Alina Sewing and Design
I have a very crafty and ingenious friend who is married and has two kids…and therefore does a lot of laundry. When I heard that she made her own laundry detergent to save some cents, I had to have more information. So I turned to the world of blogs and found this entry for the following recipe.
What you need:
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (make sure this is exactly what you get–I had to visit a few different stores to find it, but finally located some at the grocery store…go figure)
  • Borax
  • Ivory Soap

All you do is grate one bar of ivory soap (below is all three bars grated because I was doing a triple batch) on a small cheese grater, add one cup of Borax and one cup of Super Washing Soda (or three if you’re doing a triple batch, of course!)
Mix it up and store it in an airtight container/bag. Use one tablespoon for every load of laundry or two if it’s really dirty!
I’m not generally someone to get really excited about being “green” (I stand in the gray area), but there are several perks to using this detergent:

  1. Your pipes will thank you, Seriously, they’ll be so clean, you could…well…they’ll be clean, OK?
  2. Your hands will thank you when you take care of those “handwash-only” items. I used this to clean my Goodwill pillow and felt pretty excited to know exactly what I was sticking my hands into. No chemical worries here. Which also means no additional bad chemicals in the environment and fewer in your house.
  3. This cost me $6.49 (Borax: $2.98, SWS: $2.44, Ivory: $1.07 for three). I used all of the Ivory soap, but I still have a ton of Borax and SWS left. Because these are household cleaners, I could use them to clean just about anything else at home or I could continue making detergent (like I’m going to run out anytime soon!)
  4. This literally took me five minutes to make.
  5. You will have a squeaky clean cheese grater when you’re done! How’s that for easy clean-up?
And because I’m a nerd, I did a little cost comparison to see if I’m really saving anything by taking this route.
For around $6.50 (and lots left over for other uses), I can get around 140 loads out of my triple-batch. That’s less than 5 cents per load.
If I were to buy my standard liquid detergent (ironically also priced at exactly $6.50…I feel this is a fair fight), I am told I can get 48 loads. That’s almost 14 cents per load.
So, if you do a little laundry or a lot of laundry, this is obviously the best route to take.
Are you convinced yet?
No? Did I mention this took me less than five minutes to make? And that your hands would thank you? And that your cheese grater would be really clean?
Aha. Thought that would do the trick.

I’m linking to:
The DIY Showoff

**Edit 3.10.12: We literally just ran out of detergent from this batch (yes, the one I made above!). I tried a slightly different recipe this time around, as I’ve been hearing that Ivory soap isn’t the best for your clothes. Any soap made for skin has additional oils in it that isn’t the best for your clothes. So, I replaced the Ivory with Fels-Naptha, which is specifically made for laundry. You use two cups each of Borax and Super Washing Soda for one bar of Fels-Naptha. Check out my friend and sponsor Abby’s blog for a tip on microwaving the soap instead of grating it. You end up with powdered soap!


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