Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Yesterday while doing load after load of puke filled wash (JJ was sick, poor little guy) I ran out of laundry detergent, rather than run out and spend $10 or even $2 on a new bottle, I just go into my stash of homemade and get some more. It's awesome to know exactly what is in it, it's awesome to not have to worry about that expense, it's awesome to know that it's always right there and the best part of it all was that it reduces the coast per load to nothing. Let's compare shall we?

This week at CVS Tide is on sale for $5.99 (wow thats a great sale for Tide!) for the liquid that is 24-32 loads.

$5.99 divided by (we'll do the largest bottle) 32 = 19 cents per load.

My homemade version, works just as well as tide and costs 1 cent per load or less.

Here is the breakdown:

Fels Naptha Bar Soap $1.79 per bar or you can use Ivory or any other bar soap (nothing heavily perfumed though)
20 Mule Team Borax $4.49 for 76 oz.
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda $3.49 for 55 oz.

So it costs (approx varies depending on your local pricing) $2.39 to make one batch. One batch makes 10 gallons which is approx 180 loads. So $2.39 divided by 180 = 0.01 and a bunch of numbers after that. If you have Ivory bar soap around the house subtract the bar of soap and wow your under one cent per load! Here is the recipe I used:

Homemade liquid laundry soap

4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 cup washing soda
½ cup Borax

  • Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

  • Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. It will turn into a snot like gel, don't worry it's supposed to do that.

  • Stir well and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use.

  • Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per two gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
  • NEVER USE REGULAR BLEACH WITH THIS LAUNDRY SOAP RECIPE! It might not appear right away, but it creates toxic fumes, just as mixing bleach with pretty much anything else does as well. Whatever you do, please do not try mixing bleach with this thinking it will be okay! Color safe bleach powder is ok.

Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons. Top-load machine: 5/8 cup per load (approximately 180 loads). Front-load machine: ¼ cup per load (approx. 640 loads).

NOTE: There is also a powder version of this detergent that takes up much less space when made and works just as well.

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