My Story: Homemade Laundry Detergent

contributed by Susan

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Homemade Laundry Soap

Make Your Own Laundry Soap

Homemade HE Detergent

What you'll need:

  1. Soap - You'll need one bar per batch. We chose Ivory. If you use Fels Naptha, you will use less, about a third of a bar.
  2. Arm and Hammer Washing Soda - This is available in the laundry area.
  3. 20 Mule Team Borax

Step One: Shred, chop or shave the soap into small pieces. Go ahead and do all the bars at one time, storing each bar in bags for later use.

Step Two: Measure and start heating water. You will need six cups of water heated to melt the soap in a saucepan. It will bubble and rise, so use a deep pan. Add the soap and water to the pan.

Step Three: Once the soap is all dissolved, stir in half a cup of Borax and half a cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda. Stir over the heat until it is dissolved.

Step Four: Remove from heat and pour into a large bucket. Use a three gallon bucket (or larger).

Step Five: Add four cups more of hot water to the bucket and stir until well blended.

Step Six: Add one gallon plus six cups of cold water to the mixture. Mix well. Let this sit for 24 hours. Store it in your old laundry soap bottle or other plastic container for easy pouring.

It's ready to use! Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup. It looks like a liquid gel.

If you want a scent other than the soap smell, you can add 1/2 to one ounce of essential oils. This has very low suds, so if you open the washer and look you will not see a lot of suds. This does not mean it is not working.

Based on using liquid Tide from the Sam's Club, we estimated that we used to spend eight cents per load (we used half as much as the bottle recommended). Using the homemade soap, we spend less than half a cent per load. It takes less than 15 minutes to make. We do still use dryer sheets.

There are many recipes for homemade laundry detergent on the Internet, but these are some of the most commonly used ingredients. My good friend shared this recipe with me.

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by

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