Home » Making My Own Laundry Detergent Part #3

Drum Roll Please!!! This is the moment we have been waiting for…..THE RESULTS ARE IN!!

Here is a quick recap for those of you who are just catching this now. I decided to give homemade laundry detergent a shot. I research all over the web to find the right recipe for our family’s needs. There are numerous recipes available, but not all are created the same. If you missed Part 1 (My Hypothesis) or Part 2 (The Recipe), you still have time to go back and catch up before you find out the results of my little research project.

My Hypothesis

That homemade laundry detergent will work just as well as my current brand.

The Cost Difference
I purchased the following ingredients;

  • 1 box washing soda (55 oz or almost 7 cups) – $3.24 (or 6 cents/ounce)
  • 1 box Borax (76 oz 9.5 cups) – $3.38 (or 4 cents/ounce)
  • 1 bar of soap – $0.97
  • Glycerin-(2 ounce or 4 tbsp) – $2.21

One Batch

¾ cup washing soda – $0.36 for 6 ounces
¾ cup Borax – $0.24 for 6 ounces
1 bar of Soap – $0.97
2 tbsp Glycerin – $1.10

I made 300 ounces of detergent with the ingredients listed above. For a total COST of $2.67 for one big batch. WOWZA!! I will be able to use the rest of the original boxes of borax and washing soda for the next few years.

The break down between Brand and Homemade:

It takes ½ cup (or 4 ounces) of homemade detergent per full laundry load. My current brand recommends ¼ cup (or 2 ounces) per full laundry load. My normal detergent cost $17.99 (My local walmart price, lowest non-sale price) for 150 ounces. Since I am using twice as much as the homemade detergent, let’s now make the comparison per load of laundry.

Brand = 150 ounces at $17.99 or 75 loads = $0.24 cents load
Homemade = 300 ounces at $2.67 or 75 loads = $0.03 per load

That is an 85% SAVINGS!!! (Really, I hope your chin just hit the floor like mine).  What a sense of accomplishment, I just made by savings my family money.

The Research Project:

I did a head to head (or shirt to shirt) test in determining how well both the detergents work on the following stains: mustard, ketchup, marinara sauce, chocolate syrup and cranberry juice.

I took two plain white t-shirts and let each of the ingredients set-in on each for 5 minutes, then I rubbed the ingredients into the shirt and placed in the washing machine on a regular 14 minute cycle. I did NOT use an additional products to remove these stains (note normally I would have).

Here are the shirts prior to my testing ( I labeled each shirt not to get them confused; H=homemade and B=Brand).

Here are the shirts after being washing. It maybe hard to see the pictures completely clear on the computer.


(Ok, so I made a mistake on the “H” t-shirt on the first test.  The stains set-in for 30 minutes, so I performed the test again, this time on the back of the shirt. In case you were wondering)

Here are the results

                                                         Brand                       Homemade

Mustard                                              SAME                           SAME
Ketchup                                              GOOD                          BETTER
Marinara                                             GOOD                          BETTER
Juice                                                   SAME                           SAME
Chocolate                                           BETTER                        GOOD

Will my family be switching? YES, YES, YES.  I also noticed that the t-shirt washed in the homemade stuff felt a lot softer (from the added glycerin).

Will you give it a try? What do you have to loose? I say give it a shot. Make yourself a batch of this at home using the ingredients described above and see if it works for you. If you like it, you’re going to save some significant money over time. Even if you don’t, the ingredients (borax, washing soda) can easily be used for other cleaning projects around your home.

Are you ready to give it a shot?


Making My Own Laundry Detergent Part #3 — 5 Comments

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  4. Sorry if this has already been addressed (I’m new to your blog!) – is this safe for high efficiency washers? or should amount be adjusted? Thanks!

    • Hi Teri, Great question and Welcome to Inspiring Savings. I currently own a HE washer and it works great. Although I do not pour into the spout provided but rather directly on to the clothes being washed. I haven’t tested it out because there are often small lumps (which is normal)

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