I did it.

I made my own laundry detergent.

I watched this youtube video and decided that it looked easy enough. And, yes, it's safe for front loaders and septic systems according to various reviews that I read. (I should have kept track of them but I didn't so forgive me for the lack of specific reference here.)

I found every item that I needed at Walmart on the laundry cleaning supply aisle. Here's the cost breakdown for you:

Fels Naptha Laundry Bar                 .97
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda     3.50
Borax                                             3.38
Oxi Clean*                                  14.98
Subtotal                                       22.83
Tax                                                2.23
Total                                            25.06

This is the initial investment for the ingredients. *The Oxi Clean is an optional ingredient and I bought mine at Sam's Club so I wound up with the 11 pound box.

When the cost is broken down to a six gallon recipe it looks like this:

Fels Naptha Laundry Bar                 .97
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda       .25
Borax                                               .35
Oxi Clean*                                      .34
Subtotal                                          1.91
Tax                                                  .19
Total                                              2.10 = .35/gallon

Am I missing something here??? I paid over $12 for a gallon at Sam's!! And I choose the slightly more expensive brand because I don't want any added colors or fragrances. (Yeah, I ask the manufacturer to use less stuff in their product and they charge me more...)


I didn't take photos of the process... it seemed silly to waste the time when the video has already been made. But I will post the recipe and directions if you don't require the visual of a video.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Fels Naptha - one 5.5oz bar
Washing Soda - 1/2c
Borax - 1c
Oxi Clean (optional) - 1/2c

Grate the Fels Naptha and dissolve it on the stove in four cups of water. Don't let the water boil too much and it will require constant attention. Just keep working it until it's completely dissolved - no lumps.

Fill a 5 or 6 gallon bucket with three gallons of hot tap water. I measured it out and then marked the outside of the bucket for future batches. In fact, I wrote the recipe on the side of the bucket as well.

Pour the dissolved laundry bar in the bucket of water and stir to incorporate. Then, add each of the powders making sure that you dissolve each one *completely*. Easy schmeasy.

Cover it and let it cure for 24 hours.

So here's where you find me... I just uncapped the bucket and it's gelled and kinda cool lookin'. One person suggested breaking up the gelled consistency  by giving it a good stir but I took it a little further and used a drill paint stirrer. Funny, huh? The boys (and girl) were happy to assist with the power tools...

At this point I am saving my current laundry dispenser to refill and asking my neighbor if she would save hers for me as well. You are supposed to fill it half way with water and the rest of the way with the laundry detergent. It requires shaking before each use but I think if you blend it up ahead that it won't be so bad according to one review that I read. We'll see, huh?

Well, I guess this will have to be supplemented with reviews on the cleaning power it holds. I'll get back with you after a few loads of laundry. I do at least two a day so it won't be too long. And let me know of you try it too! Happy laundering!!!