Laundry sucks – this has been reality since the first time mom tossed us laundry basket and said, “Start washing your own crap.” Well, maybe your mom didn’t do that, but mine did (lovingly, of course).
Perhaps the only thing worse than doing laundry is paying for it. Detergent costs money, whether it is the cheap powder with a questionable smell that you get at the Dollar Store or the high-end stuff that goes one step short of turning your fabrics into gold. It’s all $$$ down the literal drain.
How can you save money on laundry detergent without sacrificing quality or too much time? By making your own, of course. Homemade laundry detergent is a task simple enough for the clumsiest person and satisfying enough for the addicted DIY’er. Not only is it fun to make, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
How do you make your own laundry detergent? Is it safe? Will it ruin your clothes? Does it really save you money over store-bought detergent? I’ll get to those questions in a minute. First, the basics.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN LAUNDRY DETERGENT
This method outlined below will cost the low some of $10 hard-earned dollars. If you’re a single person like myself, the detergent you make for $10 will last you approximately 2 years. Yes, I said 2 years. If you’re a family, if you do a load or two or ten a day, obviously it won’t last as long.
– Two packages of bar soap from a dollar/99c store (I use Dial because I like the smell; any bar soap will do).
– One box of Borax. You can purchase Borax at Target, Wal-Mart, or other similar stores. Borax costs approximately $4 a box.
– Arm and Hammer Washing Soda. You can likewise purchase this as Wal-Mart or a similar store. Like Borax, Washing Soda costs about $4 a box.
– A plastic tub, a jar, or some other large-ish container.
Step 1: grate the bars of soap up. You can do this by hand with a sharp knife like I did, but that’s going to take a while. You can instead use an electronic grater or a cheese grater. Place all of the grated soap into the container you want to store your laundry detergent in.
Step 2: Pour all of the Borax and all of the Washing Soda into the container. Mix it together thoroughly by shaking the container.
Step 3: Use 1 – 2 tablespoons for each washing load.
No, this will not hurt your clothes. It will, according to some people, leave a small residue over the course of a few months, however. I have not personally experienced this, but I’m not discounting it. According to the afflicted individuals, you can remove the residue by washing the clothes in ‘real’ detergent every month or two.
I personally do not use this homemade laundry detergent for expensive clothes. I think this is more or less out of superstition. If you’re paranoid like me, then you can use ‘real’ detergent for your best clothes.