Budgeting and cutting household costs has been at the forefront my mind for quite some time now. Saving more money around the house means more money to use to pay off school debt, which is now our number one priority in life (something I never thought I’d say if you’d had asked me as a teenager). At any rate, I’d become particularly frustrated with the cost of laundry detergents and decided to find a recipe online to make my own.
I came across a recipe on YouTube by One Good Thing by Jillee. Her video “Make a Year’s Worth of Laundry Soap for $30” details the process and the specific products she likes to use.
Her recipe detailed on her blog calls for:
- 3 laundry bars, grated
- 1 box Borax
- 1 box washing soda
- 2 cups of baking soda
- 2 (55 oz.) containers of oxygen bleach
- 1-2 containers of fabric softener crystals
Jill lists pricing in her blog post so you can see how she comes to that $30US figure, as well as suggested brands to purchase.
How I Make My Laundry Detergent
I actually wrote the recipe down this time last year, and set it aside for then we ran out of our store-bought un-scented liquid detergent. After we moved to our new apartment in May, I was finally out of the liquid commercial laundry detergent and set out to pick up my ingredients.
I did price compare at Dollar Tree, two local grocery stores, CVS Pharmacy, and Walmart. After a few weeks of scoping out prices and options, I ended up purchasing all of my items at Walmart. I’ll list the prices I paid (in USD) here:
- 3 laundry bars, grated ($1.76/bar)
- 1 box Borax ($3.97)
- 1 box washing soda ($3.95)
- 2 cups of baking soda ($2.16 for 16 oz box)
- 2 (55 oz) containers of oxygen bleach ($1.97 for 29 oz of Purex2)
Total cost: $23.24 USD for one year’s worth of laundry powder.
Storing Your Homemade Laundry Detergent
Jill stores her powdered detergent in a large Anchor brand jar in her laundry room. For me that wasn’t sensible, or possible. I felt like something air-tight would be a better option, especially if the cats somehow managed to get near it, they wouldn’t be able to open it, but also to keep the products fresh. We don’t have enough room to store one large container as we have a closet that is about 8-inches deep to store these items in, so I had to think about what was the best option for us.
Quite a few bloggers/YouTube-ers suggest storing your detergent in plastic food-safe containers. This option is less expensive than glass and you can also pick up containers that are squared, or stack wherever you’d like to store them. I find that feature highly appealing. For most people, I’d assume this option would work perfectly.
We’ve been trying to cut down on the amount of plastic that comes into our household for several reasons, so the thought of purchasing plastic containers to store our detergent felt a little counterproductive. If this isn’t a part of your household values, plastic would be the perfect option for you (and would save you some cash for sure).
Slightly more expensive, glass was the best fit for our family. Durable and sustainable, glass containers will stand up better to regular use (I can’t tell you how many plastic lids I’ve cracked in my short adult life) and hopefully stand the test of time. Instead of picking up one large container, I decided to spend a little more and get two smaller glass containers. We aren’t particularly sure where we’ll end up, or how large our home will be, so two smaller containers seemed to be a more versatile long-term investment.
I went with Ball decorative Mason jars, again purchased at Walmart.