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Laundry detergent is one of those items that can be a little bit of a hassle. It always seems like no matter how big a bottle you get, you end up running out two weeks later. And it usually happens just as you’re putting in a much-needed laundry load to wash.

It’s during those frustrating times that we wish we could just have a lifetime’s supply of laundry detergent so we never have to rush to the store at 9:00 p.m. in order to wash the shirt we need for work the next day.

But it turns out that we can make our own laundry soap if we feel so inclined to not just save money, but also save ourselves the headache of constantly running out of laundry detergent at the most inopportune times. And all the ingredients needed can be bought for just under $20. The process to make the soap isn’t all that time-consuming either.

To start, here are the ingredients you’ll need:

Feld Naptha Soap

This soap brand has been around for years and is very reliable as a cleaning source. Most grocery stores will carry it in their laundry section. If you can’t find Feld Naptha Soap then you can easily substitute Ivory soap instead. Or, if you have your heart set on Feld, you can purchase it online for roughly $1.99 per bar – not bad at all.

Washing Soda

This ingredient is different from baking soda or soda ash. Make sure it’s specifically washing soda. This white powder is used to remove both dirt and odors. The best washing soda is made by Arm & Hammer, and it usually is sold in the laundry aisle of most stores. But if you’re feeling particularly experimental, you can create your own washing soda using pure baking soda. Pure baking soda has a NaHCO3 chemical makeup – which is 2 sodium, 1 carbon, and 3 oxygen molecules – and when it is heated to 400 degrees for half an hour it will change. The baking soda will become more powdery with small crystal-like clumps. It will also become duller in color. If you do buy it already made, you’re looking at spending more than $2.99.


Borax occurs naturally, and it works fantastic for whitening clothes and removing odors. Plus, it can also be used to clean other household items like pots and pans. But it also works great in the bathroom as well as on carpets. However, this wonder ingredient might be a little harder and a little more expensive to procure. But realistically, it won’t cost you much more than $5.99.


Once you have all the items, grate down the soap bar before adding 3 parts of grated soap to 1 part washing soda and 1 part borax. Mix these three ingredients into a large, resealable container. If you want to make it smell a particular way, you can add essential oils, such as floral scents, to give it the smell you so desire. Then, every time you do a wash all you need to do is add 1 tablespoon of the mixture to your washing machine. Or, if you have a bigger load of laundry you can add 2 tablespoons to the machine.

What do you think of making your own laundry detergent? Would you ever try it? Let us know!

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