Being frugal……homemade laundry detergent

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.

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