Cost of making your own laundry detergent? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Please don't yell at me, but can you save money by making your own laundry detergent? Does the home made detergent offer more value?

It seems that the ingredients would cost more than buying detergent off the shelf.

I am single, so I don't use alot of detergent. I am also spoiled by the heavy discounting due to the competition of Meijer, Wal-Mart, Target, Krogers, etc. I have been stocking up when liquid Era goes on sale from time to time at 2.99 for the 100 oz bottle.

Again, just curious, so please don't yell at me.

-- clov (, January 02, 2002


Hi Clov, it is not just a money thing, it is also an environmental thing (if you're on septic, you should be especially careful about what you put down your pipes), and in some cases a wish to avoid allergic reactions.

In your case, if you can get detergent that inexpensively, go for it, and if you want to save even more money, just cut back on the amount you use until you see a difference in how clean (or not) things get.

-- GT (, January 02, 2002.

it runs between 50 cents and 75 cents a gallon, depending on what you use for ingredients. 1 gallon equals 128 oz.

-- laura (, January 02, 2002.

Wow! 75 cents to a dollar a gallon??? Now that is cheap! I can see why a large family would make their own. That kind of savings would really add up over a years time.

I am curious: What specific enviromental problems do 'off the shelf' detergents cause? Am I harming the enviroment by using store bought detergents?

Where does one buy the ingredients to make detergent? Wal Mart?

Thank you for taking the time to teach me.

-- clove (, January 02, 2002.

You can just scroll down on the "new postings" and see a couple of ongoing threads, and also check out the Laundry category in the archives. That should get you started.

-- GT (, January 03, 2002.

I just made a batch of laundry detergent .It cost about $4.25 for a five month supply for my two person family. That does not include the two cups of grated homade soap that went into it. But it does include the lemon essential oil. The borax and baking soda were bought at the grocers.

-- carla sloan (, January 03, 2002.

At one time I had figured it out on a per load cost. This is taking the cost of the Fels Naptha bar at $1.00 ea.( I make triple batches so I use a whole bar each time) the washing soda@ 2.29 a box and the Borax being around $2.oo a box. Well I don't have all the exact figure and oz. per box but it ended up being around $.04 a load. The store brand soap I used was costing around $.20 per load. If you'd like tyo see the math I can rework it.

-- Kelle in MT (, January 04, 2002.

I recently tried an even cheaper version of laundry soap, and have seen no adverse affects. It's 1 cup(I use 1/2 bottle of the 19oz size) of AJAX dishwashing soap, added to 15 cups of water (I used an empty laundry bottle). Be sure to add the soap TO the water, otherwise you'll get overrun with bubbles! Use just a capful, 1/2-1c, depending on soil. Clothes still come out clean and fresh smelling, and I even use the antibacterial kind. Nice too, that AJAX is one of the less expensive dishsoaps (less than $1 for a 19oz size). We have a septic and no soapy residue problems noted. One gallon last my family of 4 over a month, at about .50 month. Doesn't get much cheaper than that!

I have made the Fels Naptha/borax/washing soda soap, and it works good too, just costs a bit more/takes longer to make.

-- Jody (, January 04, 2002.

Grate 1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap into a saucepan with 1 pint water and heat until melted. Add cup Borax and cup Washing Soda. Stir and mix well. Pour into a large bucket and add plain water to make two gallons. Let set up overnight, then it's ready to use. It has a sort of gel consistency and doesn't bubble much, but cleans clothes well and costs about 32 cents a gallon. Use about 1 cup per load in a regular washer. add 1/2 cup of softner to make it smell good.

Fay in Florida

-- Fay (, January 04, 2002.

If you add a cup or two of cheap liquid detergent (Gain) it will keep it from separating or getting gel like

-- Laura (, January 05, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ