Tuesday, April 9, 2013



As a family, we are always looking for ways to nip and tuck our budget. For us, stretching the dollar has become an art. As long as its not an idol, right? Befittingly, I have been considering making my own laundry detergent for some time! We are a large, frugal family, so it fits the bill there. Although, I have to admit, I was a skeptic. It has to clean effectively. I have a soccer player, not to mention a soccer coach in the house. That equals mud, grass stains, and smelly socks. We have a two year old in the house and that can equal crayon, marker, food and potty accidents, and anything else you can imagine. Don't let the girls fool you either. They are oh-so cute, but they can get just as grungy, with a little glitter glue in the mix! We are a camping family so that can equal mud and grass, along with smoke and the hints of mildew at times. In all my Type-A glory, I have been very particular about the detergent I use. It has to clean exceptionally well, while smelling fresh! I am/was a Gain girl. It met my needs, with the exception of the price tag. We always bought the size that says it contains 96 loads for $14.97 (Wal-Mart price). That lasted us just under 3 months based on approximately 8-10 loads of laundry a week. That brings the total to around $60-$70 a year. My quest was to make my own detergent for at least half the cost without compromising cleaning power or freshness!

I did a ton of research! Hello Pinterest! I came to find that there are a million different recipes for detergent. I settled on a very easy-to-make powder form that I decided to give a try.


Here is what I use:

You will need…
1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax
2 (14.1 oz) - Bars of Zote Soap (You can also use Fels Naptha)
 (I used the Lavender scent! But, there are other scents to add a little variety to your life!)

The hardest, most time consuming part is grating the soap. Thanks be to my big, strong, manly-man husband for contributing his elbow grease to the project! I should make it known that the soap dissolves just fine, even in cold water.

Now its time to mix your detergent. In hopes of assuring a more homogeneous mixture, I layered my ingredients little by little in a 5 gallon bucket. Now my little domestic divas had to be part of the action. They took turns pouring and stirring, pouring and stirring, pouring and stirring until it was mixed to their satisfaction. (And, then I stirred some more.)  Much easier than dumping all the ingredients in at once and then trying to mix it well!

This batch makes A TON! It almost filled my bucket half way. That's like 2.5 gallons of detergent! Now for the second best part…you only need 1-2 Tablespoons per load depending on the size. If I have a super big load, or a super dirty load I use a hair more, but I mean only a hair more! And, it smells wonderful! But, the BEST BEST BEST part? It cost less than $24 for all of it. Now I am hoping this will last me more than 6 months. This being my first batch,
we dated the lid so that we will know exactly how long this lasted and if it was a bargain in deed.

This recipe works exceptionally well in High Efficiency Washers because it does not create any suds. It's kind to the machine, and we preach kindness nonstop at our house!

Here is my final product!

My recipe came from the How Does She? blog
Try it! I know you will love it.

If you are a liquid detergent lover, there are a whole slew of recipes for those out there too!

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