MagPad Dinner Table

MagPad Dinner Table

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Mary Hunt published a recipe for laundry detergent in our local paper.  I gave it a try and really like the end results.  (Especially the cost...she claims it is 3 to 5 cents per load.)

click on article to read

 Quick and Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

3 tablespoons borax
3 tablespoons washing soda
2 tablespoons Original Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid.

Find a one-gallon container with a tight -fitting lid.  Pour in the borax, washing soda and liquid Dawn.  Add two cups of very hot water.  Apply the lid and shake until the soda and borax have dissolved.  Now fill the container with cold water.  reapply the lid, label and you're done.  To use:  Add 1 to 2 cups to each load of laundry depending on the size and soil levels.

Note:  Unlike commercial detergents, this is very thin - like water.  That's the way it's supposed to be.  Even though this is not a thick liquid, it works just as well, so don't let that concern you.  Instead start thinking of how you'll use the money you're go longer spending on pricey commercial laundry detergent!

Note #2:  Mary later wrote another column with a concentrated version.  The ingredients are still the same.

Concentrated version:

3/4 cup washing soda
3/4 cup borax
1/2 cup Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid
1 gallon hot water.

Use 1/4 cup of the concentrate per load of laundry.  (You can experiment until you discover the least you can use in your washer.  If you use too much detergent you'll have trouble getting it all out in the rinse.  Hint:  If your laundry comes out of the dryer stiff and scratchy, that's a sure sign that the detergent did not rinse out properly.)  

Mary Hunt is the founder of, a personal finance member website.  

I bought my ingredients at Walmart.  For my one-gallon container with a tight fitting lid, I used an old 1 gallon water container from Costco.  I'll have to be sure to label it as laundry detergent so no one will think it is blue Kool-Aid and try to drink it. I also noticed that it was hard to dissolve the powders just by shaking it in the hot water.  I put the powders and hot water in a pot and heated and stirred until it was dissolved.  I put in the Dawn dishsoap last so it wouldn't suds up when I added the last of the water.    


Rebecca Carter said...

Thanks for this great idea. I can't wait to try it - what a money saver!!

Katie said...

Kathleen, I started making this same recipe a few months ago and really like it. The website I got it from is It is a great website that has tons of homemade cleaning ideas. I now make all my own cleaners too. An idea I added to this was to add Downey Unstoppables (kind of pricey but I only add a couple tablespoons to an entire batch.) It dissolves in the hot water and it makes it smells so good!

Katie said...

I just looked a little closer at your article and noticed she gave reference to the blog I mentioned. If you haven't already check it out, you will love it!