For the past month or so, we’ve been using homemade laundry detergent from a recipe that I found at the Duggar Family website. We’ve had great results, and the cost is shockingly inexpensive: $2 for 640 loads in our front loader! The fact that it actually works beautifully, is even more incredible!
We’ve been very happy with Charlie’s Soap, but as we ran low on our 1000 load bucket, I decided to hold off on investing in another until we tried this homemade recipe. The recipe uses only about $2 worth of ingredients ($1 for a bar of Fels Naptha soap, and about 50 cents worth each of Borax and Super Washing Soda). At that price, I felt we had nothing to lose but a little elbow grease, and decided to give it a test run. We’ve been pleasantly surprised with results that are equal, and maybe even superior (gasp!) to my beloved Charlie’s Soap. Our laundry smells fresh and stains come out, but we’ve been especially impressed with the effects on our white items. Some of our older washcloths and towels had been graying, but our homemade soap has brightened them and removed much of the gray. Even Iron Man and a few of the children commented on the whiter whites!
What you need:
- 4 cups hot tap water
- 1 bar Fels-Naptha Soap
- 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
- 1/2 cup Borax
- 1 five-gallon bucket with lid
- 1 clean, used laundry soap dispenser (one with a nozzle is ideal)
- Grate the bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continuously over medium-low heat until completely melted and dissolved.
- Fill a 5-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add the melted soap, super washing soda, and borax. Stir until all powders are dissolved. Fill the rest of the bucket with hot tap water. Stir, cover, and let to sit overnight.
- Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser halfway with soap. Fill the rest of the dispenser with water.
- Makes a total of 10 gallons
- Use 1/4 cup per load for a front load machine (640 loads)
- Use 5/8 cup per load for a top loader (180 loads)
- If desired, you can add essential oils such as lavendar, rosemary, or tea tree, 10-15 drops per 2 gallons.
- Baking soda will not work as a replacement for Super Washing Soda
- While I usually love Amazon, I don’t recommend buying these key ingredients from them. Their prices were four times the costs I found at my local Walmart and grocery stores.
- A funnel helped dramatically in filling up the soap dispenser. I dipped my largest funnel in the big bucket, holding my finger over the funnel’s opening, to transfer the mixture. If you don’t have a funnel, try a Dollar Store. I bought a pack of three funnels for $1.