Thursday, April 19, 2012

3 Ingredient Laundry Detergent

For a while now I have been disgruntled at my discount laundry soap. I have to pre-treat everything or nothing comes clean.

Then I started hearing friends talk about making their own laundry detergent.

Since I was running low, I decided that instead of buying more substandard laundry soap, I would buy the ingredients and make some myself.

Google helped me find quite a few recipes, and I picked what I liked from several different ideas to come up with this :)

It only took 10 minutes, start to finish!

I was skeptical at the complete lack of soapy bubbles in my washer, but the clothes are so clean and fresh!!!

First thing was assembling the ingredients, and I was kind of worried since various sites warned that they were unavailable locally. How pleasantly surprised I was to see all three ingredients, in my local store, on the same shelf, right in a row!

a bar of Fels-Naptha soap
a box of Borax
A box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (this is different from Baking Soda and will yield different results!)

Step 1: grate 1/3 of the bar of soap into a cooking pot. I didn't mind grating the soap like I thought I would; it was actually kind of fun and the soap went through the grater much more smoothly than most cheeses!

Step 2: add 6 cups hot water and heat til soap melts
(This is the part that takes the longest. I confess; I am impatient.)

Step 3: Stir in 1 cup each of Borax and Washing Soda. Stir until dissolved and remove from heat.

Step 4: Now get the container you're going to use to store the laundry detergent (should be 2 gallon size) and add 4 cups of hot water. Dump in the soap from the cooking pot and stir.

Step 5: Add another gallon and 6 cups of cold water; stir.

Several recipes suggested allowing it to set 24 hours and said that it would gel. Mine sat almost 24 hours before I used it, and it has never fully gelled, so don't worry if your results vary. It works!!

And the best part? I spent around $6 TOTAL for ALL the ingredients... and only used 1/3 of the soap and 1 cup of powder from each box. I'm not great at math, but I'm thinking this can't cost me more than $0.05 per load of laundry using 1/2 cup per load.

Laundry is so much more fun now!


  1. Looks interesting. Good post with easy to follow directions. Good pics,also.

  2. Sweet! I think I will try this next time around!