Memoirs in Making Homemade Laundry Detergent – Part 3

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Homemade Laundry Detergent

I love my homemade laundry detergent! However, it took me awhile to narrow it down to which recipe worked best for me. I now use a mega stain fighting powder. You can read below about how I arrived at this decision or skip straight to the recipe I use now.

I know I said I was going to use my last liquid batch of homemade laundry detergent before I tried the powdered version, but I couldn’t wait. The Borax, Washing Soda and Fels-Naptha seemed to be calling my name from their tiny cupboard each time I entered my laundry room.

So the next time I was at Walmart, I bought myself a pretty, hot pink tub with lid and ran home to try the powdered version. And I’ve been using it ever since.

You still use the same ingredients for the powder as you do the liquid, it just doesn’t involve boiling it down and transferring it from container to container.

How to Make Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

1 Fels-Naptha (grated finely)
1 1/2 cups Borax
1 1/2 cups Washing Soda

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight container. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load of laundry.

Your total cost for the batch will be around $2.19. If you use 2 tablespoons per load, you’ll get 36 loads out of the batch which works out to just $0.06 per load.

If you would like, you can also add 1 cup of oxi-clean to the mix to increase stain removing ability. This will increase your cost to about $0.08 per load.

This powdered formula has worked well so far. I think using the Fels-Naptha over a bath bar soap really increases the cleaning power. I do, however, think that the ratio of Fels-Naptha to the other ingredients could be a little lower and still maintain cleaning power. So NEXT time, I’m going to use this recipe that Felicia shared with me:

Big Batch Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

1 box Borax (4lb 12oz) $4
1 box Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (3lbs, 7oz) $4
3 bars Fels-Naptha @ $0.99 each = $2.97
1 tub Oxi-Clean $6 (optional)

If you choose the big batch method, I would suggest mixing it in small batches and then transfer to larger container. Otherwise it will be hard to stir and create alot of dust.
Homemade Laundry Detergent

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Laura L September 27, 2012, 10:28 am

    Where can you find Fels-Naptha at (what store, and would it be with the detergent stuff)? I’ve never heard of this before. Thanks 🙂

    • Amanda September 27, 2012, 1:09 pm

      Laura, you can get Fels-Naptha at Walmart on the laundry detergent aisle. It’s around $1. I’ve also heard you can buy Zote at Home Depot, which works the same.

  • DeDe September 27, 2012, 11:25 am

    Great! I have used the liquid recipe for a while and like how it cleans. But how it looks curdled is gross. Oh well…
    I think I will try this one when we run out of what we have. A friend of mine uses this recipe. But she adds the oxi clean and then adds some purex crystals to the powdered stuff and loves it!

    • Amanda September 27, 2012, 1:07 pm

      Dedra, I love the idea of adding Purex Crystals. Would be much less expensive than adding essential oils.

  • Theresa Jensen September 27, 2012, 12:14 pm

    I’ve been making it with these ingredients for 2 years now! We love it! I did buy a 5 gallon bucket at Lowes with a lid. My husband helps me make it. We use:

    16 bars Fels Naptha
    2 boxes Washing Soda
    2 boxes Borax
    1 tub Oxy Clean

    He mixes it all up for me in the big paint bucket and then we let the dust settle overnight. I pour a smaller amount into a container for inside. The big bucket lasts us ~5-6 months for a family of 4!

    • Amanda September 27, 2012, 1:07 pm

      Thanks for sharing Theresa! I love the idea of making a HUGE batch all at one. I think my tub is 5 gallons so I may have to involve the Hubs next time.

  • Joni Conway September 27, 2012, 1:33 pm

    How much per load?

    • Amanda September 27, 2012, 1:55 pm

      Mix all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight container. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load of laundry.

  • Kim September 27, 2012, 3:02 pm

    Is this safe for the newer HE washers?

    • Amanda September 27, 2012, 5:16 pm

      Yes, it is safe for HE washers. Lots of people use the Fels-Naptha, but many also use a castile soap which tends to suds less. You can get this at Homeland (thanks Kim Shirley) in the natural cleaning section or order it online.

  • Kim S September 27, 2012, 4:54 pm

    I also saw Fels-Naptha at Homeland on the aisle with cleaning products. I have been using a bar of Kirk’s Castile soap, which is about $1.57 at Homeland. (it’s in the natural cleaning section usually). I started using the castile soap b/c it’s a low suds soap, which is what I wanted in my HE washer. I’ve been using it for months with no problem!

    • Amanda September 27, 2012, 5:18 pm

      Thanks Kim S! The Fels-Naptha is $1.49 at Homeland so if someone has access to Walmart or Crest, that’s the best bet to keep price down. I bought some castile soap from Vitacost recently and I’m going to use that next time I make detergent.