Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Laundry On A Budget

I have always admired the moms and bloggers who offer tips and advice on home management, cooking, couponing, budgeting, and so on.  I'm typically not so much one of those moms.  That is part of what I love about being part of a mom community online - there are lots of moms with those strengths that I can lean on!

One of my mom friends, Kelly, wanted to share something with you on my blog that you wouldn't normally ever see on this blog - a "how to" on making your own laundry detergent!  I know many moms who do this and Kelly makes it sound so easy that I just might be tempted to try it!


Many of us have been hit hard by this economy and we’ve had to tighten our purse strings until it hurts and then some. Some families are down to one income and it’s not by choice or there is a reduction on the income that is coming into the house. One great way to save some cash and not give up on quality is by making your own cleaners. Laundry detergent is a big expense, especially if you have a large family. Good coupons for detergent are harder to find and the cheaper detergents sometimes don’t work all that well. If you’re willing to put in about twenty minutes of work, you can make an awesome liquid detergent that will even get a mechanic’s jeans clean or those grass stains out of your son’s white baseball pants, but yet you can use it in an HE washing machine and it’s delicate enough for your gentle cycle.

A big bucket of detergent, which lasts about four months, for a family of six, will cost you about $16 the first time you make it and even less after that. The biggest expense is a five-gallon bucket with a lid, which will run you less than $8. You will also need a bar of Fels Naptha bar detergent, Borax and Arm n Hammer Washing Soda. All these items can be purchased at Kroger, Walmart or Ace Hardware. The Fels Naptha will run you about $1.25 for a bar and the Borax and washing soda will be less that $3 a box, but you will get several buckets out of those and are also great to make other cleaners.

You need to grate the Fels Naptha and the easiest way is to cut it into chunks and use your food processor. It cleans up easy, so don’t worry about ruining your food processor. Combine that with 4 cups of hot water and boil it on medium and stir until the soap is melted. This is the most labor intensive part of the process.

Fill your bucket half full of hot water and had a cup of washing soda and a half cup of Borax and add your liquid Fels Naptha. Stir the mixture up really well and then put your lid on the bucket. Just let that sit overnight and then the next day, all you have to do is stir it up again and fill up an empty detergent bottle. The mixture will be gelled a big, but don’t worry about that, it’s supposed to be that way. If you like a scent to your detergent, add some essential oil to you detergent or you can go scent free and it’s even gentle enough for baby clothes.

Use about a half cup in your load and you’ll be amazed at how well it works and you’ll never want to go back to buying $11 a bottle detergent.

You can follow my blog - Just Kelly - and also find many other home cleaning products by following me on Pinterest


Unknown said...

I can vouch for this soap! I make it about every 6 months. I do mine a bit differently (I do dry soap, not liquid). I also add oxyclean powder and some Purex crystals to make it smell great. I think it's easy to make 6 batches at once, and that will last a LONG time. I usually end up giving some away, 'cause people are often curious. If you want instructions for dry soap, check out my blog at

Unknown said...

To find my dry soap recipe post, go to the site listed in my first comment and type "laundry" in the search box. That will make it easier to find. I posted that post originally at the end of January 2013.

Becky said...

My husband and I have been trying to get on track financially, using tips from a great book titled, "Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence: Your Road Map to Exiting the Rat Race and Living Your Dreams" by Usiere Uko- a book that has changed out lives. On our quest to being more practical, I have discovered tips on how to make my own laundry soap and other household cleaners! I have found that the products I make, such is the ones on this post, are amazing and are way less expensive! Wish I would have known about them sooner.