Country Girl Cleans Up (her laundry).

For those of you who haven’t heard it’s Women’s Money Week. The idea behind WMW is to encourage women to speak openly and candidly about money and finances. I recommend you check out the featured articles for each topic, each day, woman or not. There are many pf bloggers pitching in and writing some pretty darn amazing posts for WMW. There’s also an ultimate list of women money bloggers to check out. It even includes me! I was pretty excited to be included on the list. I don’t usually get associated with the word ultimate, unless it’s connected to words like: bookworm or control-freak, so it’s a nice change.

I recently got a new distraction: Pinterest. Yes, I have succumbed to the latest internet craze, and I don’t regret it one bit. I get a kick out of seeing all the neat and creative stuff that people have come up with. I’m still getting the hang of it all, but you can check out my boards and pins at Let me know if you’re on the newest tool of procrastination, because I’d love to see your boards. I’ve gotten a couple of ideas so far from Pinterest – mostly for crafty diy-type things and recipes, but I’m going to have to watch myself, otherwise I’ll end up with a to-do list a country-mile long and spending way too much money on supplies. Makes me wonder if Pinterest isn’t in cahoots with big-craft.

One of the first things I found on Pinterest was a recipe for diy laundry detergent. I felt like I won the Pinterest lottery, until about five seconds later when I realized the site is full of diy laundry detergent recipes. No matter, I was pretty excited to gather the ingredients and make myself some laundry detergent. I found a couple recipes and made a hybrid type detergent based on what I could find in local stores. Here’s what I used:

Cat tail not necessary.

1 (2kg) box of Borax – bought at the grocery store
1.5 kg of washing soda (I bought it in a 3 kg box) – found this in the grocery store
1.5 kg of baking soda (or 3/4 of a 2 kg box)
2 bars of sunlight soap (lemony-fresh!) – found at walmart
1360 g of Oxy-Clean or the no-name equivalent – found at walmart

The first step is making laundry soap is finding a container big enough to hold all the ingredients and that will be easy to mix them together in. I used a garbage container that I lined with a garbage bag. Classy, I know. A five gallon pail would work too, in case you don’t have a spare garbage container lying around. Next, grate the soap up. I used the fine side of my cheese grater.


It only took me about 15 minutes to grate both bars of soap and at the end, I had a super clean cheese grater.

The next step was mixing all the ingredients together. I dumped the ingredients in the garbage bag and then mixed them with a big wooden spoon. Next time, I think I’ll add a little of each ingredient at a time, which might cut down on the mixing. The mixing is the hardest part of the whole exercise. Once I had everything mixed up, I pulled out my surplus glass jars and filled them up with my laundry detergent. I filled up two 2-litre jars as well as another 3-litre container with all my detergent.


I use the scoops that came with the no-name oxy-clean as little measuring cups for my detergent. I use about 1 tablespoon per full load of wash.

I did laundry on the weekend and I have to say, I’m impressed with the detergent so far. I wash using cold water and a top-loading machine, and the water here is really, really hard – most commercial laundry detergents won’t completely dissolve in the water, even though I use very little of it and buy the cold-water formulation. Often I have to run my wash through an extra rinse cycle just to get the detergent out. This detergent had no problems with the hard water, so no extra rinse cycle – yay! One thing I noticed is that the homemade stuff doesn’t get sudsy like the store-brought, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect on the cleaning power. My stuff came out the washer clean and that’s what really matters. Also, this soap doesn’t leave any linger scents on your clothes after they’ve been washed. If you really want a scented laundry soap, you could add those fabric softener crystals into the mix.

It cost me just short of $18 to make this batch, and I figure I have approximately 473 tablespoons of detergent. This equates to a detergent cost of $0.04 per load. Frugal and effective!

Do you use home-made laundry detergent or other cleaners in place of store-bought? Are there any store-bought products you would never give up?

Categories: DIY | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Country Girl Cleans Up (her laundry).

  1. I don’t do homemade detergent… when I use my grater, I use it to zest oranges for my cranberry-orange scones! LOL. Store-bought products I wouldn’t give up… probably something to do with skincare. I’m a little picky when it comes to that, because once I figure out something works I don’t want to mess with it.

  2. Hmmm…..I want to try this but isn’t borax bad for you? Or maybe it’s not? Idk. I just know that we use that to get rid of the fleas and we put them underneath the deck. I will probably do some research now because I really want to try this. Laundry detergent is so expensive. Right now we are just using oxy-clean as laundry detergent 😦

    • You don’t want to eat or inhale borax, and of course ladies who are preggers should avoid it, like almost everything else. I feel pretty confident using it though for laundry, because it’s not a big amount, it’s getting washed out, and I don’t lick my clothes, so I’m not ingesting it. 😉

      Of course, it’s up to you whether or not you feel confident that it’s safe. You could always leave out the borax and see if that works.

  3. Wow that seems very easy and cheap! I wonder how it works for people who have sensitive skin? Definitely going to try, either way.

    • It is really really easy. Unfortunately, I don’t have overly sensitive skin so I can’t say one way or another about that. I’ve seen similar recipes though and people say it’s good for sensitive skin. Might be worth a shot!

  4. I’ve always “wanted” to, but haven’t as of yet. We have a HE washer though, so not sure if it would be ok to use or not. It’s fairly new, so not really sure if i’d want to “experiment” either. 😉

  5. Usually when I see instructions for making your own laundry detergent they look somewhat intimidating. This looks really easy! Have you noticed any differences in how well your laundry comes out? I’m thinking I might make a batch!

  6. *I mean since you did the original loads. I’m wondering if you notice a residue build up over time?

    • I’m really happy with this detergent so far. Before I was using liquid detergent and a very small amount at that, and I was finding the clothes still felt soapy or had residue soap on them. I only use about a tablespoon of the homemade detergent and it doesn’t seem to leave any residue at all. I’m really happy with it so far. I gave a sample to my officemate to try, so I’ll ask her what she thinks and let you know what she says.

  7. Margarita

    I’m really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A number of my blog audience have complained about my website not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any ideas to help fix this issue?

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