Ok, I know you’re thinking – “what? Aren’t you telling us every week where to get the cheapest laundry detergent?”  Yes. Yes, I am. And for some of you that is all that you need.  And I still encourage this, even if you decide to make your own, because detergent can still be donated to your local food pantry.

But some of you may want to know what is in your detergent, or you need to use something different because of sensitive skin issues in your family.  So, this is for all of you.

Homemade Laundry Detergent is REALLY easy to make and costs pennies per load.  There are a couple of different recipes you can use:

No-Soap Recipe (I used this because of my cloth-diapers. Didn’t want any soap residue!)

  • 1 part Borax
  • 1 part Washing Soda
  • 1 part OxiClean

Put in a container. Mix together. Use 1 T for regular laundry and 2 T for super-dirty laundry.  Make sure you use equal parts of the 3 ingredients.

Yes-Soap Detergent (this is what you will find online the most)

  • 1 part Borax
  • 1 part Washing Soda
  • 1 bar of soap (can be Ivory, Fels Naptha, or really anything), grated

Grate soap using a cheese grater or something similar. Put all 3 ingredients in a container. Mix well. Use 1 T for regular laundry and 2 T for super-dirty laundry.

For both of these you will want to have the detergent dissolved in the water in washer BEFORE adding your laundry.

There is also a recipe for a liquid laundry detergent available here. But that’s too much work for me!

Where do I find these ingredients? They sound wierd.

You would be surprised. I have seen all of these at Target, Jewel, Dominick’s, Food4Less, Valli Produce and others.  You will want to look for 20 Mule Team Borax and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda – totally different product).  These are usually in the same aisle with the other laundry detergents. Both are usually less than $3 each.  When you have them all mixed together, you will have enough detergent for 6 months at least!  I have a friend who lives alone who hasn’t bought ingredients since January 2009 – that’s how long it has lasted her.

If you have sensitive skin, try it in just a very small load first. If there are no reactions, feel free to use it on all your laundry.

Storage: I’ve used recycled glass jars and even recycled kitty litter containers (the boxes kitty litter comes in!).

Go ahead, Try it, You’ll Like it.