When I first made my own laundry detergent and posted it on Facebook, telling all my friends how much money I saved, my husband said, “We have enough money to buy laundry detergent!” And he’s right. We do. So, why in the world would I make my own?
1. I like knowing exactly what’s in the things I use.
2. I have a son with allergies who needs a fragrance free detergent.
3. Every penny I save I can put toward building my food storage.
So, does it really save money to make my own detergent? Let’s see. We’ll start with the “recipe.” I came up with this after reading several recipes online and took what I liked from a few of them, and I came up with this recipe.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 box Borax
1 box Super Washing Soda (you can make your own from baking soda)
1 3-lb box Baking Soda
1 bar Fels Naptha
2 bars Ivory soap (or castille soap)
Finely grate the soap using a box grater or a food processor. Mix grated soap together with Borax, Washing Soda, and Baking Soda. Store in a sealed container. Use 1/8 cup per full-size load of laundry. Makes 20 cups (160 loads).
Here’s my photo step-by-step.
Pretty easy, huh? It takes about 15 minutes total. Grating the soap makes up most of that time. The question remains: Is it worth it? Does it save money? Let’s see…
Cost of Ingredients
Borax – $3.97
Super Washing Soda – $3.24
Baking Soda – $1.53 (I buy mine in bulk at Costco. If you buy it at Wal-mart, it’s $2.24)
Fels Naptha – $0.97
Ivory Soap – $0.80 (I bought mine in a 10 pack. This is the cost of 2 bars.)
Total Cost – $10.51/160 loads = 6.5 cents per load
Grocery Store Prices (Powdered laundry detergents)
Tide – $18.99/102 loads = 18.6 cents per load
Store brand (fragrance/color free) – $6.99/40 loads = 17.4 cents per load
Surf – $10.99/120 loads = 9.1 cents per load
Store brand (regular) – $9.99/120 loads = 8.3 cents per load
Warehouse Club Prices (Powdered laundry detergents)
Tide – $26.37/160 loads = 16.5 cents per load
Surf – $13.57/180 loads = 7.5 cents per load
Conclusion – I am saving between 1 cent and 12.1 cents per load, depending on where I buy my powdered laundry detergent and what brand I buy. As Tide is one of my favorite brands, and I like this as much as Tide, I am saving a ton of money. If I compare it to a less expensive brand, such as Surf, I am not saving quite as much.
Is it worth it to me? You bet! I know exactly what’s in my detergent and my allergy prone son has no problems with this. I liked the detergent enough that I made it a second time. Next time, I think I’ll try making liquid laundry detergent.