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Frugal Friday: Homemade Laundry Detergent {Frugal Success} & Homemade Dish Soap {Frugal Failure}

on February 21, 2014

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I have seen many homemade laundry detergent recipes out there, and a couple weeks ago I finally decided to try one. You can make a liquid or powder form, but I found the powder to be much easier. I don’t remember where I found this exact recipe online, but most I have seen are similar if not the same.

Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent

  • 1 bar (or 4.5 ounces) of shaved bar soap (I used Ivory; you can use Fels-Naptha, which is a bit more expensive. I actually use Fels-Naptha as a stain remover, and it works great!)
  • 1 cup of borax (found in the laundry aisle)
  • 1 cup of washing soda (not BAKING soda; also found in the laundry aisle)

I combined all the ingredients in my food processor to grind the Ivory up finely and mix it all thoroughly. I use about 1 tbsp for a regular load of clothes or 2-3 tbsp for heavier loads. I have an HE washer, and it works great! I’ll definitely be making this again–Success!!

Now, on to my frugal failure. . .

I attempted to make some dish soap as well. It required only boiling water, borax, and a bit of ivory. It seemed to work ok until I had some greasy pans to wash. It is a HORRIBLE de-greaser. The grease was on EVERYTHING! I will definitely NOT be making this again!

If anyone has a homemade dish soap which de-greases well, let me know. Otherwise, I’m sticking with good ol’ store-bought! 🙂

{On Fridays, I attempt to pass along a frugal tip I have learned or am attempting to learn. I love a good deal, and I love to help our family stay within the budget by being frugal in every area of life!}

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6 responses to “Frugal Friday: Homemade Laundry Detergent {Frugal Success} & Homemade Dish Soap {Frugal Failure}

  1. Kellie says:

    I also make my own laundry soap but have always done the liquid version…maybe I’ll have to try the powder version too. I’ve never made my own dish soap but I did try to make my own dish washing detergent in powder form and it was a failure too. It left a film all over our dishes. I just gave up and went back to buying it!

    • Holly says:

      Kellie, I thought about trying dishwasher detergent too, but now, I’m wondering whether it’s worth the effort! The recipe I have for it calls for borax, washing soda, citric acid, and kosher salt. Did your recipe sound similar? I have found that adding white vinegar really helps with that film–kind of like a rinse agent.

      Thanks for the comment! 🙂

      • Kellie says:

        Yes that was the same recipe and yes I use vinegar as my rinse aid. Our house has hard water so that may have contributed to it some but there was just such a big difference between how they looked with the professional stuff versus my stuff that it wasn’t worth it for me. You could always try it and see! 🙂 I make most of my cleaning products so I figured if I just was buying this it wouldn’t be too bad. 🙂

      • Holly says:

        Kellie, I think you just saved me some time and money! 🙂 We have hard water too. I’m not even going to take a chance. Thanks!

  2. jmlol says:

    I made a half batch last month of the liquid. I’ll never go back! Everyone in my house hates the smell of fels naptha, but I love it. I might buy a bar and hide it in my room 🙂

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