Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Super Quick, Super Cheap Laundry Detergent

It seems everyone and their second pup is making homemade laundry detergent these days.  I've tried my share, too.  I tried a powdered type once, but I found that the soap didn't dissolve in the water.  I had bits of Ivory soap all over our clothes.  Although I love the convenience of powder, the mess wasn't worth it for me.  I tried Jillee's recipe and liked it.  I just didn't like fiddling with gallon jugs.   So I changed things up a bit and tweaked some of the proportions to better fit my family's needs.  We wash a lot of jeans and towels around here.

This is so easy, I could have my 22 year old son make it.  I know, usually you'd say your 12 year old, but she's a girl.  ~smile~  I like using some small 50 oz. detergent jugs that I saved from detergent bought on sale.  That was before I tried this super quick, super cheap laundry detergent.  I have experimented a bit to find the strength that I like.  Here's how I do it super quick!


Super Quick Super Cheap Laundry Detergent
  •  1 T* concentrated Dawn dish soap
  •     ~ or ~
  • 2 T original Dawn dish soap
  • 1 T Borax*
  • 1 T Arm & Hammer Washing Soda* (not baking soda)
  1. Line however many empty bottles you have up in your sink.  (You could even use two liter bottles if you want.)
  2. Put 1 T concentrated or 2 T original Dawn dish soap in each bottle.
  3. Put 1 T Borax in each bottle.
  4. Put 1 T Washing soda (not baking soda) in each bottle.
  5. Add approximately 4 cups hot water to each bottle, cap it, and swish it around. 
  6. Add water to reach the neck of the bottle, cap and swish it around.  It's okay if some suds overflow.
That's it!  You're done!

It's been working fine for our family so far.  I use one capful* for regular clothes, two for towels and jeans and other dirty items.  I've even used it for my 22 year old's super dirty work clothes.  I used 4 capfuls.   It's a super simple, super cheap way to make detergent.  If you have to use a little more, or your kids use too much, it's only pennies to make more.  My budget loves it!  Give it a try, and tell me what you think!


Both the Borax and washing soda are in the laundry aisle at my Wal-Mart.

Mind you, I've not used this detergent with bleach yet.  I don't know of any trouble with mixing these ingredients with bleach in the water, but I'd use caution.

Blessings,
Laura
Happy at Home

*Edited to answer a question from Lisa Grace regarding cup size.
What an excellent question!  It's the very question that makes comparing prices at the store so hard.
My capful measures 3/4 cup.  I don't think you need to be very precise with the measurement you use. 
I use extra if I have an extra large load or very dirty items.

*Edited to answer a question from Alyssa:
T is the abbreviation for a measuring tablespoon.


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33 comments:

  1. Laura you are always so inventive and creative, just love your blog as I learn something new every time I visit. You are a wise owl Laura and I love owls. Have a great weekend
    Lots of love as always
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  2. Great Idea, I didn't know you could make homemade liquid soap. I might actually try this one!

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  3. I would love to try something like this but my husband insists that ONLY Tide will get his clothes clean. Me, I'm rather cheap so I always used to buy the less expensive brands until we got married

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  4. Hi Lisa Grace,

    What an excellent question! It's the very question that makes comparing prices at the store so hard.
    My lid measures 3/4 cup. I don't think you need to be very precise with the measurement you use.
    I use extra if I have an extra large load or very dirty items.

    Mind you, I hadn't thought of this. I've not used it with bleach yet. I don't know of any trouble with mixing these ingredients with bleach in the water, but I'd use caution.

    Blessings,
    Laura

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  5. Hi Monica,

    I hope you do try it. It's just so simple and thrifty. If you decide you
    don't like it, you can use your products for washing dishes, making
    another kind of laundry detergent, or as laundry boosters.

    Blessings,
    Laura

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  6. What a great idea Laura!

    I have tried several different homemade laundry soaps and really haven't liked them all that much. I will have to try yours once I have a spare moment (and all the ingredients)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Have a wonderful week!
    Amy

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  7. I love that you used Dawn! I've heard of people using fels naptha or Castile or even Ivory, but never heard of Dawn. However, Dawn cuts the grease so it would work pretty well, I'm thinking. Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

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  8. Hi Amy @ God's Grace Overflows!

    I like being able to put this together quickly without grating or melting soap.
    I hope it works for you.

    Enjoy these last days of summer,
    Laura

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  9. Hi Mom's the Word,
    I think that's why it worked on my son's jeans.
    I enjoy your blog.
    Blessings,
    Laura


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  10. Hello Laura, This is a good post to file for frugal ideas! Thanks!
    Hope your all doing well with school back in full swing. I miss those days. But I do love the freedom. I am living in the season of time for creative and sewing, and reading. God is so good!
    Blessings to you! Roxy

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  11. Hooray for homemade laundry detergent!! =) Thanks for linking up at the Pinterest Power Party!! Hope you have a terrific Thursday!

    Danielle
    SewMuchCrafting.com

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  12. So sorry Alyssa, T is the abbreviation for a measuring tablespoon.
    Laura

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  13. Hi Roxy,
    We're off to a rocky start, but we've started school. I love this season of my life.
    Laura

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  14. Congratulations! This post was the most viewed post during A Little R & R Wednesdays! It will be featured in Wednesday's post.

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  15. Hi, Laura! 'Great recipe! Since I make my own lye soap, I use it for my laundry detergent recipe. It's very similar to yours! Thanks for sharing at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  16. Great recipe! I'm pinning this to try later. So glad you share your post on the HomeAcre Hop, hope to see you again this Thursday. Be sure to stop by as we're having an amazing giveaway in addition to the hop! Nancy HomeAcre Hop

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  17. Now this sounds even easier than my old homemade detergent recipe. I will definitely give it a try! Thanks for sharing it with us at TTF!

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  18. I would like this recipe for the liquid. I always see the powder recipes! Thank you for joining Home Sweet Home! Dawn is great for anything!
    Sherry

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  19. Hi Sherry,

    My husband doesn't want me to buy anything but original Dawn! It's good stuff.

    Laura

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  20. Hi Nancy,
    What I like about this recipe is that I nearly always have all the ingredients on hand!
    Blessings,
    Laura

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  21. Hi Marci,
    I hope to make lye soap with a friend later this season.

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  22. This is a great idea! I love my homemade detergent, but our lighter clothes are suffering from grey syndrome. I bet this would brighten them up. Thanks for sharing!

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  23. Hello Mrs. Magnolia,

    My whites get grey because we have such hard water. I sometimes put a cup of dishwasher detergent and a couple of cups of bleach in my machine and fill it with very hot water. I let it agitate, then add white clothes and let them agitate some more. If they're very dingy, I let them sit in that water. If not, I let them run through the cycle. I then wash them with detergent as usual.

    Perhaps it would help you as well.

    Blessings,
    Laura

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  24. Well I certainly am glad you answered the amount in your cap was 3/4ths of a cup. Because I saw 2 liter bottle and thought, those caps are tiny, but I guess, if she says so, that is enough detergent......lol. Glad you specified!

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  25. Hi Rebecca,

    If I have something very dirty or smelly, I use extra. It's so inexpensive, I don't worry too much about it.

    True confession. ~smile~





    Laura

    Lane

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  26. Does this work in front loaders? The amount of dawn is pretty small, but I would hate to ruin my machine just to save a few dollars. Looks like a good recipe!
    Thanks,
    Erin

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  27. Hi Erin,
    I honestly don't know about the front loaders. I have never tried it in one.
    I am sorry that I cannot advise you on this. Perhaps you could contact the company who made the machine for advice.

    Blessings,
    Laura

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  28. The more laundry soap recipes, the better! That way we can see which works best for our clothing and hard water needs in our case. Thanks for linking up this week on the Art of Home-making Mondays too! :)

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  29. I will be trying this soon. I am almost out of laundry detergent. I usually make mine but was blessed with several the last few months. But it is back to making it. I have never tried this way. I have everything but the washing soda. But I will try to get that.

    Blessings!

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  30. I bought washing soda this week. I am going to make some more.
    Blessings,
    Laura

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