Homemade Laundry Soap and Dishwasher Detergent

I enjoy a cheap thrill, especially when it includes getting a great deal on something I don’t want to spend a lot of money on. I’ll spend some money on makeup and skin care products at Clinique, but laundry soap and dishwasher detergent? Ugh… as long as the product gets the job done, I don’t care what brand it is.

I saw recipes on Pinterest a while back for both laundry soap and dishwasher detergent. I spent a whole evening researching recipes, reading comments and quickly discarding any that seemed overly complicated. Here are the recipes I’ve modified to serve my own purposes. Neither recipe took very long to make- probably an hour or so total for both, including clean up.

Homemade Laundry Soap from blogger Being Creating to Keep My Sanity:

1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax
1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (3 lb 7 oz)
3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap

I found all of the items in the detergent aisle at Walmart, except the baking soda, which I found in the baking aisle. I chopped the bar soap into tiny pieces in my food processor and then mixed all of the ingredients together in a 5 gallon bucket (lined with a plastic garbage bag for easy clean-up). The original recipe calls for adding Oxi-Clean powder, but I didn’t since my family doesn’t do well with heavily scented laundry. I didn’t notice the clothes becoming dingy, so the Oxi-Clean is completely optional.

I store the detergent in 2 gallon-sized clear plastic containers from Walmart and use 2 Tablespoons per load. (I don’t have a HE washer, but based on other blogs I’ve seen, this recipe seems to work well for those as well, using the same 2 Tablespoons per load).

Homemade dishwasher detergent from blogger Being Creating to Keep My Sanity:

1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax
1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (55 oz or 3 lbs 7 oz)
3 cups Epsom Salt
1/4 container Citric Acid (found in the canning section at Walmart)

The original recipe calls for LemiShine as a rinse agent, but I tried that and it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. Instead, I pour a couple of swigs (technical term of course) of distilled white vinegar in the bottom of my dishwasher before starting the load. I store the detergent in a gallon-sized clear plastic container from Walmart and use a coffee scoop to measure. The original recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon per load, but I think 2 Tablespoons works better.

I made batches of both the laundry and dishwasher detergent last November and am just now getting close to running out (though I have been out of town a lot recently). Still… a little bit of money goes a long ways on these detergents and it leaves me with more money to spend on things that are actually important. Like my face and hair. 🙂

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