It's important to me to live a frugal lifestyle.
For one, we are a family of five living solely on my husband's income. In order for me to stay at home to both raise and educate our children it is imperative that we stretch every dollar that comes our way. We're also working hard on becoming 100% debt-free, so any way I can trim down the monthly budget helps.
But secondly, I get a lot of enjoyment out of being Ma Ingall-ish! (I also like making up terms, apparently.) There's something strangely satisfying about mixing up my own inexpensive cleaning and beauty products - something I can do in mere minutes with just a few basic ingredients.
It makes me feel more self-sufficient. Creative. Even a bit...rebellious. :) (I know. Go ahead and laugh.)
Homemade laundry detergent powder is one of my favorite ways I save money and indulge my inner rebel. It is so easy to make that my 3.5 year old son can do most of the work! You can read about the breakdown of cost compared to standard laundry detergent on many other websites, but for us it costs on average only 3 cents per load.
And yes, because I know you're going to ask: it works just as well as the commercial products. In fact, our clothes are softer and smell sweeter than they ever did while using our old store-bought detergent.
To make your own laundry powder, you will need just three ingredients.
Borax, Washing Soda and Ivory Soap.
(You can substitute Ivory with soaps such as Fels Naptha or Zote - you'll find them in the laundry aisle. I like Ivory because it's very soft and it smells fresh.)
Begin by grating one bar of soap into a bowl. A cheese grater works fabulously well. (Don't worry, it's just soap - it will clean up easily and leave your grater cleaner than ever.)
Beautiful little soap curls.
Next, simply dump your grated soap into a food processor or blender with 1 cup Washing Soda and 1 cup Borax. Blend until it's a fine powder.
You are done.
Store the laundry powder in any container with a lid and use 1 Tbsp for regular loads and 2 Tbsp for heavily soiled loads.
Powdered Laundry Detergent Recipe
- 1 bar soap such as Ivory, Fels Naptha, Zote, etc.
- 1 cup Washing Soda
- 1 cup Borax
Grate soap, then blend into fine powder with the Washing Soda and Borax. Use 1-2 Tbsp per load.
*Note: if you want to boost the cleaning power of the detergent, feel free to mix in up to 1 cup Oxiclean.
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