When my kids were little and I had mountains of laundry, I made my own laundry detergent. It was a pain (grating soap, adding ingredients at the right time and "cooking" the mixture) and the end result wasn't very elegant. But it was cheap and it worked. I stopped making it years ago, though. Even though my laundry has decreased dramatically, I may still try this recipe (see below), as it's a powder and doesn't involve cooking.
Currently, I make my own dishwasher detergent (I've been using the same recipe given in boingboing link, given below). It's easy and works better than the Trader Joe's powder I was using.
I use Mrs. Meyer's All-Purpose cleaner, diluted, for general cleaning; and I've always used the vinegar and water mix for glass. I also use plain white vinegar (with a drop or two of scented essential oil if I want to get fancy) for a fabric softener in the washing machine.
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1/2 cup citric acid
- 1/2 cup kosher salt (for scrubbing action)
Each batch yields 24 ounces of detergent. We recommend storing in a container you were going to dispose of anyway, like an old yogurt container or coffee can you can fit it under your kitchen sink. Feel free to double the batch, or multiply to create any amount you’d like.
For a DIY rinse agent, simply fill the compartment with white vinegar.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
Jabs says this is a great first project, “because the recipe that we have for homemade laundry detergent is just 3 simple ingredients. It’s soap — just a bar soap — grated, and mixed with a cup of borax and a cup of washing soda…You just use 2 tablespoons per load. So it’s that simple and it saves so much money.” Matt says most families can save hundreds of dollars a year with this recipe alone.