Loyal readers will recall recipes and instructions in this column for how to make your own laundry detergent. It’s a topic not warmly embraced by many. Some of the strangest looks I get are from people who just don’t get why anyone would waste even five minutes doing such a crazy thing, when laundry detergent is so readily available in just about any store. I’ll tell you why.
1. Cost. You’re not surprised that this would be first on my list. In my own unscientific way, I’ve researched this. When a bottle of Tide or ALL laundry detergent promises “82 Loads” consider the fine print. Check it. Realistically, you can cut the number of loads you can wash in half if you have a high-capacity washer. That means on average, regularly priced laundry detergent costs from $.35 to $.50 per load. That may not sound like much to you until you consider that you can make your own detergent for about $.03 to $.05 per load.
2. Performance. My homemade detergent just works, and that’s saying a lot coming from a laundry stickler like myself. I know exactly what’s in it, too. My whites comes out white, colors come out bright and all my laundry is super clean. The homemade version is non-sudsing, too, which makes it perfect for the high-efficiency (HE) washers.
There is another factor in play with anything homemade and that’s time. Admittedly, the recipes I’ve given you in the past (for both powdered and liquid versions) can be time-consuming. And a little messy. I’ll also admit that on occasion I have just not had time to make it myself, reluctantly resorting to buying it off the shelf.
I was very excited to find a super fast and super easy homemade laundry detergent recipe at a fun blog, One Good Thing by Jillee. The recipe uses one of DPL’s favorite products— original blue Dawn—in place of Fels Naptha bar soap. And, this recipe requires no cooking and is low-sudsing, which makes it perfect in HE machines. I am over the moon about this recipe because it is fast, easy and super effective. Thanks, Jillee.
Quick and Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent
Find a one-gallon container with a tight-fitting lid. Pour in the borax, washing soda and liquid Dawn. Add two cups of very hot water. Apply the lid and shake until the soda and borax have dissolved. Now fill the container with cold water. Reapply the lid, label and you’re done. To use: Add 1 to 2 cups to each load of laundry depending on the size and soil levels.
This recipe multiplies so well, I make three gallons at a time!
Note: Unlike commercial detergents, this is very thin—like water. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Even though this is not a thick liquid—like most commercial detergents—it works just as well, so don’t let that concern you a bit. Instead, start thinking of how you’ll use the money you’re no longer spending on pricey commercial laundry detergent!
Question: What laundry and cleaning solutions do you make instead of buy? Let’s talk in the comments section below.