March 2, 2011

Laundry Room Savings

The laundry room has been my biggest money saving room by far in my search for frugality....that's a word, right?? I am going to do a series of posts on what I am doing in my laundry room to save money a new car?? no...just gas for the old car I have....have you been to the pumps lately? Not pretty!

This is post #1 in my Laundry Room Savings series.

Homemade Laundry Detergent
My "supplier" who sold me homemade laundry detergent at $1.25 a gallon has moved about an hour away so I decided to make my own. It's simple, easy, cheap and works!
Here's the recipe I use:
1/2 bar Fels Naptha Soap ($1.49 per bar)
1/2 cup Super Washing Soda ($4.29 per box)
1/2 cup baking soda ($1 per box)
1 cup Borax ($4.29 per box)

*You can find all of this at your local ACE (True Value) hardware store.*

Use a large stock pot. You will be adding about 8 quarts of water as you go along so use a BIG UN'!

Grate your soap
Mix with 1 1/2 quarts of water over low heat until all soap is dissolved.
Add washing soda, baking soda and borax stirring between each. Add 1 quart of hot water and mix well. Add 6 quarts of cold water, stir and let gel for a few hours.

Mine was very clumpy so I used my stick blender I use when making soap to mix it well. I then let it sit for another few hours and got a smooth, creamy looking laundry detergent. I also added a few drops of Fresh Rain essential oil I had for soap to give it a nice smell. I then poured it into a couple of left over laundry detergent bottles I had saved but milk jugs, soda bottles, any plastic container will work. Give your jug a good shake when you go to use it to make sure any of the gel or clumps are mixed well.

I use 1/2 cup of my homemade laundry detergent per load of laundry! Try it! The cost of all the ingredients together is less than the cost of a big bottle of laundry detergent and you have enough to make several batches with just the ingredients above! Try it and let me know what you think! If you already make your own, feel free to share your recipes and methods! I would love to hear them!


Steph said...

I love my homemade laundry soap! I use Zote soap instead of Fels Naptha. I can get it at Walmart for 99 cents!

Jennifer said...

Been makin my own for acouple years now, love it! Just washed & hung some laundry out today... I couldnt find the fels naptha soup in my area anymore so we just ordered a box of it.

Country Whispers said...

This stuff really does work.
Though mine doesn't have the pretty smells that come in the store bought bottles; I do believe it does a better job at getting clothes clean.

Dawn said...


Amy said...

I also use Zote. It is sometimes 90 cents at Big Lots. It cleans better than Fels. Sometimes Fels can leave your whites gray.

KentuckyFarmGirl said...

Thanks for the tip Amy!!

Deb said...

This looks very cool! Question for you though...are you on well water? We are here and I've read some places that you might need to adjust the recipe if you are, but they don't say how or what.

KentuckyFarmGirl said...

Deb, I'll see what I can find out for you! We did have well water but got county water about 2 years ago.

KentuckyFarmGirl said...

Okay Deb from what I have read, the issue with well water is that this causes whites to turn gray because of the hard water and iron content in it. I am wondering if the Zote mentioned above would work in your case? I have also read that this detergent works okay if you are on well water but have a water softener. If any of you have experience with well water and homemade detergent, please let us know!

LindaG said...

Thanks for all the information, and the recipe. I think I need to find me a stick blender now. :)

Anonymous said...

You can also make this as a powdered detergent:
1 box Borax
1 box Arm & Hammer Washing soda
1 bar Zote, Fels Naptha (some people use Ivory), grated

I store mine in a clean coffee container- use 2 TBSP. per load

Deb said...

Thank you! I think I will try it with the Zote and see what happens. We do have a softner and use tanning in it b/c our iron content is very high. I'll let you know what happens!

Anonymous said...

I also make a powdered with the Fels, Borax and Washing soda. Works great! No giant stock pot needed.



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