Have you noticed how laundry detergent has really increased in price as of late? It used to be that you could buy a gallon jug of liquid laundry detergent for no more than $3.00; now, a good brand of detergent (like Tide) will run anywhere from $6-$9!
If you’re looking for a way to reduce laundry detergent costs, and willing to learn a little bit about the laundry detergent making process itself, then you could potentially reduce your laundry detergent bill ten-fold (or more!) by following these laundry detergent “recipes”.
Consider that a container of Tide laundry detergent costs an average of $30 for 96 loads, which comes to about 30 cents per load. However, the ingredients to make your own detergent run about ten times less than the cost of a 96-load Tide container. Here are how the costs break down:
To make homemade laundry detergent, you will need:
Six bars of soap ($0.99/each) =$5.94
One box washing soda =$1.89
One-half box of Borax =$2.98/2 =$1.49
Together, these ingredients will cost you $9.32. All these ingredients can be used to make six batches of laundry detergent. Each batch of detergent will wash about 48 loads of laundry. So, you will obtain 288 total loads of laundry for $9.32. Breaking that down, that means that you will be paying only $0.032 per load!
There is a very simple way that laundry detergent can be made using the ingredients listed above. First of all, you will need to cook about four cups of water in a pan until the water is almost boiling. Meanwhile, you can start shaving a bar of soap, slowly whittling it down into the hot water with either a paring knife or a grater. Use up the entire bar.
Now, add three gallons of water into a five gallon bucket. Add the hot soapy water into the bucket and let this sit for about an hour or two. Then add a cup of washing soda. Stir frequently, adding in a half cup of Borax over time.
After you’ve stirred the mixture a bit, let it cool overnight. In the morning, the liquid detergent will have gelatinized into a kind of pale “slime”. You can take one measuring cup of this slime and add it to your laundry. One cup of laundry slime will suffice for one average laundry load. The ingredients in this slime are the same as those of commercially available detergents, minus any fragrances (and dessication). However, you can always add your own fragrance to the detergent.
You may also make your own laundry detergent using this method. First, obtain the following:
Five bars of soap ($0.99/each) =$4.95
One box of Borax =$2.98
Two boxes washing soda =$1.89 x 2 =$3.78
Add six cups of water to a pot, stir in the grated soap, and heat over medium heat until the soap is melted. Then, add a half cup of Borax and a cup of washing soda, stirring frequently until everything is completely dissolved. Add six cups of warm water to the bucket and pour in the hot soap mixture, mixing well with a whisk. Add one gallon cool water and continue mixing. Stir this solution with a whisk every 30 minutes, until the soap is completely cool (an hour or two). Let this mixture sit undisturbed for at least a few hours (preferably overnight) before using or dividing it into separate containers.
In the morning, pour some of the mixture into an old liquid detergent bottle and store the rest in a larger bucket. Before each use, give the detergent bottle a shake (it will separate as it sits) and then use 2 oz per small/light load or 4 oz for a large/heavy load. The mixture itself should have the consistency and feel of light hair conditioner.
It will cost about $12 ($11.71 exact) to make your laundry detergent using the second method listed. You will produce over 3,136 ounces by volume of detergent. Even if you use 4 oz. per load, you will have made enough detergent to wash 784 loads of laundry. Going at two loads of laundry per day, you will have enough laundry detergent to last you over a year- for under $12!
Given these kinds of numbers, one can clearly see how companies that make products like Tide (or even generic brand detergent) make huge profits on the sale of such products. But you don’t have to contribute to these profits- if you make your own laundry detergent at home!