homemade laundry detergent

I promise you, this is easy.  And inexpensive.  And it really does get your clothes clean.  And you still smell nice and fresh 🙂

For a simple recipe you only need 3 ingredients. 20 Mule Team Borax, Washing Soda and Fels Naptha bar soap.  ALL of these can be found in the cleaning/laundry section of your grocery store.

1.  Grate the Fels Naptha bar with either a cheese grater or plop it in your food processor and give it a whirl until it’s a powder (add a few tbsp. of washing soda to the processor to help it out).  I found that when I grated the soap it dissolved just fine in the washing machine, but if you’re worried about it you can always start with warm water in the machine to help it dissolve faster.

2.  In a large bowl, combine 1 cup Borax, 1 cup washing soda and entire bar of grated Fels Naptha.  Mix well.

3.  Now go add 2 tbsp. to your wash and get going on your laundry 🙂

Just a few tidbits…

  • If you have something especially smelly (like say, a toddler’s pee soaked jammies) you may need a little something to cut the smell.  I have found that filling the softener compartment up with white vinegar works really well, and you don’t smell the vinegar once the clothes are dry.
  • Baking Soda works well as a wash booster.  I’ve added 1/2 cup to the whole mix before and had good results.
  • You can add a few drops of essential oils to your new detergent mix and the smell won’t end up on the clothes.
  • If you prefer your laundry scented, I’ve been using Downy’s Unstoppables In-wash Scent Boosters , or there’s Purex Crystals, too.
  • I have sensitive skin, and Noah has freakishly sensitive skin and neither of us have had any issues with our homemade detergent.
  • This is low-sudsing, so theoretically it should work well for an HE machine.
  • Wondering what the break down of cost per load is?!  Do I strike you as the type of person who would have this figured out?  If so, well then Thank You, I am truly flattered!  Seriously though, I have no idea.  But MoneySavingQueen breaks it down for you here.
  • Did I mention I have three boys who like to get dirty?  I would not be using this if it didn’t get the clothes clean 🙂
Downy Unstoppables in Fresh scent, 20 Mule Team Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

Downy Unstoppables in Fresh scent, 20 Mule Team Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

Joe calls this 'cheese soap'... don't worry, it only looks like a chunk of cheese!

Joe calls this ‘cheese soap’… don’t worry, it only looks like a chunk of cheese!

Liam helping mix the detergent

Liam helping mix the detergent

And now my friends, I must go do more laundry.  Betcha saw that one coming from a mile away 😉

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