Friday, June 1, 2012

Wanna save money??? Homemade laundry soap can do that

Are you tired of spending money on laundry detergent???  Are you tired of spending money on fabric softener???  Well, if so, I have the solution for you! - do I sound like a infomercial yet?!?

A friend of mine recently got a new front loader wash machine - I had told her about my issues with front loaders - I love it but it would STINK up (which is really gross when you think about it - we are suppose to wash clothes in something that smells like a dead rat) until I started to make my own detergent and softener.  After some research on how to get rid of that horrible smell, I found out that normal detergents, along with stagnant water under the rim,  would actually enable mold to grow - therefore I would have rat smell. 

I had tried to make my own detergent years ago, when the Duggars first had it on their show, to help save money...but at the time you couldn't buy washing soda in the town I live in...when I asked about it at Wal-Mart (we didn't have a Target or Publix at the time), I got blank stares - imagine that...So I used reg. baking soda and it was like water...but we still used it - and then I went back to normal detergent.

So I went to the store and low and behold, everything was there and it was all in the same section!  Other people are cheap too want to save money! 

I also make laundry booster - my hubbs is my the "construction" business.  He has some days where he's in the office, but most days he's out in the field installing or building cabinets.  So his clothes can be really dirty therefore his clothes needed a "boost" (yes, I know cheesy).  Also if the kids had ice cream and their shirts ate more than they works well for that too.

As far as the softener, I hang dry about 75% of the clothes I wash - I don't wash my hubbs clothes, he does his own - I know I'm a spoiled rotten lucky girl!  So I did some research on homemade fabric softeners and this is what I came up with.  Vinegar (don't worry, your clothes won't smell like it) alone still made my clothes kind of stiff...but when I added the conditioner that got rid of the problem.  The vinegar in the softener also helps clean out the washer - double duty!  I was also a weirdo about how my clothes smelled...I wanted that "snuggle" smell in everything.  Well I don't get that anymore...which is ok with me - my clothes are clean and it's cheap - enough said.  Maybe the essential oil people will come out with a "laundry" oil...that would make me happy...

Homemade Laundry Soap

1 1/2 c. Washing Soda
1 1/2 c. Borax
1 bar Fels Naptha - grated
1 - 1 gallon jug
1 - 5 gallon bucket (yup - it's going to make that much!)

Add soap to a large stock pot and fill 1/2 way with water.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and let the soap completely dissolve.  Add soda and Borax.  Let come back to boil and completely dissolve.  Next fill the 5 gallon bucket about 1/4 of the way with tap water and slowly stir in soap mixture.  Fill up the rest of the way with water.  Let sit overnight. 

I take the bucket out side (just in case I spill some decides it wants to go on the floor) with a funnel and pour into a 1 gallon jug for me to use in the laundry's just easier than using the bucket...and the bucket is my seat when I transfer clothes from the washing machine to the dryer...

For HE washers,I use to the fill line, about 1/4 cup
For a top loader, about 1/2 c.

Homemade Fabric Softener

1 bottle of conditioner
6 cups of vinegar
20 drops of an essential oil - I use lavender, but I want to try tea tree
1 gallon jug
Hot Water

Mix the conditioner and about 4 cups of hot water together in jugs and shake till combined and the conditioner is dissolved.  Add the vinegar and shake - then add more water, but leave enough more for you to be able to shake the jug.  Add the essential oil.
I use this to the fill line in washer...remember I hang dry my clothes and I want them to be soft.

Homemade Laundry Booster

1 c. Borax
1 c. Washing Soda
1/2 c. Oxy Clean

Mix all these together and store in an airtight container.  Add the powder right to the clothes, for both HE and top loaders.

For lightly soiled clothes, I use 1 tbsp
For heavily soiled clothes, I use 2 tbsp

On a side note : She got her front loaders and has now told me she loves to do laundry and is finding excuses to use them...I wish that bug would bite me again...


  1. it's the truth! i'm doing way more laundry and it makes me way more happy. who am i?!

    it also entertains the four-year old as sits and watches the laundry go round and round. so it's an all-together win-win for me. ;)

    thanks, again!

    1. It has been so nice to not have to buy any detergent for past couple of months! I'm glad it's working for you too!

  2. To make your life simpler- here's another recipe. I use 1 box each Borax, Washing Soda, & Baking soda (the big one found in the laundry section), 1 bar of pink Zote soap (love the bright smell of it), & a 36 oz. container of oxygen cleaner (also love the DIrty Jobs one). I grate the soap while I watch a tv show. I dump it all in a storage tote (outside), put the lid on & shake. Then I put in my containers. I use 2 tsp. a load and the batch lasts a few months. The powder is easier for me to store than liquid and dissolves just fine in cold water.

    I started making my own when we started using cloth diapers- I used the same recipe minus the Zote for my diapers.

    1. Thanks for this recipe! I'll have to give it a try whenever my liquid runs out :0)