Saturday, March 24, 2012

DIY: Laundry Detergent

I am so thankful I discovered this recipe (via Pinterest, of course, and you can see it here.)

It's genuinely an awesome feeling walking by the laundry detergent in the store knowing that I will never in my life buy it again. This will save us so much money, and the best part is, it's so easy to make!

You can get all of the supplies in the laundry section at Walmart. I think I spent $12 on them all, and they will make alot of batches of laundry soap! I also purchased a cheese grater for $1 at the thrift store because I didn't want our cheese tasting like soap. Just in case. Otherwise, I used everything else I use for cooking!

Here's what you need:

1/4 bar of Fels Naptha Soap
2 Tablespoons of Borax powder
1/4 Cup Arm and Hammer Washing soda (NOT baking soda.)

First, Grate 1/4 bar of Fels Naptha into small shreds.
 (Store the other sections you aren't using today in a Ziploc bag for later use.)

Throw the grated Fels Naptha and 1 cup of water in a pot and melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.  Continue until you have melted all the shreds of soap.

Fels Naptha soup!

Put the contents of your pot into a bucket, large container, whatever. It will need to be able to hold quite a bit of liquid though, whatever you choose!

Add 10 cups of water, the Washing Soda and Borax. Stir it up! After that, add 10 more cups of water and stir it again.

If the container you are using has a lid, then you are cool. If not, transfer to containers with lids. 
Let that sit overnight.

....The next day... 

You have bowls of goop. It looks SO gross, and smells SO clean. 

So. Stir it up as much as you can, then you are ready to transfer it to whatever containers you are using. Last time I made this I put it in old milk jugs and it worked awesome. This time I wanted the containers to match, because I'm OCD like that, and I am actually really unhappy with the containers I bought. They will leak if I'm not careful! So next time I'm back to milk jugs, or something of the like.

Anyway. Fill your containers HALF WAY with your laundry goop...

...then finish it off with water. 
Shake it up, then you are ready to do laundry!  

Use 1/4-1/2 cup per load. 

It doesn't get sudsy, so that was something I had to get over. I guess I'm just wired to think that if there are bubbles, it's getting clean. Well, not true. This stuff works great and doesn't suds up! (Which, for you fancy HE washer people, this is good news! I'm told you can use this soap in those machines with no problems!)

I found the recipe here, like I said. This lady is cool and did the math for us, finding out that
 it only costs 20¼¢ for the ingredients to make a 75-load bottle of detergent. OH MY GOODNESS. I know. This is great, right?

I would love to hear if you tried this! If you have any questions just leave a comment or email me!

I'm linkin' up!


  1. I make this same recipe and love it!

  2. I make this same recipe and love it!

  3. I would love to try this - it sounds amazing! I have no idea where I would store it all though. Perhaps I could split a batch with someone.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Does it smell good? :) That is awesome!! We need to do this together when we do our OAMC :)
    -Ashleigh with "I don't have a blog name yet"

  5. Agreed. This stuff is awesome.
    I will never buy laundry detergent again.
    (I think I got the idea from you and then credited it to Pinterest?)

  6. @Calistalee- I was thinking you could share, or just half the batch! I keep mine above my washer and dryer. But, if I didn't have those cupboards I probably wouldn't make so much!

  7. Ashleigh- Yes! It smells super clean! I have heard of people adding essential oils to it, or just using a regular bar of good smelling soap instead of the Fels bar, but I pretty much like the CLEAN smell it has.

  8. Been using this for a while and love it. I also had to get over the fact that it doesn't suds up. I work at an animal shelter and as you can imagine come home smelling pretty bad sometimes and this cleans great. We have a large family, so I actually double the recipe and make it in a 5 gallon bucket, but I get my great containers from the gallon containers that we have left over at work. Thanks again.

  9. I've made another version of homemade liquid detergent because I read that if you make it with Fels Naptha it is more of a gel than a liquid - is this true? Is this version pourable, or is it thick and gloppy? Thanks!

    1. This is slightly gloppy, but really, when mixed with water, it's easily pourable. For me anyway! :)