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Recipe: Homemade laundry detergent will save you money

Recipe: Homemade laundry detergent will save you money
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Crystal Collins |
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Does that weekly purchase of the big bottle of detergent always make your budget cringe? On average, the national brands can cost you 21 cents per load! And that’s even looking at the sale prices of your favorite red bottle and the eco-friendly alternative as well.

But what if there was a way that you could save money AND have an eco-friendly option?

Read more: Save money by making homemade cleaners

Homemade laundry detergent can save big bucks

I’ve been making my own homemade laundry detergent for years, and have had a lot of success with it. And get this: It costs me at the very max, 6 cents per load to make it at home.

I know what you’re thinking: This is going to take a ton of time to make right? No. In about 20 minutes you can have a 5 gallon bucket full of laundry soap that cost you 6 cents or less per load to make.

Ingredients (full prices are listed):

  • 1 bar soap = $3.49
  • 1 box Washing Soda (55oz) $3.19 – Cost Per Cup = 46 cents
  • 1 box Borax (76oz) $4.49 – Cost Per Cup = 47 cents
  • Optional Essential Oil: Tea Tree Oil (1oz) $8.99 – Cost for 40 Drops = 72 cents
  • Total Cost for 5 Gallons or 80+ loads of laundry Detergent = $5.17
  • Total Cost Per Load: Approximately 6 cents

Now, just imagine if you got these items on sale, how much this would cost you! You could be saving a ton of money by making your own laundry detergent at home. Genius. right?


1. Using a cheese grater, shred your bar of soap.

2. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil on the stove and reduce the heat.

3. Slowly pour in the grated soap and stir until melted.

4. Slowly add in 1 cup of washing soda, but be careful. This is the part where a chemical reaction takes place and it could boil over. Place a wooden spoon across the top of your pot to prevent it from boiling over.

5. Add in 1 cup of borax, and stir until everything is dissolved.

6. Pour contents into a five gallon bucket, and fill the remainder of the bucket water.

7. Add in your optional essential oil (ie. tea tree oil or lavender), and stir.

8. Cover with a lid, and let sit overnight.

By the next day you’ll have an awesome goopy mixture that gets your clothes clean and smelling wonderful. Plus you saved money, too! See more pictures and answers to common questions about how I make my laundry detergent.

What do you think? Do you make your own laundry detergent?

Read more: 3 beauty products you can make at home