Submissions     Contact     Advertise     Donate     BlogRoll     Subscribe                         

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Being frugal……homemade laundry detergent

Original Article

Many preppers today are doing so out of fear of inflation and the economy. More and more people are shopping sales, using coupons, and shopping discount centers. Part of my inflation protection system is stocking up on many commonly used household items such as shampoo, body wash, soap, toilet paper, dish detergent, and laundry detergent. I buy when on sale and stock up. 

With two action-packed boys we go through a lot of laundry detergent. My wife and I typically buy large containers of liquid detergent at SAM’s. I had heard of people making their own detergent and decided to give it a shot.

There are lots of instructions available online and I choose to make a powered version.

Here is the lowdown - 
The detergent is made from three ingredients - 
  • bar of soap (Ivory, Fels-Naptha)
  • Borax (20 Mule Team brand)
  • washing soda (Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda)

I bought everything at Wal-Mart.

Putting it all together:
  1. The first step to making the detergent is shaving the bar of soap into little pieces. A cheese grater works great. Shave the whole bar into a bowl.
  2. Add 1 cup of Borax to the bowl.
  3. Add 1 cup of washing soda to the bowl.
  4. Stir thoroughly
  5. Done.

Usage is pretty simple. For each load add 1 tablespoon. If clothes are real dirty – 2-3 tablespoons will work just fine.


The 20 Mule Team Borax cost $3.38. The Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda cost $3.24. Grand total was $6.62 plus the cost of bar soap.  Actual cost per load with this recipe is about .05 cents – a nickel. About the cheapest I can buy commercial detergent for is .08 cents per load. 

Not bad.

I plan to make up a few 5 gallon buckets of this mixture. Should last a few years.

 - Rourke
© 2012, Rourke. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Why? To save $.03 a load? Why not buy actual laundry detergent in bulk and use that?

    I grew up in the 40's and my parents got married in the depression. My mother would make laundry soap by placing pieces of bath soap into a mason jar full of water. The soap would liquify and when my mother did the laundry she would pour 1/4 cup or so into the wringer washer. Each time she used it she would add water to the jar to top it off. I might add my father made the bath soap from grease and lye. It was generally pretty strong stuff. The advantage my mother had was that the wringer washer didn't have sutomated cycles; you could run the agitator for hours if you wanted to because the load was really dirty. Another trick she used that seems odd in today's richer society is she would wash two or three loads in the same soapy water. That is she might wash sheets first, and wring them out, then put in whites and after agitation wring them out and then wash darks all in the same wash water. Then she would cycle each load through a rinse cycle and wring them out and hang them outside on the line. Believe it or not the water was still soapy after the last load. Such was the power of lye soap.