DIY Laundry Detergent: batch 1


Well, I went for it.

This is my first batch of laundry soap mix. I used a 2:1:1 ratio of grated soap, borax, and washing soda. I bought all the materials on, which if you haven’t tried already, you really should. (Edited to add: here’s a link for a $10 credit once you spend at least $50 there.)

I used about three tablespoons for a front-loading washer. The soap took longer to slightly dissolve in cold water — not so much that it left any soap behind, but I did see flecks of soap in the cold water wash when it went in. (In the warm water wash, the soap dissolved right away.) It was very low-sudsing, which gave me pause, but everything came out really clean. I noticed one of my husband’s shirts had a ring on the collar, which I would have treated if I had seen it earlier, but I just stuffed the shirt in the washer and hoped for the best — totally gone!

I bought 55 oz. of washing soda was $2.99 and the borax was $4.29 for 76 oz. Both of those will get used for other cleaning jobs around the house. I also bought three 3.5 oz. bars of this hypoallergenic Dial soap for $1.39. (I deeply regret buying the cheap soap, honestly. It smells, well, cheap — chemically and nasty. The smell doesn’t linger on the clothes, but still, blech.)

I don’t have a kitchen scale to measure exactly, but estimating by volume, I used about $0.33 of the borax and $0.32 of washing soda, mixed with one bar ($0.46) of soap, that’s… $1.11 for about 20 washes, or $0.06 per wash. By comparison, the Seventh Generation detergent I had been buying sells for $5.48 for 32 oz. on, and is good for for 32 HE loads ($0.17/each) or 21 regular loads ($0.26/each).

Assuming my estimates aren’t wildly wrong, I think I could even switch over to less crappy soap and still be paying less. Hooray for being cheap!

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4 thoughts on “DIY Laundry Detergent: batch 1

    1. I forgot to mention it in the post, but that batch took me maybe 20 minutes, tops. Grating the soap takes the most time but it was a pretty simple process.

  1. Just mixed some up. Was very quick. Used Ivory soap. Did a few loads with it too! Seems to work well. A few flakes of soap persisted in the cold water but it didn’t leave a residue so it’s fine. So nice, cheap and easy :)

  2. Just made up a batch this morning. I’ve been making it for 8 months or so and we love it. I just use whatever soap I’ve been able to snag on sale.

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