Sunday, May 13, 2012

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

The label and container above were from  my previous detergent.  I just saved the container to use for the homemade mixture.

***UPDATE:  We are about to use our last cap full of this homemade mixture this week.  This one batch has lasted us almost exactly one year to the day!  Well worth the 30 minutes and <$10 start of fee***

Don't you worry, we are not going all granola on you.  Just thought you might be interested in my newest endeavor that could save you a penny or two.

This is not hard so don't be scared!

I had an awesome patient who's wife brought me a bag with all the ingredients to make a batch of liquid laundry detergent.  I decided I would give it a try after I ran out of my current kind.

I was also amazed when I got home and saw how cheap it is to do it yourself!  Once you buy a box of Borax and Arm and Hammer Washing Soda you only have to buy one bar of soap each time you make a bucket. So your total start up costs are under $10 and under $2 for each additional bucket made.  We aren't talking about just making one container, but a 5 gallon bucket of concentrated laundry detergent.  When you mix it with one part water to use in your laundry you ultimately have 10 gallons of laundry detergent.

We filled up an old laundry detergent container and barely made a dent in the bucket.  This is going to last us well over a year!

Here is how it is done:


  • 1 bar of Zote soap or Fels-Naptha which I found at my local Publix on the shelf right above the washing soda.

  • 1/2 cup of Borax
  • 5 gallon bucket

Use a grater to grate the soap in a large heat safe bowl.  While grating soap, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Once soap is grated pour boiling water over soap and cover.  Let sit for a few minutes.  Remove cover and stir.  Add more water until soap is melted.  

All grated and ready for boiling water

The soap sitting in boiling water with a plate as a cover to keep all the heat in.  Wooden spoon ready to stir (most of my soap melted with two batches of hot water).

While soap is melting, pour borax and washing soda into the 5 gallon bucket.  Add 2 gallons (approximately) of hot tap water to bucket, stir until dissolved.  

Use a thin strainer to pour the melted soap through into the 5 gallon bucket.  If a lot of soap is still unmelted (or caught in the strainer) then repeat the first step and then add it to the bucket.  Stir well.

Fill the remaining part of the bucket with cold water (we took this project outside and used the hose).  Stir well.  

When you are ready to use mix 1 part of this solution with 1 part water in a smaller container.  (I saved my last store bought container to use in the laundry room.  We store the 5 gallon bucket in the garage.)

When doing laundry use 5/8 cup with each normal load.  For me this came out to a full cap that is on the container.

This has a very neutral smell.  If you like more fragrance then you can add an essential oil to the mix.  We put 30 drops of lavender oil in the 5 gallon bucket.  Use any flavor that you would like!

See you are all done in under 30 minutes.  

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