Sunday, September 21, 2014

Daily Domesticity: Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

One of the ways I am trying to simplify life for my family is to reduce the amount I spend at the market each week. As you know, I have four growing boys, as well as my husband to feed, so the grocery bills can really start to add up, which also means that they eat into the other areas of our monthly budget...not good, not good at all.

I feel that as the CEO of my household, as well as chief cook, it is my job to try to find ways in which I can be frugal with my grocery shopping, yet still manage to stock the fridge and pantry with healthy foods, and the dinner table with healthy meals. I do have food shopping saver tips that I plan to share in the future, but today I am sharing a non-food related product, that actually does help the overall grocery budget by helping to reduce the amount I spend on household items...
Homemade Laundry Detergent.

After doing extensive research online, I decided to use a recipe that seems to be one of the most is what you'll need, and how to make it:


1 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax
1 Bar of Soap such as Fels Naptha, Ivory, or Zote
4 Cups tap water


1. Grate the bar soap or mix in food processor until finely ground. I used Fels Naptha this time because of it's exceptional power as a stain remover, but may try one of the other two the next time to see how well they work, too.

2. Add the grated soap to a saucepan with the water, and stir continually over medium-low heat until the soap dissolves and is melted.

3. Fill a 5-gallon bucket half full with hot tap water. Add the melted soap, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and Borax. Stir well until all of the powder is dissolved.

4. Fill the bucket to the top with more hot water, then stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

5. Stir the detergent mixture, and the fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser or other container half full with soap, and then fill it the rest of the way with water. Shake before each use because it will gel up again.

For a Top Load Machine use 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

For a Front Load Machines use 1/4 Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

The yield for this recipe is 10 gallons. I made my detergent back in the middle of August and have only used 1/4 of my 5-gallon bucket so far...I do a lot of laundry, too! (The 5-gallon bucket yields 10 gallons of detergent since it is concentrated. You add a mixture of half part detergent, half part water to your laundry dispenser container when you fill it from the bucket.)

I have been very pleased with the results of the homemade detergent, and have had absolutely no issues with our clothes not getting clean or smelling bad...and I am very particular when it comes to clothing! ;)

All of the ingredients for the detergent are available to purchase here on Amazon, and they are also available in Walmart stores (that's where I found mine), as well as most other grocers.

That's all there is too it! Nothing too difficult, and the savings are substantial, especially when you consider how costly laundry detergent is nowadays.

Is this something you might consider giving a try? Have you tried it already? If so, what are your thoughts? Which bar soap did you use? Are you also looking for ways to cut costs and save on your monthly budget? Please do share...I always love hearing from you! :)


  1. Where do you get your bar soap? I use to make my own with the same recipe but had to use Ivory soap and it just didnt get my clothes clean. Now with three teens eating me out of house and home, I too need to cut costs to allow more money for food. My son is 15 now and is almost 6 feet tall and cant get enough food! He can eat a 2 or three apples for a snack and a cup of raw nuts and be hungry an hour later. We joke about it; first lunch, second lunch and what are we on? Third lunch, he tells me and with that, I think; at least its very healthy food.

    1. Hello dauchka! I was able to find the soap and other ingredients on the laundry goods aisle in Walmart.

      I completely understand what you're going through with the food. My oldest is 16 and nearly 6'4". Even my younger boys can put away some serious amounts of food. Some weeks I feel as if I cannot even keep food in the fridge or pantry because it seems to be gone as soon as I bring it home. Honestly though, I am just thankful to have them at home, and glad that they are healthy, and enjoy my cooking. :)

    2. As a fellow home educator, I agree! What a blessing to have them home! My oldest is attending the Time share vocational program at our local High School and I miss her so much even though it's only 3 hours:) Have a great week.

  2. I'm in the 6 foot tall son club too. I don't know how I got this giant since neither my husband nor me are at that height!

    1. Hi Desert Flower! Isn't it amazing how tall so many of them are these days? I am only 5'4", but my husband is 6'5", so my boys definitely get their height from him. The pediatrician says my youngest is going to be at least 6'7", maybe taller. We sure do grow them big at our house. :)

  3. Do you think this laundry soap is okay for HE washers? I'd try it-need more money to feed my 3 boys as well.

    1. Hi anon! Yes, from everything I have researched online, it is completely safe. I also have an HE washer, so that is actually one of the first things I checked into before making the detergent. I also asked my husband to verify, and he gave me the go ahead after researching it himself. Once the last of my Downy liquid fabric softener is gone, I plan to make my own fabric softener and will post the recipe for it if it turns out to work well, too. :)

  4. Great! Thank you for sharing! I will try it tomorrow!