Make & Use Your Homemade Laundry Detergent – 4 Week Frugal Challenge

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It’s time for a new frugal challenge.  For the next 4 weeks I want to challenge you to make and use your own laundry detergent.  I am a Tide girl, and I now make my own- so there’s proof that it’s good quality stuff!  You can make the equivalent of 300 oz of detergent in about an hour’s time for less than $2!  The cost to make this size batch like Tide is about $5.50 (compared to $40 to buy it on sale or $20 on sale with coupons) . I was hesitant to make so much at first, so I halved the batch, but it’s nearly used now and I love it!

For this week you have one task only: Go to the store and buy the ingredients.

where to find borax washing soda and fels naptha or zote in the store

You’ll probably find them on the laundry aisle in the tiny little section with stain removers, starches and dyes or near the cleaning supplies.  I snapped this picture when I was in Walmart last month.  As you can see there’s only one of each needed item, and you know nearly the rest of the aisle is filled with premade detergents.  The stores don’t want you to realize how easy it is!!!!

You’ll need Borax, Washing Soda, Baking Soda, a bar of laundry soap, and about 8 loads of your favorite laundry detergent.  Walmart sells Fels-Naptha soap that is made by the Dial company.  The grocery stores in my area all sell Zote bars.  Either one will work just fine.  If you can’t find one, be sure to look at the labels on any empty spots on the shelf, as they may certainly be out with such a small inventory.    You’ll also need some sort of container to mix it and store it all in.  Some people buy 5 gallon buckets, but I used a large sterlite storage tub just fine.

It will cost you between $10 and $15 depending on the store you shop at and if you need to buy the baking soda (we’ll only need 1/2 – 1 cup if you already have some at home) and your favorite detergent. Keep in mind that the Borax and sodas will be enough for 7-9 full batches of detergent though, so the next time you go to make it, all you’ll need is the $1 bar of soap!
That’s it for the challenge this week!  Find room in your budget to squeeze in $10-$15 to purchase materials and next week I’ll have a video for you of how to make it!


  1. Wooohooo, another convert!! Took ya long enough. 😉

    I LOVE my laundry soap. I will only add that it does NOT suds up like store bought, it will be a gelatinous goo (unless you add just a little store bought, which I do), and it is perfectly safe for HE washers.

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