Laundry Detergent, Again

This week I had to make laundry detergent again. It’s pretty labor intensive, but once it’s done I don’t need to do it again for 15 or 16 months so it’s not so bad.

I last made detergent in March 2014. The first load using that batch was washed on March 23. We recorded every load of laundry for the last 16 months just so we could see how many loads that batch would wash. The answer? 260.


The ingredients for the batch last year cost $20.20. That means each load cost us 7.75 cents. That’s about half the price per load for cheap stuff at the grocery store (and this stuff works better!).


This time around I decided to put the Purex Crystals in again. They are totally necessary, but our clothes weren’t quite as soft. The scent doesn’t linger in the clothes after they are dried, but the softness does.

4 lb 12 oz box of Borax – $3.97 (59 cents more than last year)
3 lb 7 oz box of Super Washing Soda – $3.97 (73 cents more than last year)
3 lb container of Oxiclean – $6.98 (54 cents less than last year)
4 lb box of Baking Soda – $2.12 (6 cents less than last year)
4 bars Fels Naptha – $3.88 (97 cents each – same price as last year)
3 18 oz containers of Purex Crystals – $8.91 ($2.97 each)
Total Cost: $29.83 ($9.63 more than last year; 72 cents more if you don’t count the Purex Crystals since I didn’t use them in last year’s batch)

The addition of the Purex Crystals means we’ll get 40ish more loads out of it, so about 300 loads total. That means the cost per load with the Crystals will be about 10 cents. I’m not keeping track this time, though. The estimate will have to be good enough.

For the laundry detergent recipe, go here. To see pictures of me making the detergent step by step, go here (I whirred the soap in the Ninja longer this time so it was completely powdered with no bigger pieces at all; I put the ingredients into the buckets 1/3 at a time to make it easier to mix thoroughly; I discovered using a potato masher works fabulously to mix everything and also makes it easy to break up any lumps that have formed in the borax in the box).

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