I have been fiddling around with making my own laundry detergent for the past couple months and I think I got it.
I’ve been skeptical that it wouldn’t compare to my current detergent and that the savings would be too negligible to be worth it. Does it really get the job done, save me money, and make my home more natural? Plus, unlike Purex, many detergent companies do their testing on animals. I look at my cat, and that is just not acceptable.
Chemicals in store bought detergents:
A lot of information has come out in the last ten years regarding the toxicity of household cleaning and cosmetic products. Many of the products, which are FDA approved, contain disease inducing chemicals. Did you know that deodorant has enough traces of aluminum to lead to Alzheimer’s? Or that dryer sheets are covered in fragrant chemicals which have been proven to cause liver cancer? Or that Tide has been required to lessen the amount of the cancer causing agent 1,4-dioxane?
I’ve known for some time about the political side of FDA approved products and how bad many household staples really are for our bodies. I know that the majority of the negative chemicals in laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheet are fragrant chemicals. There’s a constant push to have a long last scent for days after washing your clothes, so manufacturers keep adding more and more chemicals to meet the demand.
You’ll see in the recipe that I included Purex Crystals which is a fabric softener. Granted, I’m using a significantly smaller ratio of this softener to what I was typically using, but I’m considering eliminating it completely and using these Homemade dryer balls to soften up the clothes.
Laundry Costs Breakdown:
My laundry costs are already low. I experimented with the less expensive name brand detergents and found a combo that costs $13.00/2 months for detergent and dryer sheets. That’s $78/year for everything! Many family’s using more expensive brands spend $100+/year.
So let’s say, for the ease of calculating, you do 2 loads of laundry a week, a dark and light. There are 52 weeks in a year.
2x52=104 That would be 104 loads a year.
If you do even more laundry than 2 loads a week, it is even more of a savings. Especially if you have a family. This could be a savings of $100+ a year.
What you need for the recipe,
The Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 (4lb 12oz) box of Borax $3.38
1 (3lb 7oz) box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda $3.24
1 (3lb) container of OxyClean $7.52
2 (14.1) Bars of Zote Soap or 3 Fels Naptha $.97 each
1 (4lb) box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda $2.00
1 Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener or Downy Unstoppables $4.00
The first step and the hardest, is to grate the soap. But once that is done it is now time for mixing.
I layer each of the ingredients into a clean, large bucket. Be sure to mix it outside because it will be dusty.
Then I stored it in a large seal-able container in the closet. I reused the 'Purex Crystal Softener' container as my laundry detergent dispenser, it comes with a handy measuring cup on top.
But wait! Here’s the real zinger; when combined, the detergent is the equivalent of a “bucket full” of detergent in which each load of laundry only needs 1 to 2 tbsp of the soap. THAT’S right, ONE TABLESPOON! Basically, you just made a years’ worth of laundry soap for 23 bucks.
It was easy to make and probably took me a total of 15 minutes. I enjoyed making the detergent, especially because I knew I wouldn’t need to do it again for another year!
For me, this small change in my laundry routine is well worth the $50 savings. For some families, I know the savings will be even greater.
Mint Chip Ice cream, Krispy Kreme donuts, homemade pizza, pralines, Chinese chicken salad...mmmmm!