Welcome, friends! Today’s topic is a tutorial on how to make your own laundry detergent at home, from low-cost ingredients and with minimal effort. If you’re like me, you love your high-efficiency (HE) washer, but you hate how expensive the special HE detergent is. And, like me, you probably aren’t a big fan of all the chemicals and additives in store-bought detergents. The good news, friends, is that there is a better way! This detergent washes very well, and costs much less than store-bought detergent. For comparison, Tide HE can cost anywhere from $.17 to $.25 per load, and this formula costs about $.03 to $.05 per load.
Here’s what you will need:
- 1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax ( in the laundry aisle of most stores)
- 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda; also in the laundry aisle)
- 1 cup (approx. 1 bar) of grated bar soap (any brand, I have used Fels-Naptha from the laundry aisle and regular Ivory)
- Essential oil (for fragrance – try any you like, lavender is very popular, though I have used and really enjoy clove; optional)
- A food processor or cheese grater
- A resealable container to store the finished product in
Here’s what you do:
- Grate the bar soap on the finest holes of the grater, or process in the food processor until quite fine.
- Combine borax, washing soda and grated/powdered soap in the resealable container.
- If using essential oil, add 2-4 drops to achieve the desired level of scent.
- Seal the container securely and shake until evenly mixed.
- You will have borax, washing soda and essential oil left over for future batches, which helps spread your costs out.
Here’s how you use it:
- For HE washers: place 1-2 tablespoons (yes, that’s all you need!) in the detergent drawer of your washer. Because this formula is very low-sudsing, it will work well in all HE washers.
- For standard top-loading washers: place 1-2 tablespoons in as the washer is filling, then add clothes.
Additional tip: I don’t care for the smell or residue that traditional fabric softeners leave on my laundry. I like to use about 1/4 cup of white vinegar, in the softener dispenser of my washing machine. It leaves the laundry rather soft, but leaves no residue or vinegary scent. Give it a try!
Peace Be With You!