small bottle of store-bought.
I know what you’re thinking, there’s no way this soap is as good as store-bought. Well, you’re right, it’s better!! I’ve been making this soap for a while now, and I’ve found that it gets dirt out better than most of the store-bought detergent I’ve found. Plus it leaves clothes super soft, especially towels and sheets. The plain soap smells great, but you can add essential oils if you want more of a scent. I love to use lavender oil, makes sheets and towels smell amazing. This recipe can be used for top or front loaders, but I’m not sure about high-efficiency machines. If anyone tries it in a high-efficiency machine, let me know how it goes. So here’s the recipe:
You will need:
- a 5 gallon bucket with a lid (about $5 at Home Depot)
- a large pot
- a saucepan
- a paint stirrer or very long spoon
- empty, clean detergent bottles (optional)
- essential oils (optional)
- 4 Cups – hot tap water
- 1 Fels-Naptha soap bar*
- 1 Cup – Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
- ½ Cup Borax
(all of these ingredients are available at Walmart, Krogers, Publix, etc)
- Finely grate the bar of Fels-Naptha
- Pour 4 cups hot tap water into sauce pan.
- Turn burner to medium low heat
- Add grated Fels-Naptha to water in sauce pan.
- Continuously stir until soap completely dissolves.
- Fill 5 gallon bucket halfway full with hot tap water.
- Add melted soap, washing soda, and Borax to 5 gallon bucket. Stir until all ingredients are completely dissolved.
- Fill buck to top with more hot tap water.
- At this point, add essential oils if you wish. About 20 drops will give sent to the whole 5 gallons.
- Stir completely.
- Cover with lid and let sit overnight.-The next day the gel will have risen to the top. Use a paint stirrer or long spoon to break up the gel and remix it with the liquid.
- Fill a used, empty, clean laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and fill the rest of the way with water. Shake well before each use.
For top load machines, use 1 cup per load.
For front loaders, use 1/2 cup per load.