Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How to save on laundry products!

If you are anything like me, you look for different ways to save money on household items. In my house, we go through a lot of laundry soap. I can easily wash two (or more) loads of laundry everyday. Laundry soap can be expensive if you don't have a coupon and/or sale going on for it.

I've been intrigued by the idea of homemade laundry soap for a while, but was always just a little nervous about taking the leap and trying to make it on my own. A friend of mine started making her own and shared with me how much she liked it and how much cheaper it is. I was still leery of making it on my own encase I messed it up somehow.

Recently, that friend was over visiting and helped me make my first batch of homemade laundry soap. It was so simple to do. This is the recipe we followed:

4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax


  • Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
  • Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
  • Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
  • Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
  • Makes 10 gallons.
  • Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
  • Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
All the ingredients were found in the laundry aisle at Walmart for less than $8 plus I have Borax and Washing Soda to make more in the future. I bought a 5 gallon bucket with a lid from Lowe's and also got a paint stirrer. I had an empty laundry soap bottle so I used that to fill with this homemade soap.

I have been using this soap for a couple weeks now. I'm impressed with how well it works! I was worried it wouldn't clean our clothes like I wanted, but it works fantastic. I think I am going to add some lavender essential oil to it the next time I refill my bottle. Next time I need to make more all I have to do is buy a new bar of Fels-Naptha ($0.97 at Walmart) and I'll have another 10 gallons of laundry soap. This is so much cheaper than store bought laundry soap!

Next, I want to try my own fabric softener. It is just 1 gallon white vinegar and 20-30 drops of essential oil. Shake well before each use and add 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle for small or average size loads and 1 cup for large loads.

I've also heard of homemade dryer sheets but not sure I'm brave enough to tackle that just yet.

Have you ever made your own homemade laundry products? Please share your experiences with us!

Added Note: This is a low sudsing soap and it is safe to use in HE washers from what I have read. I do not personally have experience using it in one though. I have been reading recipes and comments from other users to check the results they are getting. Many others have reported using it for years with no problems.