Living on the cheap: homemade laundry detergent

So, as I have mentioned before my husband and I used to have two incomes and now we have one. In my perusing of frugal living blogs and pinterest, I came across several posts about homemade laundry detergent. I will admit, I was skeptical, but after reading lots of testimonials…I thought I would give it a try. I went to the store and gathered three simple ingredients: Fels-Naptha soap, Borax, and washing powder.


I grated the Fels-Naptha by hand…hard work! Next I added 1 cup of the Borax and 1 cup of the washing powder to the bowl with the grated soap and started to stir to incorporate. This was also easier said than done, so I got out my food processor, dumped the whole mixture in and gave it a whirl.

I put the mixture into an empty canning jar and set it on the shelf above my washer and dryer. With this soap you only need one to two tablespoons depending on the size of the laundry load.
My total investment was about seven dollars. The washing powder and borax will make at least 8 batches of detergent. One bar of Fels-Naptha costs one dollar… So I should be able to make seven more batches for seven dollars total. I will keep track of how many loads each bath makes but I think the cost will come out to about 5 cents a load. 15 cents per load less than the detergent we were using before. And with the increased laundry due to cloth diapers and other baby related things, I hoping it will feel like a significant savings.