Homemade Laundry Detergent

Linnet Husi

A household item I use on a near-daily basis is laundry detergent. Even though I buy the detergent on sale and try to use a coupon or two I was surprised to find out my family spent $200.00 a year on detergent! According to Procter & Gamble the average American family washes 330-390 loads of laundry a year and spends $180.00- $600.00 per year on detergent. That’s a lot of money.

My son’s skin rashes promoted me to try out homemade laundry detergent. Through trial and error I finally found a recipe that works effectively and costs pennies a load. Did I mention a single batch of this homemade detergent takes less than 40 minutes to make and lasts around six months? Plus a batch of this detergent costs less than $25.00 bucks a batch? Give this a recipe a try.

  • 65 oz (8 ½ cups) of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (If you can’t find this product try a pool supply store and buy sodium carbonate or soda ash. Super Washing Soda isn’t the same as baking soda. Do not substitute with baking soda and do not use Super Washing Soda for personal care or baking.)
  • 65 oz (8 ½ cups) of Borax
  • 2-3 Bars of Fels-Naptha, very finely grated (Use a box cutter to grate the bars by hand. Then use an electronic chopper to finely grate them. This will help the soap break down in cold water. Use three bars if you have a top-loading machine and two bars if you have a front loader machine.)
  • 65 oz (8 ½ cups) of Oxi Cleaner (Tide Multi Purpose Oxi is preferred)

DIRECTIONS: If you have allergies you might want to wear a mask as you mix your powder detergent. In a large bucket (a clean and dry mop bucket works well) pour one cup of Super Washing Soda, one cup of Borax, one cup Fels-Naptha and one cup of Oxi Cleaner. Wait for dust to settle then mix well. Keep adding each ingredient a cup at a time until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. Pour into a large airtight container. Keep covered and away from direct heat and light.

Front Loader Machine Usage:

1 TBSP for a regular large load in a front loader machine
1 ½ TBSP for the day’s your child has stomach flu for a front loader machine
Makes between 410-205 loads depending on usage

Top-Loader Machine Usage:

1 ½ TBSP for a regular large load in top-loader machine
2 TBSP for day’s your child has stomach flu for a top-loader machine
Makes between 205-136 loads depending on usage 

Homemade Stain Remover

Got a really bad stain and want to remove it quickly, easily and for pennies per load? Try this recipe.

1 Cup Blue Dishwashing Soap (Dawn is preferred)
2 Cups 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
1 Cup Super Washing Soda

DIRECTIONS: Pour the dishwashing soap and hydrogen peroxide into a small spray bottle. Shake well. Sprinkle the Super Washing Soda on the stain 1-2 TSP at a time spray with dishwashing soap mixture until a thick paste forms. Allow the soap to sit for 10-15 minutes then launder as normal.  (Check colorfastness of garment before using.)

Linnet Husi lives in Milwaukee WI with her husband and two sons. When she is not busy cleaning, cooking or doing laundry, she writes.