Intentional Finances: Homemade Laundry Detergent

As I am seeking to be intentional in all areas of life, that means intentional finances, too. I believe that everything I have is God’s, he just entrusts his world and his resources to me, including my finances. So I want to be the best steward of our money as I can be! That means seeking to live a frugal life and finding creative ways to save money!


For a while now, my husband and I have been interested in making our own homemade laundry detergent. We’ve heard that making your own cuts down on costs and gives you the control over what chemicals go into your wash. Since our store-bought soap is almost out, we decided it was the perfect time to try our hand at it.

I spent a little time online looking up various recipes and tips about it. I found a lot of great information out there, especially since many people nowadays are choosing to make homemade detergent as a way to live a more natural life. After comparing multiple sources of information, this is the basic recipe I found across the board:

Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent



1 bar laundry bar soap (Such as Zote, Fels-Nephta, Ivory, Dr. Bronners)

1 box Washing Soda

1 box Borax

(All of these ingredients were found in the laundry aisle at our grocery store)



1. Grate the bar of laundry soap with a cheese grater. We chose to use pink Zote soap. Smells pretty good! For grating, I placed a sheet of wax paper down to catch the grated bits.


DSCN0082The shavings look like confetti!

2. In a large bowl, combine 2 parts borax & 2 parts washing soda to 1 part soap. Our soap was 14.1 oz (according the wrapper) so we measured out 28 oz of both borax & washing soda (using our liquid measuring cup). Mix together with a spoon.

DSCN0083Such a handsome guy!



3. Blend mixture in a blender or food processor. We used our Magic Bullet and blended about 1 cup at a time. This will create a fine powder that will easily dissolve in cold water loads. Place powder in a sealed container. We used an empty plastic canister.


DSCN0088I feel like Vanna White, modeling the finished product. 😉


How to use:

For small loads use 1 Tablespoon, for medium use 2 Tablespoons, and for large loads use 3 Tablespoons.


We decided to give it a try right away. My husband actually said, “Now I’m excited to do the laundry”! Haha. Looks like it worked great and our clothes smell nice and fresh!


In total, we made 140 Tablespoons of detergent. How many loads this lasts us will just depend on what size of loads we run. This amount would make about 140 small loads, 70 medium loads, or 46 large loads. From my estimations, it cost us $4.21 to make this batch.

Kevin and I will keep tally of how many loads we get out of our batch and I’ll update with the final numbers. But if my estimations are correct, we are definitely saving money!


Today we priced some other detergents at Wal-Mart. Here are the prices we found (these are all liquid detergents):

50 small loads Purex $3.97

100 small loads Purex $6.97

64 small loads Tide $4.97

25 small loads Gain $4.97


Have fun making your own detergent! This is just one of many ways to be intentional in your finances.


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