Homemade Laundry Detergent

I still can’t believe how expensive it is to buy laundry detergent in the store!  A little more than a year ago, I originally posted about my decision to start making my own laundry detergent. Well, 15 months later and I’ve stuck with it.  It’s so darn easy and cost effective, it wouldn’t make sense to stop!

They’ve kept our clothes clean and soft – and if I didn’t tell you I wasn’t spending $5+ on store-bought detergent, you’d have no idea.  We don’t smell dirty.  We don’t smell dirty, because we aren’t dirty!  My cheapie alternative has been awesome.

A couple weeks ago, I posted on my Instagram that I had just spent 20 minutes making up a 7 gallon batch.  I had a handful of people ask me for the “recipe.”  I thought that since there were a few curious people and I may have picked up a few additional readers since last May (hiiiiii!), it was worth mentioning again!

In that original post, you’ll see that I had quite the variety of containers!  Since then, I started saving the Simply Orange and Simply Lemonade bottles.  Craig drinks a container a week of each, so it didn’t take long for me to accumulate a stash.  I have enough so that we’ve started recycling them to the curb again, because Craig told me I was starting to act like a hoarder.  He loves me, he does.  Anyway, point being: having a consistent size makes it much faster to measure and make.

Those Simply containers are just a tiny bit smaller than a half gallon, but I halved the original recipe and the results have been fantastic.

detergent - mwnHomemade Laundry Detergent
1 1/2 Tbs Borax
1 1/2 Tbs Washing Soda
1 Tbs Dawn dish soap

Put the above ingredients into each of your containers.  Add ~2 cups of hot water, swirl to get most of the powders dissolved.  Fill container the rest of the way with cold water.


I don’t measure my hot water – I just add enough I think I need to get everything dissolved.  And I just use water from my tap (it gets plenty hot)!  I also invested in an 89 cent funnel from the auto section at Walmart, because after spilling ingredients all over my counter time and time again, I figured it was worth the pocket change! (Note: funnels in the food section are triple the price!  I thought since I wasn’t using it for food, the cheaper option was the better option.)

I make 14 half gallons at a time.  It takes me no more than 20 minutes.  I have to make a batch every 5 months.  I spent less than $7 on the ingredients and will get at least 70 gallons.  And honestly, that’s a total guess, it could be much more.  I don’t use more than 1/5 of the ingredients while making a batch.

Yes – that means I spent $7 for 35 gallons of detergent.  Thirty-five gallons for seven dollars.

You can also add essential oils if you miss the smell you can find in store-bought detergent, but I don’t.  It’s just an extra step and just a little bit more money and I really don’t miss having perfumey clothes. In fact, my sister has done some laundry here recently and uses store-bought detergent.  I can smell it on the loads I do after hers (with my own detergent). And truth be told, I didn’t like how it smells at all!  I’ve grown so accustomed to my scentless alternative.

For set stains, I would recommend using additional stain solution.  Craig’s jeans that he wears mowing get stained green every week, but the detergent gets it out just fine.  But, if you have some nice clothing and want to make sure it’s thoroughly taken care of, spending a bit of moola for stain solution wouldn’t be a bad idea!

As you will see in the original post, I got the recipe from One Good Thing by Jillee – and I’m happy to attest to the fact that it’s an excellent alternative to what you can purchase in the store!



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