Tuesday, January 10, 2012

DIY: Laundry Detergent

I am constantly brainstorming and re-thinking the way that I tackle my tasks as a stay-at-home momma. I am always on the lookout for new and creative ways to save time and money. I am willing to try just about anything once, much to my don't-fix-what-isn't-broken husband's dismay!

My latest project was making my own laundry detergent. It was quite simple, but a little on the time consuming side. I am willing to sacrifice the time for the amount of money we will be saving, though! I said on facebook that I did not want to share the recipe until I had tried it out on our clothes. Since Monday is my laundry day, I was able to try it out for the first time yesterday and am happy to report that it worked! Everything came out clean and smelling fresh. It even got the avocado stains out of a few of Julian's bibs :)

The ingredients on display
If you google "homemade laundry detergent", you will get lots of different recipes. I would venture to guess that about 99% of the recipes I consulted used all three of these ingredients, although some added other things as well. Since we deal with sensitive skin in our family, I wanted to keep this as simple as possible. I adapted this from several different recipes I found online to make it the perfect amount for our family of three. I ended up with about 64 ounces of powdered detergent. I will update when I make more so you can see how long 64 ounces of detergent lasted us!

Storms Family Laundry Detergent (Powder)

1 bar Fels Naptha soap
1 1/2 c. borax
2 1/2 c. super washing soda

Cut the bar of soap into four pieces and grate. Once grated, put soap flakes into a blender with a teeny tiny bit of hot water. Blend for about five minutes until the soap is super fine. Add the borax and pulse until mixed. Add the super washing soda and pulse until mixed. Pulse a few more times for good measure and pour into an airtight container. Use 1-2 tbs. per load of laundry. 

Note: Be sure to label this as laundry detergent. It is yellowish in color and could easily be mistaken for lemonade powder! Also, I would not recommend using this for cloth diapers. I use Planet to wash my cloth diapers and am too scared to try anything else now that I have a system down!


  1. cool! some of my friends make their laundry soap like this. i've been using norwex and really love it, but this would be my next choice to try someday. definitely cheaper. i have sensitive skin too so i like the simplicity of your recipe.

    bethany :)

    1. Thanks, Bethany! Does Norwex make laundry detergent? This recipe is definitely cheap and gets the job done.

  2. I make my own laundry detergent as well using the same ingredients as you but little different measurements. I have been using it for quite a while now. A little tip is that if you have a food processor you can use it to grate your soap and then use it to blend everything together. It saves a lot of time. Also, this would be safe for your clothe diapers since it is natural. It is safer than any other detergent out there. And making your detergent does save you a lot of money.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Donna! How did you find my blog? I appreciate your food processor tip. Unfortunately, I do not have a food processor! I used my cheese grater, which took a really long time, but the savings is worth it.

    2. The cheese grater does take a while but like you said it is still worth it. I do believe that WalMart has one for $30 if you can afford one sometime. The last time I made the soap I made a double batch so it lasted longer. I think I am going to try to keep doing that.

      I can't really remember how I found your blog but I'm sure that I came across it through someone else's blog probably where you left a comment or something. That is how I come across many blogs that I read.


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