Tips and Tricks 2: Homemade Laundry Detergent

I think Pinterest is turning me into a hippie. It’s either that, or I’m just super cheap. Probably the latter. If there’s a way I can make something at home AND save money, I’m going to try it. If it worked for people 50 years ago, it should work now. Most of what we pay for is convenience. Why make your own when you can just buy it, right? Thankfully, I’m married to a man who is as cheap as I am – we both hate spending money. My recipe for homemade laundry detergent is actually his. When I needed more detergent, I called him. Laugh if you will, but I have a five gallon bucket of laundry detergent that will last me for the rest of the year made with ingredients I already had at home.

Here’s the original recipe: (I don’t claim this as my own, but I’m not sure where he found it.)



Here’s our amended recipe:


Fill a five gallon bucket halfway full of cool water. Put it aside for the next few minutes.


– 1 bar of soap

– 1 bar of Fels Naptha

Combine with:

– 1 cup borax

– 1 cup washing soda

– 1 large pot of hot water (set on medium – you don’t want to burn anything or let it boil over)

Stir. Keep stirring. Make sure all of the little pieces of soap have melted in the pot. Why did you stop stirring? Keep stirring. It takes a good 15 minutes or so to get all of the pieces melted together.


Once everything has congealed, pour into the five gallon you put the cool water in. And voila! Laundry detergent for months!

You will want the laundry detergent to cool, so wait until the next day to wash anything. “Oh, you can’t wash laundry, because you’re waiting on the new detergent to cool. Bummer, right?” Now, enjoy your day off from laundry all while still feeling productive anyway.

Next project: Dandelion oil. I decided to “harvest” some dandelions before I finished cutting the grass. Maybe I can turn it into something. Right now I’m mostly wondering how many little bugs did I bring into the house…





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