By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper
I have no idea why it took me so long to motivate myself to make laundry detergent. Never has getting things clean been so dirt cheap.
The thing that finally compelled me to stop being so lazy was the fact that…well..it was the lesser of two lazies. I ran out and my car is in the shop. It took far less energy to gather up the ingredients that I already had in my storage room than it would have taken to walk to the over-priced corner store and lug a heavy jug of it home up the great big hill that is my driveway.
There are lots of great things about making your own laundry detergent.
It’s very frugal.
The ingredients don’t cost much at all to make a gigantic batch. I checked online so that my prices were accurate, but I believe some of these items will be able to be purchased locally at a lower price. You can usually find all or most of the ingredients at Wal-Mart. If not, I’ve sourced them online for you.
- Borax 20 Mule Team Detergent Booster, 76 Oz $3.97
- Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 64 Oz $2.24
- Oxiclean Versatile Stain Remover, 5 Pounds $9.47
- Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz $3.24
- Zote Laundry Soap Bar Pink 14.1 oz (Pack of 3) – $8.75 (I know that it is closer to $1 a bar at Wal Mart but I couldn’t verify that online.)
- Fels Naptha Laundry Soap $1.99
My price was about $20 for a huge tub of laundry soap – about 20 pounds of detergent. The instructions say to use 1-3 tablespoons per load. The amount I made will probably last our family for 6 months or longer, doing a load per day. My best guess is about 250 loads – I’m going to keep track of it. If that is the case, we’re looking at about about 8 cents per load of laundry.
It’s incredibly easy.
I’m kicking myself for not making this before – it is incredibly easy! The thing that took the longest was chopping up the soap. If you had to use a hand grater for the soap, you might want to sit down at the table and turn something interesting on Netflix, because that would definitely take a while. I used the dry container for my Vitamix and it took about 10-15 minutes to chop up all of the soap. Aside from that, it was a matter of tearing the boxes of the individual ingredients open, dumping them into a tub, and stirring.
You can adjust the recipe for allergies and sensitivities.
If you have a family member with sensitive skin or allergies, you can easily adjust this recipe. Several recipes I found online did not contain the Oxy-clean, for example. You could also choose different soap and use Ivory or Castile soap.
Whatever your needs, when you make the item yourself, you can switch things around until it is perfect for your family.
This is what you need:
76 oz box of Borax
5 lb container of Oxy-clean
55 oz box washing soda
64 oz box of baking soda
3 bars of laundry soap
Cut the soap into pieces about the size of your thumbnail. Initially, I was using the dry canister of my blender for just the soap but it was getting gummy instead of coarsely chopped. I resolved this by adding a half cup of baking soda and handful of cut up soap and processing the two items together.
Don’t overblend it, or it will still give you gummy chunks.
The Zote soap is much moister than the Fels Naptha, and in the future, I’ll most likely stick with the Fels because it chops into a nice powder. Another lovely-smelling and natural option would be Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap.
Then comes the ridiculously easy part. Dump all of your ingredients into a container big enough to mix it in – I used a large Rubbermaid tub and two big cooking spoons. Once it is well mixed, transfer it into the container in which you intend to store it.
Instructions for use:
I saved the scoop from the Oxyclean container. Half of the scoop is 3 tablespoons, which is more than enough soap per load. With powdered laundry detergent, some people prefer to fill the washing machine and agitate the soap for a few minutes to dissolve it. I just chucked it in on top of the clothes, started the machine and walked away, and it dissolved fine. This is dependent on the hardness of your water, so you’ll need to experiment for best results.
(These are affiliate links. The FCC wants me to let you know that I get a small commission if you choose to purchase these items from Amazon. This does not cost you anything additional, but it does help support the operating costs of this website.)
Vitamix 1300 TurboBlend 4500 (I got mine when I was expecting my almost 14-year-old and it’s going strong – the best kitchen investment I ever made!)
This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
About the author:
Daisy Luther lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author of The Organic Canner and The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org