Friday, December 9, 2011

DIY laundry soap

Deep down, I'm a TIDE girl. I've been using TIDE laundry soap for years and I love love love it. I love the smell  and I love how clean our clothes are after they are washed.

But recently, we have spent as much as $28.00 on a large box of HE TIDE for our front loading washer.
I think the $28.00 box  (powdered) was for 80 loads. It's getting a little overpriced.

By the way, I don't use liquid laundry soap for 2 reasons. One, it's sticky and messy. And two, I swear the blue colored liquid makes my whites look bluish (maybe it's just me). But anyway I try to avoid liquid laundry soap.

So I looked online to find a DIY powdered laundry soap recipe that would work on HE machines.

I found a recipe, and Tim and I bought all of the ingredients. We also bought a bucket with a lid at our local hardware store, I think it's a 2.5 gallon size.

Let me just say, for pennies per load, I am LOVING this laundry soap, and I made it myself!

Here's the recipe I'm using:

BORAX (approx $4.00/ box)
SUPER WASHING SODA (approx $3.00/box)
FELS NAPTHA SOAP BAR - UNSCENTED (.99 cents/ bar) I didn't take a picture of the bar of soap.

All of these ingredients were found in the laundry detergent aisle at our grocery store.

I measured 2 cups of borax
and 2 cups of washing soda

and I mixed them together

then I used an old grater (bought at a garage sale) to grate 2 bars of unscented Fels Naptha soap.

I will look for a grater that makes smaller pieces, these were the size of grated cheese. I plan to grate my Fels Naptha soap pieces smaller for my next batch, but the larger pieces work just fine. The soap melts away during the washing process, even these big pieces.

Then I poured in my borax and washing soda and mixed it all together

I have been using my homemade laundry soap for about a month now, and I love it!!

Our clothes are clean, even Timmy's concrete and dirt covered work clothes.

This DIY soap has no smell at all after the clothes are washed, I would like to experiment a little with adding different scents to it.

I use only 1/8 cup of this DIY soap per load. Much less than the huge scoop of Tide I used to use.

And SO MUCH cheaper!!

I will do the math and figure out EXACTLY this soap costs to make. At this point I know I spent approximately $3.00 to make a batch of soap that is way more than 80 loads.

Switching to this DIY laundry soap is saving me at least $25.00 for 80 loads, and this soap is doing the same great job cleaning our clothes as the Tide did.

It's a keeper! I'll never switch back to pre-packaged laundry soap.

Next I will look at alternatives to dryer sheets. I'm tired of spending money on those too. For now, I'm not using dryer sheets at all, but I need to find something that will control static cling.

One more thing: I also tried a recipe for DIY dishwasher soap, but I had to stop using the soap I made because it gave my glasses and silverware ugly water spots. The spots may be due to us having hard water, but adding salt didn't help.

I'll keep trying different recipes for dishwasher soap, and I'll let you know if I find a good one.


  1. I love making my own detergent. Super cost effective AND I'm allergic to all other detergents so it's absolutely necessary that I make my own. I even started becoming sensitive to the Free and Clear types.

    If you find a way to make dryer sheets let me know! I use unscented "free of allergens" dryer sheets but would like to find something cheaper and with less chemicals!

    Love this!

  2. Mind of me, My Timmy is also allergic to most of the other laundry soaps I have tried, they make him itchy. This DIY recipe seems to be OK for him so far (keeping my fingers crossed!)
    And for the dryer sheets, a friend of mine just suggested using a rag that is soaked or sprayed in fabric softener. I'm going to try that!

  3. You don't even have to soak the rag. I put a tiny amount of liquid (free type since most scents aggravate my allergies) fabric softener on a damp washcloth and throw it in with the load. The washcloth drys and imparts just the right amount of anti-cling to the rest of the load. A bottle of fabric softener could last you for years. (signed Manon, friend of Jess)

  4. Thanks for the info Manon, I am definitely going to try this!