Can you really save money making your own laundry detergent?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:58

If you have wondered if you could actually save much money by making your own laundry detergent, we have done the math for you :)

We checked out Tide Liquid, 2x concentrate in the original scent, and it checks in at $18 for a bottle of 48 loads at Netgrocer.  Expensive, especially if your family is large and you are doing many loads of laundry each week.

Now, let’s compare it to our own liquid laundry detergent recipe.  It is enough for about 50 loads of laundry.

But how much does it cost to make?

One box of Washing Soda is $9.28 (6 cups in the box, enough for 3 batches, so $3.09 per batch)
Fels-Naptha Soap is $1.79 for two bars.
Borax is $3.98 (8 cups in the box, enough for 4 batches, so $1 per batch)

All prices taken from Amazon.com today, for the most accurate pricing, and this comes in at $15.05 to buy the supplies initially… BUT remember the boxes of washing soda and borax make multiple batches… so what is the real cost per batch?   $5.88 for 50 loads of laundry… which works out to TWELVE CENTS per load!  And Tide?  THIRTY-EIGHT CENTS per load.

So for maybe 10 or 15 of work, you are saving two and a half times the cost of commercial detergent, simply by making your own at home.

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10 Responses to “Can you really save money making your own laundry detergent?”

  1. Lora says:

    November 23rd, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    I was wondering do you need to use seperate kitchen utensils when making this soap? I just finished making it and was telling my sister all about it, she told me that I shouldnt use anything I used to make the soap again on food, is this true>>???

  2. Angela says:

    January 1st, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    I was wondering if this detergent is safe to use in high efficiency machines? I have a large family and would love to save money on laundry, but have had problems in the past with using regular laundry soap vs the “he” soap. If it’s ok to use on them, I”m in!!

  3. Keta says:

    January 28th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Angela- yes I use homemade liquid detergent in my HE machine. Infact the main issue with detergents is the sudsing factor, the homemade does NOT have much suds there for it is ideal for the machines. They are HE becuase they use less water and one of the primary ingredients in the home made detergent is water so make some up and have fun.

  4. Jennie says:

    April 27th, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I have another question regarding the homemade laudry detergent and HE machines. Would you use the same amount as in a regular machine or less?

  5. KIm says:

    September 24th, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    BTW..coupons and sales i have gotten tide as cheap as 11.5C a load..so yes one can buy it cheaper then making it.

  6. Jamie says:

    December 10th, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Does the homeade detergent work as well as store bought, for instance Tide? I have 2 boys and a girl. All 3 are very hard on their clothes, so I need them to be clean!!

  7. Anna says:

    April 28th, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Hi, great tips, can anyone please tell me what could be used as an alternative to Borax, I can’t get it (I live in europe). Thank you!

  8. Kimberly Thompson says:

    September 28th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Making a batch tonight! whooo!

  9. Bianca says:

    February 16th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    What is the recipe for homemade detergent?

  10. Mary G. says:

    December 8th, 2012 at 10:29 am

    A couple of notes:

    To remove body odors (my hubby and teen both have issues with this), you’ll need to add baking soda to your initial load and let it SOAK for at least 10-20 minutes, then complete the load.

    If you don’t want to use fabric softeners, add white vinegar to your rinse load (some folks say use baking soda, but that can leave a powder residue)

    The price can go up a bit if you add essential oils to your detergent for fragrance, but I LOVE adding lemon/orange to mine, it makes my clothes smell SO GOOD. It only adds maybe 40 cents to the cost of the batch, so about a penny per load. Well worth it!

    Finally, I hang my clothes out on a line rather than using a dryer. Wearing nitrile surgical gloves while hanging the clothes in winter keeps my hands dry, so a bit warmer. Fingers still get cold, but not AS cold as getting them directly wet.