How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent – Part 2


Have you tried a homemade liquid detergent and wished you could also make a dry one to take on-the-go… this recipe is a winner and much better for traveling light, which is a real survival consideration.

I have recently mixed up a recipe of a dry detergent mix I found, which claimed superiority in freshness of smell and softness.  I wasn’t going to pull it all together, because frankly, it didn’t seem cost effective to me…it was somewhere around $25 to make a batch. Yikes!  But – I made it about three months ago and have been using it continually, with probably a third of the batch still remaining.  That says something.

With the longevity taken into account, I now feel able to add this mix to our pages of thrift-conscious ideas.    I have been impressed with it and yes – it does have more scent, if that is something you like.  (If not, you could leave an ingredient out. ) So……(drum roll, please) is a dry laundry detergent mix that is good for use in warm water. (I have read that using dry borax in cold water nullifies its cleaning properties.  Not sure if that is substantiated, but I choose to believe it and just use my liquid homemade detergent for the cold water washing.)


Here’s what it looks like when you’re all done…

1-(4lb, 12 oz) box of Borax

1-(3 lb, 7oz) box of washing soda

1-(3 lb) container of Oxi Clean

2-(14.1 oz) bars of Zote soap or Fels Naptha in same weight, grated

1-(4 lb) box of baking soda

1-2 (55oz) jugs of Purex Crystals fabric softener (a matter of preference – can be omitted altogether)

Layer these ingredients in a big 5-gal bucket or other large tub where you can use a long handled spoon to mix it all thoroughly together.   When you get it all mixed together it should like nice and pretty with the different colors from the soap and Purex Crystals.  I store some of the finished mix in the empty Oxi Clean container and refill that from the bucket.  Now, get this – you only need 1-2 Tablespoons of this mix per load.  I’ve been using about 3 but that is because I have super capacity washer and I always fill it.  And my mix is still lasting in a way that makes my frugal heart happy! Hope you enjoy as much as I do!

Some have asked me what I use for fabric softener.  Because the crystals I used said they were only for scent and not for softening, I also use about ½ cup of vinegar for softening each load.  I sometimes will sprinkle the vinegar with some essential oil blends for even MORE smell! (See below) I know, I have a problem… ~Carin

laundry solutions

This is a Christmas gift I received and have been enjoying experimenting with. The essential oil mixes are divine!

Here’s a real deal on bulk soap nuts for laundry! These are amazing!



2 Responses to “How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent – Part 2”

  • David

    How does the final cost compare to store bought dry detergent?

  • Carin

    Great question! Honestly, I haven’t done a scientific comparison, but I would guess you are saving about a third? This one bucketful of detergent has lasted and lasted and lasted….so, being that it stretches so very far, I’m guessing it outperforms the pricing/longevity quotient of store-bought. (I honestly haven’t bought store detergent in so long, I’m not super sure of prices and how long those last. I seem to recall that 120 loads is the max capacity, I think and you can buy that for what – $10 -$15 minimum? And those numbers are always for small loads. So will this mix have done 240 loads when it’s all said and done? Small loads – easily. Maybe next batch I’ll actually keep count of how many super loads I do with it.)

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