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How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

By Cary Anderson

Laundry detergent is expensive. Marketing and transportation costs for the dense product spike the cost for consumers. Enough detergent for a typical load of laundry will cost you around $0.25, if not more. But there is a way to circumvent the cost youíre paying to have this detergent marketed to you as well as transported to you. Thatís by making your own laundry detergent.

At first, the idea of making your own detergent might seem like it would be hard and a waste of time. But itís actually very easy and the cost of the ingredients comes out to around $0.03-$0.05 per load of laundry. Thatís a lot of savings over time!

Here is a simple recipe for making laundry soap that will yield about 4 gallons of detergent, or enough for about 64 loads.

What youíll need:

  • A 5 gallon bucket with a lid
  • A big stirring spoon (you could even use a small shovel provided itís clean)
  • One bar of soap (whatever kind you like, but the cheaper the better)
  • One box of washing soda (not baking soda, look in detergent aisle to find it)
  • One box of borax (again, in the detergent aisle)

How to make the soap:

Heat 4 cups of water on the stove. With a cheese grater, shred the bar of soap into the heating water. Before the water reaches a boil, the soap will dissolve into the water.

Add this hot, soapy water into your 5 gallon bucket that already contains 3 gallons of warm water. While stirring, add a cup of washing soda and a half a cup of borax. Continue stirring.

After youíve stirred for a couple of minutes, put a lid on the bucket and allow it to sit overnight. Thatís all there is to it! Youíre ready to start using your homemade detergent and saving money in the process!

One thing youíll notice about your homemade detergent is that it wonít be very sudsy. This is okay. High efficiency washers require ďspecial soapĒ, but the only thing special about HE detergent is that has low suds. Your homemade soap will be ready for your HE washer or any washer. Suds are not what does the cleaning, itís the soap, the washing soda, and the borax that cleans!

If you want to try taking things to a whole new level, sell your homemade laundry soap to neighbors for around ~$0.10 per load. Give them a sampling of your soap to try on their clothes to see what they think. Youíll make money while helping them save money!


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