Homemade Laundry Detergent: Cost – $2 per 180 loads {up to 600 HE loads}

Homemade Laundry Detergent? Call me skeptical at first!

For the past few years I have been able to get some pretty great deals on laundry detergent. Previous to couponing, having to buy Tide almost made me cry! I didn’t know/want to try other brands and I wasn’t using coupons, and it was SO expensive, it seemed like we were always out!

Using coupons I was able to branch out and try different kinds saving a lot of money, I also was able to stock up at really low prices so I never saw the need to cut that savings even further. Until…. I was challenged by a well meaning friend to “save the environment” and cut back on waste from the bottles and use better products for my kids. SO I TRIED HOMEMADE LAUNDRY DETERGENT….

Surprisingly, it worked! It was SUPER cheap to make, and it really worked. I will admit I was surprised. But, we have been using it for about 6 months now, I alternate between what I have on hand and the homemade. I have experimented with adding scented oils ( it doesn’t stain your clothes) for scent, because quite honestly that was what I liked about Tide, and I am pleased with the result.

It was very QUICK to make and not a hassle.

  • Tide has risen in price over 60% in 2 years.
  • People are stealing it and reselling it because of the price increase.
  • People think it takes a long time to make or won’t clean as well. ( I have tested it and it does work good!)
  • The supplies I am bringing¬†will wash 180 loads for a top-load machine, or 600+ for a front loader.
  • Better for the environment, less waste, safer for children

Cost for Tide – $22 for 96 loads
Cost Homemade – $2 for 180 loads
I figure over a year I am spending $114 on Tide
If I make my own I spend $6

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  1. Jaime says

    You should look up the homemade laundry detergent recipes on “www.livingonadime.com”. I think they offer recipes for the liquid and the powder versions. I think making the powder version would be easier and wouldn’t take as long to make. Just search the word “laundry” on their site and read through the posts and the comments sections for those posts. I love reading the comments people make because they offer so much useful information in their comments beside what was in the original posts.

  2. Sharra says

    Amazing! I was just looking into this yesterday! What fragrances have you tried that you like the best and what does the smell compare to (tide, gain,etc.)?? Also, have you tried any dishwasher detergent recipes?

    Thank you for this!

      • amanda says

        I use pretty much the same recipe. I love it! My husband did miss the scent of laundry detergent so I started adding in either the Purex crystals or Downy unstoppables. Makes the cost go up, but still cheaper than buying a bottle of detergent.

    • Tiffany says

      Alvin Corn Homemade Glass Cleaner
      1/4 c. rubbing alcohol
      1/4 c. white vinegar
      1 Tbsp cornstarch
      2 c. warm water

  3. cory says

    I am ALL OVER this! I have wanted to try for a long time, but just not sure it would work as well as the store stuff. Thank you for posting AFTER you have been using it for as long as you have. I will be glad to have one less thing to not make me go crazy when low in the stockpile :)

  4. Lydia says

    How much do all the ingredients add up to, where do I find them or can you purchase them at walmart?

    • Tiffany says

      Yes! You can find them all at Walmart or even the grocery store. The amount the I had was enough for 3 batches ( about 2 years for me) you would have needed an extra 2 bars of soap at $.97 each. But the total cost was $17.

  5. says

    It may turn whites gray in some types of water. I loved it and would still use it but I homeschool three baseball playing boys and do not have to do the proper steps to get the colthes back the way they were.
    * Soft scrub cleaner Take baking soda, liquid dish soap and enough water to make a paste. Works great and is super cheap.

  6. Cecilia says

    I have been making my own laundry soap for the past 4 years, and I love it! The recipe I make is a little modified, I use 1/2 cup Borax, 1 cup washing soda, and I use Kirk’s Hardwater Castile Soap. I “assemble” it the same way you do. I found that the Kirk’s soap is very gentle on my son with sensitive skin and has psoriasis. You can find it with the other bar soaps in Kroger. Just wanted to give you an option for people with sensitive skin or allergies. Another note, I ave a front loading washer, and this soap helps keep the drum clean and the mold down because of the low sudsing. Thanks for all you do on your blog. You are and have been my home page for 2 years! Cecilia

  7. Michelle Webb says

    Does anyone have a problem with the homemade version turning your whites a dingy gray? I made it and used the Duggar recipe and cannot use it on my whites. I save my Tide for that. I have a bar of zote and wanted to try that in a powdered version with oxy clean powder.

    Would love to hear if anyone else shares my issue with dingy whites.

    • Jahaira says

      Hi, zote is great for your laundrying needs, i live in Tijuana and this soap rocks over here above any other laundry soap, so go ahead using it with your whites, I recomend the white one over the pink (or any other color you see) on your whites, it leaves my 5 year old active taekwon do white uniform like new (keep in mind he leaves the house in white and comes back in a brownish uniform, his this active) so its this good, and actually you can make this recipe using zote instead of Fels Naptha its also low suds and tough on dirt, you can pre-treat with it as well, hope what i said helps, happy washing :)

  8. Rosa says

    Great idea can’t wait to try it! Does anyone know if this will work with High Efficiency (HE) washers?

  9. Chris says

    If you are leaning green. The left over borax also makes a great toilet bowl cleaner, I have been using it for years. Also hot water, vinegar, and a few drops of your favorite scented oil makes a great floor cleaner. I add a few drops of soap if the floor is really muddy.

  10. karla belote says

    You say it works on HE washers? Just curious, what about it makes it ok.? Sorry to double check but knowning me…. I would be the one to mess up the washer. Lol!

  11. Martha says

    @Michelle the zote is really good on whites, my mother wou Felsld shave it & melt it to use as detergent when we were little. I recently tried homemade detergent I like it, but it doesn’t get my whites as good. I will try the zote instead of the Fels Naptha. @ Tiffany. By the I love your website.

    • Betsy says

      You may have hard water in your area. I use a recipe by Sage255 off youtube. I use one bar of fels naptha, 2 cups of washing soda and 1 cup of borax. I do not have any trouble with my whites being dingy. Some others that have has also added a teaspoon of TSP to the washer when washing whites. This is the phosphate additive that laundry detergent manufactures are no longer to add.

  12. Brittany says

    I made this recipe to exact, other than I added some downy unstoppables. My whole house still smells great from melting the soap & unstoppables, however, I went to check on it & stir it this morning after sitting overnight & it does not have a gel consistency that your directions said it would. It is still actually pretty watery and a little frothy on the top before I stirred it. Is this normal?

    • Tiffany says

      Yes mine is always a little frothy. It is pretty thick though, like well I can’t think of something that consistency… maybe wallpaper paste? No thinner than that.

    • Anonymous says

      I tried doing this too since I felt like the essential oils got too expensive with the amount you end up using. My detergent was gelling nicely until I added the unstoppables, at which point the suspension totally broke. I make the detergent according to the recipe and just add the crystals directly to the wash now.

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