Making your own laundry detergent can save you a few hundred dollars every year, but you may be leary of trying it for fear the laundry detergent won’t get your clothes clean.
Western New York shoppers can find the ingredients to make your own laundry soap at local retailers:
- Budwey’s Markets (3 locations; check the website for the location near you)
- Tops Markets (check the website for the location near you)
- Wegmans (check the website for the location near you)
Click HERE to get the recipe to make your own laundry detergent
The benefits of making your own laundry soap:
- Savings: if you’re family is like ours, you’ll do about 20 to 25 loads of laundry per week, on average. At 1cent per load, that’s only $13 per year spent on laundry detergent. In addition, all the products you buy to make your own laundry soap can do double duty to make other household cleaners.
- Allergies: there’s no dyes, no perfumes (other than the scent of Fels Naptha or Ivory soap or any essential oil you add) in your homemade laundry soap. If you or a family member has sensitive skin or dye and perfume allergies, you don’t have to worry or buy special laundry soap.
- Go Green: using less chemicals and more natural products is good for the environment.
Frequently asked questions about using homemade laundry detergent:
- Will this laundry soap work in High Efficiency (HE) washers?
- I personally do not have an HE washer, so I have no personal experience. However, friends who do have HE washers have said they have had no problems with homemade laundry soap. Use 1/4 cup for front loading HE washing machines.
- Will my heavily soiled clothes come clean? Will my clothes still have an odor?
- I have used this recipe for over 10 years, and I’ve never found the soap to be a problem for ordinary dirt or odors.
- If you’re dealing with heavily soiled clothes or clothes with strong odor, add an extra 1/4 cup washing soda and 1/4 cup Borax to the washing machine for heavily soiled clothes, and 1 to 2 cups plain white vinegar for odors. For blood stains on white clothes, directly pour hydrogen peroxide on a fresh stain. If the blood stain has set, put the article of clothing in question into a bucket or other small container and pour hydrogen peroxide directly on stain. Allow to sit in peroxide for at least one hour, until stain starts to lift. Pour more hydrogen peroxide on the stain and wash immediately.
- Why doesn’t the homemade laundry detergent ‘suds up’ like store bought laundry soap?
- The laundry soap is a low sudsing soap. If you don’t see suds, that’s okay, it’s not the suds that do the cleaning, it’s the ingredients in the laundry soap.
- How long will it take me to make 2 gallons of laundry soap?
- The entire process from grating to letting the laundry detergent set involves about 1 hour of your undivided attention, and 24 hours to let the laundry soap set. Set aside an hour on a Saturday to make laundry soap every couple of weeks. Double or triple the recipe and you’ll only need to make laundry soap every few months. Keep in mind you’ll need a bigger pot to “cook” the soap in, and a larger bucket or several buckets, in which to store your finished product.
- Will I have to pre-treat stains?
- Yes, you may still find you have to pre-treat stains. You will also have to still use bleach if your whites are heavily soiled.
- Not sure how to treat a stain? Here are some helpful stain removal tips. We have found that the best commerical pre-treater is OxyClean, and peroxide for whites. Do not use peroxide on colors!
- Will I need fabric softener in my rinse cycle?
- If you want to soften clothes, use 1 cup of plain white vinegar in your rinse cycle. This will not only help remove odors, but plain white vinegar will remove soap build up in your clothes, leave them feeling soft, and eliminate static cling. Save an old washcloth and pour a little (about 2 Tablepoons) of plain white vinegar on it, toss it in the dryer. This helps with static cling that happens in the dryer.
All articles, recipes, recipe notes and adaptations (and photographs, where applicable) are under copyright and cannot be copied or reposted without prior written consent by the author. Partial reposting is permitted with a link back to the original article. For consent, questions or comments email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Join the Virtual Holiday Cookie Exchange on Facebook
- Get more ideas for your Holiday celebration from the Buffalo Family Holidays Examiner
- Find out what the Buffalo Cooking Examiner is cooking up for the holidays