Save Money with Homemade Laundry Detergent: Frugal Friday

In recent months, I have been attempting both to save money and to reduce my use of toxic chemicals in my home. One household chore that can cost quite a bit of money while using quite a few toxic chemicals is my laundry. I do not use dryer sheets or other additives in my laundry, and, despite my use of coupons when possible, I still ended up spending a fortune on laundry detergent. Then I decided to delve into the world of making my own homemade laundry detergent.


  • 4 bars of Fels-Naphtha heavy duty laundry bar soap
  • 55 ounces of washing soda
  • 6 cups of Borax
  • 3 cups of OxiClean


  1. Use a food processor to grind up the Fels-Naphtha into small balls.
  2. Combine the ground Fels-Naphtha with the washing soda, Borax, and OxiClean in a large container.
  3. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Use one to two tablespoons per load of laundry.

Shopping at my local Kroger, I spent a grand total of $19.23 plus tax on the ingredients for my laundry detergent. Breaking down the entire batch into a load-by-load cost analysis really brings the savings to life. By using only one tablespoon of my detergent per load of laundry, one batch lasts me for 298 loads of laundry — by far more than any other commercial detergent that I have ever bought. Additionally, each tablespoon of my homemade detergent costs $0.0645. For comparison, I can get my favorite brand of commercial detergent for a whopping $0.35 per load on Amazon. The savings per load speaks volumes!

My homemade laundry detergent also contains fewer toxic chemicals — and fewer questionable or unknown chemicals — than commercial varieties. As a detergent, you still must exercise caution around the homemade detergent. I am not a chemist, so I will not even attempt to delve into the science behind commercial detergents versus homemade detergents. But, based on my research, the combination of the ingredients in my homemade concoction appear safer than many commercial options.

Homemade Laundry Detergent 1 Homemade Laundry Detergent 2

Do you make your own laundry detergent? Have you considered making the switch?

Image Credits

Homemade Laundry Detergent 1 © 2014 Heather Johnson
Homemade Laundry Detergent 2 © 2014 Heather Johnson

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