Monday, May 20, 2013

Homemade laundry soap

Confession: I. Am. Frugal.
I don't want to spend money on things if I don't have to. Some probably would call me cheap in some senses. I also really care about the environment, I like to run, bike, hike, ski, walk, camp, and be outside, so I personally try as hard as I can (some times it goes better than others) to be as environmentally conscientious as I can.

Today's post is brought to you by my frugality. A couple years ago while living on a graduate student's budget (read that line as "ridiculously small") I needed laundry detergent and as I was in a big box store staring at my options of detergent I became frustrated and decided several things: I don't have a clue what 90% of the ingredients actually were, this was going on my body, and I hated the price of a gallon of detergent. Sooooo I began to do my research and started looking at some make your own options for laundry soap. I soon realized I needed to decide liquid or powder. Previously I had ALWAYS used liquid laundry detergent, why?, because that's what mom used. As I began reading about the make your own liquid detergent I realized I wasn't really interested in having a five gallon bucket of liquid detergent sitting around my dorm room (read ridiculously small space) and began pondering the powdered stuff.

Then it happened, I stumbled upon someone's recipe (I wish I knew who I got this recipe from, but due to it's ridiculous simplicity I have it memorized and no longer have any idea where I got the recipe from).

1 cup washing soda
1 cup Borax
1 bar of ridiculously cheap soap - I use dove with no fragrance or lotions in them (the no fragrance or lotions is key)

I think I have calculated it costs me about 3 cents per load.

I use an old plastic container from my kitchen to store my detergent in and make two batches at at time (because that is what my container will hold). I first put in two cups of washing soda, two cups of borax, and then shred up two bars of soap. I use my kitchen cheese grater and wash it well when I am done. I have used it for a couple years and it is fine.

Once I have everything in the container I mix it up well and call it a party.

I use one rounded tablespoon of the detergent per load.
I do pre-treat any major stains just as I would anything else and I use whatever stain treater is on sale when my previous bottle runs dry.

Do you make your own laundry soap?
Do you have any diy recipes you want to share?


  1. I'm cheap but my husband is not, so we clash on shopping lists! I'll have to try this!
    emma @

    1. I seriously love this laundry soap.

  2. OK this is awesome!! 3 cents per load?! Hello! Love this! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    1. This soap even gets out the stink from my sweaty running clothes.

  3. My mom does this same thing. I may have to try it!

  4. ONE rounded tablespoon? Really? Just one? Does it leave a good, bad, neutral, or no smell? ONE tablespoon?

    Where do you buy that stuff, btw (Remember, I'm definitely NOT the shopper at our house).

    I am interested in trying this. Does it gunk up your plumbing or anything?

    1. I have been using this for over two years at my house and have had zero issues.

      One rounded tablespoon is all it takes.
      I think it smells good, clothes smell clean to me.

      I buy the stuff at Target usually - sometimes at Cub. I am sure Walmart would have the stuff too. Borax and Washing Soda are actually common washing products.