While looking for a recipe for dishwashing detergent, we stumbled upon a blog post from happymoneysaver.com with a recipe for laundry detergent. We were big fans of the new Tide detergent pods that look like dishwasher pods, but not fans of the price — especially since we always forgot to take a coupon to the store and were constantly running out when it wasn’t on sale.
The blog post promised that the recipe could be made with about $20 in ingredients and would last about a year, so we were sold. Most of the ingredients for homemade detergent can be found at your local supermarket or Wal-Mart. Just look on the lowest shelf in the cleaning supply or laundry detergent aisle. Some of the supplies are available at Target, but we couldn’t find all of them there. If you are a one-stop shopper, Wal-Mart is likely your best bet.
We initially attempted the recipe using Ivory soap because we couldn’t find the flaked soap recommended in the post. It was an EPIC FAIL. Putting soap in your food processor is not the business and, in fact, is not what the instructions call for. Reading is clearly fundamental. We encourage you not to waste your time trying to grind up Ivory soap and hunt down some flaked soap like Zote. It will be so much easier to mix — trust us.
We’ve been using our homemade laundry detergent for about four months now and all of our clothes look and smell fresh and clean, and that includes our stinky running clothes (not that we’ve done much running this year).
We do have one confession: Our first batch of detergent has not lasted a year and it is totally our fault. We must admit we use more than the recommended amount, which is just a couple of tablespoons per load. We actually use a scoop that came with the Oxi-Clean and sometimes Ricks even uses two scoops. We could be wrong since we didn’t weigh it, but looking at the photos on happymoneysaver.com, it didn’t seem like we’d made 18 pounds of detergent.
However, the ingredients are inexpensive enough that even if we made the recipe three or four times a year, we would still come out ahead in the laundry game. When we consider the time and effort it would cost us to clip coupons, diligently wait for sales and then not forget the coupons at home on sale day, it is so worth it. This project is easy, cheap and it works. Consider it Too Thrifty Chicks approved.