Laundry detergent is expensive. Especially when you have as much laundry as we do at our house. (Click to read more about getting the laundry under control.)
For years, I used the gallon size “Sun” liquid detergent that you can get for $5. But then, one day, someone mentioned that our clothes smelled funny.
Most things I can take with a grain of salt, but I don’t want to smell funny!
I started wondering if our clothes really did smell funny, and I began to search for other options.
One that I found that I truly love is the liquid Tide with a touch of Downy. This is what I use for our clothes.
The trouble is, Tide with Downy costs a whole lot. At least for my budget.
So I thought about ways to cut the laundry expenses and still have great-smelling laundry.
As you may have gathered, this is really important to me. I love sniffing the warm towels as they come out of the dryer, and when they smell nice, it just makes me feel good.
Maybe because when I had a front-loading washer, it had some issues, and the laundry smelled really bad for awhile…even when I had tried every suggestion I could find.
Anyway, for whatever reason, I appreciate good smells.
I had seen some recipes for homemade detergent on Pinterest, and had thought about trying them, but in the back of my mind, I said “Who has time for that?”
To answer my own question, I do!
Or at least, I will make time since I discovered that I only have to make a batch about every 6 months. Not to mention the fact that I save a whole lot on detergent in exchange for that 20 minutes or so that I spend making my homemade detergent.
I made my first batch back in November, and I am still using it!
I took a couple of recipes that I found online and tweaked them a little to put my own spin on it. And to my amazement, I have been really pleased with the results.
Home-Made Laundry Detergent
6 Ingredient Long-lasting detergent. Safe for HE machines.
- 2 17.6 oz boxes Zote Laundry Soap Flakes You can grate your own soap if you want to. Zote comes in bars. Just use 4 bars instead of the 2 boxes.
- 1 container Downy Infusions
- 1 60 oz. box Biz stain and odor eliminator powder
- 1 4 lb. box Arm and Hammer Baking Soda You can find this in both the laundry and baking aisles at Walmart.
- 1 box 20 Mule Team Borax Detergent Booster
- 1 box Super washing soda
Mix Bix, Baking Soda, Borax and Washing Soda Thoroughly. I use the drill with a mixer blade attached. (Great idea, but the hubs came up with it, so I can't take credit.)
Mix in downy crystals and laundry flakes. (May use the drill for this too.)
I use the homemade detergent to wash towels, washcloths, socks, underwear, kitchen towels and dishcloths, but I am pretty sure it would do fine for jeans and t-shirt and just about anything except for really dressy clothes. (It might fade black and could be a bit harsh for delicate fabrics.)
That said, it cleans really well and smells wonderful. AND it’s really fun to make!
I had gotten used to using liquid laundry detergent, but I have found that I love this powdered option. It only takes 1/4 of a cup to do a load.
I just dump it straight into then barrel of the washing machine with the things I’m washing instead of using the dispenser.
Here’s a break-down of the cost of the ingredients:
- Zote Laundry Soap Flakes $2.64 (x2)
- Biz Powder $5.97
- Baking Soda $2.24
- Borax $3.97
- Super Washing Soda $3.97
- Downy Infusions $9.74
For a grand total of $31.17.
Keep in mind, this stuff lasts for 6 months or more at our house, and we do a ton of laundry. So basically, it costs around $5 per month.
For the first batch, I used Dreft crystals. This time, I decided to change it up a little with the Downy Infusions.
This was the most expensive ingredient, and it is totally optional. You will get a nice clean smell without it. (W just love that little extra bit of scent.)
You can also make it for even less by grating your own soap. I hear it’s pretty easy, I’m just too lazy to find out! I might have to grate my own at some point though, since I LOVE the smell of Fels Naptha, and it can be substituted for the Zote flakes.
I would have to say that why experience with homemade laundry detergent has been a good one. We still buy some liquid laundry detergent as well, but the homemade is a good supplement.
It’s perfect for towel and linens, and a big thing of Tide costs around $18, so supplementing with some homemade laundry detergent is definitely good for my budget!