Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

There's something about mixing up your own household cleaner/detergent to make you feel very domestic! I've seen lots of blogs lately talking about going green in different ways including making your own cleaners. I knew that cleaners had lots of chemicals in them but if you really start looking at the ingredient lists, it's a little scary. I've had breathing issues after using bleach in cleaning and laundry and that's without any other respiratory issues. So while I'm not all 'save the planet, hug a tree,' I think that we should be good stewards of our environmental resources and if I can reduce the amount of chemicals in my house, that's got to be a good thing! In my quest to pinch some pennies and make our home a little 'greener', I found a recipe for homemade laundry detergent to try. (Thanks for sharing, Deana!)

I assembled my supplies: Borax, Baking Soda (I couldn't find Washing Soda), and Ivory soap. (It was on sale last week so I thought I'd try it.) I've seen other recipes that call for different brands of bar soap or adding some essential oils. I might try some variations down the road.

Using my handy-dandy KitchenAid mixer with the shredder attachment, I shredded the soap in about 2 minutes tops!


After shredding a bar of soap, I added 2 cups of Borax and 2 cups of baking soda to the bowl and mixed it up. Using my canning funnel, I put it all into my Ikea Burken jar.
Some measurement info for future reference:
Borax 4lb 12oz (76 oz) = 11 cups
Baking Soda 4lb = 8 cups
9" Ikea Burken jar = almost 2 batches of detergent
The little bit of extra detergent that didn't fit into my jar went into a spare canning jar. I also shredded the 3rd bar of soap since I had everything out. That went into a canning jar too.
Then, I gave all my tools a really good rinse in the sink and then washed them in the dishwasher to be sure to get all of the soap residue off.

So the real question.... does it work?? Yes! I think so. I've done 2 loads with some dirty, stinky clothes (no names will be mentioned to protect the not-so-innocent.) After they were dry, I gave those stinky things a good sniff test. I have to admit, I was really hesitant to breathe deeply but everything smelled clean and fresh, and a dusty, dirty shirt that was used doing lawn work came clean too. Making the detergent took all of 10 minutes and cost about $5.00 for about 155 loads of laundry. That's $0.03 per load compared to my regular detergent at $0.18 per load after using a coupon! But I shall not kick myself for not doing this sooner. There's no time like the present and plenty more laundry to come to make detergent for!

Isn't it pretty? I think a new project for my 'to-do' list is a vinyl label for the jar. Then, perfection!

My fav places to link up.

This project was featured here


  1. I've always wanted to try this! Thanks for the tutorial! :)

    Thanks so much for linking to "20 Below Thursday"! :)

  2. First of all, you are so welcome for the idea! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Secondly, I am so jealous of your 2 minute soap shaving. arm nearly fell off grating that bar of soap on a regular grater! Haha. I've had great luck with my soap, and I will keep using it too!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Deana @ Country By Marriage

  3. I've been wanting to make my own detergent - I'll have to try this!

    Found you through Dittle Dattle!

    Heather @ Catfish Kisses

  4. I love saving money and this seams so much "greener!" Thanks for the recipe. I'd love for you to share this recipe on my Share the Wealth Link Pary at

  5. I love this and featured it today. Come over and grab my button if you'd like.

  6. I noticed this recipe didn't require water as others. Do you know the difference? This seemed much easier and easier to store as well.

  7. I think the liquid vs. powder is just a preference thing but a liquid detergent might dissolve the soap better in your machine. I only use about 1 1/2 Tablespoons (an old instant iced tea mix scoop) of detergent and put it in first with the water going to give it a head start in dissolving. My KitchenAid shreds the soap pretty small so I haven't had any trouble with chunks of soap being left after the cycle is done. I've heard it said that liquids lengthen the life of your machine also (and I've always used a liquid detergent) but again, the amount required with this recipe is so small that I'm not too worried about it. HTH

  8. Ok, so that in an awesome attachment. Have the kitchen aid mixer but not the attachements! What else do you use it for?

  9. I used it to make baby food when my kids were infants. It's also great to make applesauce and jam.

  10. I love making homemade detergent as well!


Your kind comments make me smile!

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