Why I Make My Own DIY Laundry Detergent For My Family

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Why I Make My Own DIY Laundry Detergent For My Family is part of my National Emergency Preparedness Month. I really want to share all my favorite ideas on being prepared for the unexpected. I remember last winter was brutal for so many people. There were ice storms, snow levels at their highest number in years in some states along the East Coast. We had 100-year floods in some areas. Tornadoes, hurricanes, fires. I received emails that people sent me saying they were out of milk for their toddlers and no way to drive to the store to get milk or any critical food items they needed.

I recently received several emails in one week asking for help to know where to start with emergency supplies and food. We take for granted living out west where we can walk into most any store and pick up some #10 cans of food. Even Walmart carries some #10 cans here in Southern Utah. But today I am going to talk about why I make laundry detergent. I do not want to run out of it. I make it for all my daughters so we can all save money. We love the smell of it…but we still all use Gain Fabric softener. Yep, I cannot go without my favorite softener. So I make several 5-gallon containers of laundry detergent and give those to my daughters to help them save on their grocery bill.

I Prefer Dry DIY Laundry Detergent Over Liquid

It is really easy to make laundry detergent, it really is. I prefer the dry over the liquid because I am one of those prepper chicks that like to be prepared for the unexpected. Yep, I will probably never run out of the stuff. I have several years stored in a closet in five-gallon buckets. I could not do that with liquid detergent. I only use 1/2 tablespoon in my front end loader washing machine (HE). I started out using 1 tablespoon but I got the same results with half of that, so now it makes my loads two cents a load. Gotta love the savings.

Grater And Blender

If you have a cheese grater and a blender you can make this stuff. Some people say it makes their cheese grater or blender smell like soap… When I’m done I soak them with a little bleach and rinse them with really hot water and that works out great for me. Then I wash the items to rid them of any bleach residue. This year I used my Bosch grater to grate the Fels-Naptha bars. Now, this makes all the difference in the world. I can grate and blend the detergent so much faster now. Time and money saved.

How To Make Your Own DIY Laundry Detergent YouTube

I have to give total credit to Kendra for showing me how to make laundry detergent. I did a YouTube showing you how to Make Laundry detergent.  I have since invested in a Bosch grater/slicer to use with my Bosch blender to save me time. Here’s the deal, you do not have to invest in a lot of equipment to make laundry detergent. I make it in huge quantities to share with my daughters. You can use a salad shooter or just a plain grater to grate the bars of soap. Any blender will work as long as you make sure it does not overheat. I love the smell of Fels Naptha bars, but I have seen people using castile soap bars as well. I think it is just a personal preference.

On Facebook, I have noticed families getting together on a weeknight to make their own DIY laundry detergent together. What a great idea! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Saving money is a huge thing to all of us!

Make Your Own DIY Laundry Detergent:

  • 1 Fels-Naptha Bar-grated either by hand, food processor, salad shooter-this is what we used
  • 1 cup Borax Detergent Booster
  • 1 cup Super Washing Soda (not regular baking soda)
Instructions
  1. Put these 3 ingredients in a blender to blend and grate the Fels-Naptha even more. After doing this it will look just like the store purchased detergent but will not include all the “fillers”. You will use less product per load and will have less “bubbles”. Remember just having bubbles doesn’t mean clean…..I use 1/2 to 1 tablespoon per load. I have an HE-High Efficiency washer and it works great in regular washing machines as well.

PRINTABLE recipe:  Recipe by Food Storage Moms

Please let me know if you have tried making your own DIY laundry detergent. If you have a different recipe let me know.

21 thoughts on “Why I Make My Own DIY Laundry Detergent For My Family

  • September 6, 2014 at 9:01 am
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    How much would I use for a regular–top loading–washing machine?? We have very hard water.

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    • September 6, 2014 at 10:25 am
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      Hi Trudy, I have heard with very hard water…(I have a water softener) that you must mix with water to make it a liquid. The deal is it takes so little because it does not have the fluff ingredients in it like the national brands. I only use a 1/2 tablespoon. I used to use one full tablespoon but 1/2 tablespoon works really well.

      Reply
  • September 6, 2014 at 9:45 am
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    I want to make my own laundry detergent. I have a hard time keeping white clothes white with the natural brand of detergent I am using. Does your recipe do a good job on whites? Thank you, Sue

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    • September 6, 2014 at 10:28 am
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      Hi Sue!!!!! I really like it because it has FelsNatha bars in it. I still use bleach in with my white towels and washcloths..yes I know people do not like bleach. I am too old to change. LOL! All four of my daughters use the soap. I have 17 grandkids (boys and girls) they love the soap. Some of my white stuff is gray..I am not sure after a few years if they ever stay totally white???? Hugs! Linda

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      • September 6, 2014 at 7:50 pm
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        I also use Fels Naptha soap but I also have Ivory Soap bars stored when I run out of the other.

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        • September 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm
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          Hi Kristi, I have heard people using Ivory Soap! I am just amazed how much money I save. Its nice to know we can use Ivory Soap bars! Thanks so much for stopping by! Linda

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  • September 6, 2014 at 4:45 pm
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    I have been making my own detergent for years and think its great that you are sharing this with others. I use Zote – its a Mexican washing soap that smells great.

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    • September 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm
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      HI Maggi, I and going to look for that Zote Mexican washing soap. I always love hearing new ideas. Thanks so much for sharing your tip with me! I love it! Hugs! Linda

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  • September 6, 2014 at 7:07 pm
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    How do you add it to your HE machine? Sounds dumb I know, but in the laundry or in the soap holder?

    I haven’t made any detergent since I switched to a HE washer.

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    • September 6, 2014 at 7:22 pm
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      Hi Shara, that is a very good question. I lift the deal so you can add the DRY soap. DO NOT put it directly on your clothes. I only use 1/2 tablespoon and I have a large HE machine. Remember you will never see suds because the detergent has zero filler. Good luck! Linda

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  • September 6, 2014 at 7:18 pm
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    I read the recipe and really want to try it. However, I love a super fresh scent to the laundry. I was wondering if the Fels Naptha is enough or if I could add a bottle of Purex crystals? Thoughts?

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    • September 6, 2014 at 7:24 pm
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      Hi Marci, I am like you I need a certain smell or fragrance. Are the Purex Crystals dry? I would for sure. One of my daughters adds a one cup or so of Gain detergent to her two gallon bucket of our detergent we make. I hope this helps. She loves the smell of Gain. It saves so much money! Linda

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  • September 6, 2014 at 7:48 pm
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    Hi Linda, I’ve been making my own dry laundry soap for over a year now and I’m still on my first 5 gallon bucket. It really does go along way. I use a clear cap from an old liquid detergent container and only about 1/2 way to the first line from the bottom. I also use bleach for my whites and I use Lavender, Lemon or Tea Tree Essentail Oil (5 drops of whatever one I choose to use that day) in the rinse cycle and don’t have to use fabric softener. I prefer the Lavender Essential Oil because it really does leave your clothes smelling so fresh. I hardly use my dryer anymore during the warmer months and dry my clothes on drying racks that I set out on my deck in the sun and let the fresh air do its thing. Not using my dryer in the warmer months has really cut my electric bill in half and unplugging unused appliances as well.
    Hope this helps in giving some different suggestions.

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    • September 6, 2014 at 8:27 pm
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      Hi Kristi, wow, I never thought of using Lavendar Essential Oil instead of fabric softener. You comment about the 5 gallon bucket just makes me laugh. This stuff goes a long way, huh? Its the best savings idea ever! I too am so frustrated with electric bills. Luckily I have a gas dryer. I just hope the washer and dryer keep going. I love the smell of clothes that have dried outside. Our utilities here are so high its just awful! I have so many plugs unplugged around the house it almost is comical…”is this one plugged in or not”? Thanks fo stopping by and sharing your ideas. I am going to try the lavendar! Hugs! Linda

      Reply
  • September 6, 2014 at 11:11 pm
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    I definitely prefer dry over liquid.
    Borax, Arm & Hammer washing sodas, and Zote–what can be simpler??
    I have a separate grater for the Zote.
    If the crap hits the you know what, we will appreciate no suds as we do laundry like our grandmothers.

    I read Zote is a whitener. I buy it at Kmart.

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  • September 8, 2014 at 8:18 am
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    I too make my laundry soap using Zote. It grates so much easier than the Fels Naptha. I also make my fabric softener using vinegar, baking soda , and Purex Crystals for scent. You could also use the Gain crystals if that is the scent you like. We have very hard water here in Idaho Falls and the vinegar and baking soda are great for that.

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    • September 8, 2014 at 12:04 pm
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      Hi Kathy, I am going try and make my own fabric softener. Great idea! Linda

      Reply
  • September 9, 2014 at 8:57 pm
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    My friend was in WW2 in Holland. She said that the one thing she willnever be without is SOAP. We should all think about this. Thank you for the recipe.

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    • September 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm
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      Hi Gloria, oh I am so happy to hear this story about your friend from WW2 in Holland. That makes me feel so good! I too feel the need to store laundry detergent. Blessings to you for sharing! Hugs! Linda

      Reply

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