Last week, we shared our recipe for homemade laundry detergent powder for sensitive skin (compared to Ivory Snow or Dreft) that we use for our baby and our son with eczema. We promised that we would share the recipe we use for the rest of the family, our towels and bedding. Are you ready to make your own laundry detergent? Let’s get started!
Similar to the previous recipe we shared, this one is also very easy and quick to whip up a batch at less than 10 minutes – a perfect length for our busy family. And as the recipe we share gives you enough for 80 light loads or 40 heavy loads of laundry you can adjust the recipe to meet your family size and your schedule!
We actually make a double or triple batch of this powdered detergent because as we mentioned before, it stores better than the liquid detergent (our own opinion) and the larger batch decreases the number of times we have to make it. But as we mentioned before, we are certainly willing to try a liquid if you have a recipe you recommend!
First, here is the ingredient round-up:
- 1 bar of Fels Naptha Soap
- 2 cups of Super Washing Soda
- 2 cups of Borax
- 5-6 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil (or other fragrance if you prefer)
Step #1 – Prepare your Fels Naptha:
- Microwave your Fels Naptha soap bar for 30-60 seconds to soften the bar. It will not create the cool meringue marshmallow growth like Ivory does, but it will certainly be easier to deal with when it is softer In addition, it leaves a nice clean smell in your home.
- Then cut it into cubes and stick it in a blender/food processor
- You will note some recipes encourage you to grate your soap; I really don’t like to grate it as I prefer softening and then blending. So yes, some might refer to this as the “lazy way” but I prefer to think of it as the “very busy, yet very productive mom way!”
Step #2 – Blend in the Borax and Washing Soda:
- With the Fels Naptha softened and cubed, next add your 2 cups Borax and 2 cups Washing soda. I actually add 1 cup of each of these at a time, so start with 1 cup of the Washing soda and blend, then 1 cup of the borax and blend and then repeat!
- Continue blending until you see uniform mixture.
This is what is looks like with 1 cup of the white powder and the blended Fels Naptha
Step #3 – Add scent:
- Drop in 5-6 drops of Lavender Essential Oil into the mixture and then blend for 20-30 seconds one last time to that the fragrance is evenly distributed.
- Your final product will be a nice fluffy peach-colored powder detergent that smells great and works well! We store it in a #10 can in our laundry room! The end product will yield 40-80 loads worth of detergent!
This is what is looks like in the end as a fine “light peachy” colored powder!
Here’s how to use it:
- Light Load – 1 Tablespoon
- Heavy Load – 2 Tablespoons
We’ve also had a few of you ask about odor after using our detergents. When we use both the clothes smell clean and don’t have an odor. We also want to remind you of our recommendation to use vinegar as a fabric softener which also helps to remove odor.
Here’s the cost breakdown:
- 1 Bar of Fels Naptha sold for around $1.00 in-store
- Borax with average cost per box of $4 (for a 76 oz. box) = $0.84 per 2-cups for each laundry batch
- Super Washing Soda with average cost per box of $3 (for a 55 oz. box) = $0.87 per 2-cups for each laundry batch
- Lavender Essential Oil around $5 a bottle (Puritans Pride buy 2 get 3 free sale is one of the cheapest!) which will last for a LONG time (ours has lasted forever) so we will estimate around $0.20 to be conservative?
This makes the final price an average of $2.91 per batch of 4-7 cents per load (even cheaper if you purchase the above ingredients for less with sales or coupons)!
Here’s how Tide (usually most expensive in-store) and All Surf (usually on the lower end of cost in-store) stack up in price to this homemade equivalent. We are comparing to Walmart’s everyday low prices.
When you make your own laundry detergent you can save between 61-76% compared to popular national brands! Our homemade laundry detergent is 61% cheaper than store-bought All Surf and 76% cheaper than Tide powder detergent! Even with sales and coupons, you would need to purchase the name brands for 60% off or more to equal the same value.
If you wanted to purchase the ingredients online and have them shipped to you, here are some options. Please note the Fels Naptha and Borax are cheaper in-store, but we provide you these online resources for comparison and in case you can’t find it easily in your local supermarket:
- Ace Hardware HERE for $1.02 each
- Drugstore.com HERE for $2.49 each
- Amazon HERE for $3.91 with FREE shipping
Super Washing Soda 76 oz. (will make multiple batches as you only use 16 oz. per batch)
- Ace Hardware HERE for $3.72 each
- Drugstore.com HERE for $7.19 each
- Amazon HERE for $8.26 with FREE shipping
- Buy.com HERE for $2.99
- Soap.com HERE for $13.99 for two or $7.35 for one, then use coupon code: USDUOVG for another 20% off = as low as $5.60 each
Borax 76 oz. (will make multiple batches as you only use 16 oz. per batch)
- Ace Hardware HERE for $4.33 each
- Drugstore.com HERE for $9.49 each
- Amazon HERE for $10.40 with FREE shipping
- Buy.com HERE for $4.29
- Soap.com HERE for$10.39 for two or $5.45 for one, then use coupon code: USDUOVG for another 20% off = as low as $4.16 each
Lavender Essential Oil (this will last FOREVER and has many household uses!)
- Drugstore.com HERE for the Wyndmere Brand at $8.18 each
- Amazon HERE for $7.98 with FREE shipping
- Buy.com HERE for $4.99 Shipped
- Puritan’s Pride for $5.20 when you buy 5 or two for $12.99 (buy one get one FREE)
See our sensitive skin homemade laundry detergent powder recipe to save 90% over store bought equivalent.
See more of our Daily Doses of Thrifty to save even more money in your household budget!
Disclaimer: Before using any homemade laundry detergent, please be sure to test it on a small piece of clothing first. Finally, don’t forget to have fun. When you make your own laundry detergent not only can you save money, but have a wonderful time with your children as well!