Aug 15, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

We arrived home from our long roadtrip on Sunday evening.  Even though we washed our laundry several times during our trip, we still managed to have a lot to do when we got home.  If there's anything worse than coming home to a mountain of laundry, it's coming home to a mountain of laundry and running out of detergent.  The good news is, I can make a batch in about 10 minutes!

I've been using homemade laundry detergent since January, and I LOVE it.  You may have seen tutorials or heard of others making it, too.  This isn't anything new, but I do like to try something out before I recommend it.  I'd say we've given the detergent a fair shot, and it has exceeded our expectations.  Not only is it easy to make, but it is cheap (approximately $.05 per load).

Homemade Laundry Detergent
-1 bar Ivory soap (I use Pure & Natural)*
-1 C 20 Mule Team Borax
-1 C Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

To Use:
1 T detergent per load (2 T for soiled laundry)

*Some have noted that their recipe calls for 2 bars of soap.  I've had great results with just one; however, our clothes do not get very dirty.  If you have children, or if your line of work leaves your clothes more soiled, you may want to try 2 bars.

Microwave your soap in a large bowl for 5 1/2 minutes.  I make a triple batch but only microwave one bar at a time.  The soap gets very hot, so let it cool for several minutes.
When it's cool enough to handle, rub the soap "blob" between your hands to make a fine powder.
Add 1 C each of the borax and soda.  Mix well.
Store your detergent in an airtight container.  If you notice any soap stuck to the bottom of your bowl after emptying it, microwave it for another 2 minutes.  Rub it into a fine powder and add it into your detergent, mixing well.

Marshall and I both have sensitive skin, and we haven't had any negative reactions to this detergent.  Of course, everyone is different.  One of my biggest frustrations is that I never know if I'm going to react from a product until I've spent money on it.  This detergent is cheap enough that it wouldn't be a huge loss if I did.

Two batches of the detergent lasted seven months, so I'm hoping that I won't have to make any more detergent for a year.  YAY!


  1. Hey Emily it's Laurie, Marshall's cousin in Georgia. Just wanted to write and say I am sooooo trying this out. The price point that you mentioned is what sold me! I will let you know how this goes. Thank you so much for this!:)