For some reason, making your own laundry detergent seems to be a popular thing to search for and it’s a topic that people have lots of questions about. Let me tell you about both sides of this coin and you can make your own decision.
There are three main points to take into consideration when trying to decide if making your own laundry detergent is the right decision for you – cost, how well it works, and ease of making it.
As I’m sure anyone who does laundry knows, the price of good laundry detergents can be pretty outrageous. So, I guess this logically becomes one of the areas where people want to save money. According to Trent at The Simple Dollar, his recipe had a cost of about three cents per load opposed to the economy size of leading detergents costing about 30 cents per load. On the other hand, the startup cost can turn some people away. Be prepared to spend between $10 and $20 to get started. Remember, you save money because the price per use is lower and your ingredients will make several batches.
Jill Cooper writes a great article (Demystifying the Great Laundry Detergent Dilemma) which really makes us stop and analyze WHY people want to save money on something like laundry detergent. Is it really the cost of laundry detergent that we’re trying to cut back on – or have we overspent in so many other areas of our life that this is one of the only places where we still have control? Perhaps making your own detergent is not the answer to saving money, but rather cutting back on the amount of laundry that you do.
How Well Does it Work?
Here is a question that will definitely give you a variety of opinions. Some say it works wonderfully and easily replaces their more expensive brand. Some say that it doesn’t take out tough stains, especially those that children are prone to get on their clothing. And yet others say that it works well for awhile, but then later clothes start to look dingy and dirty. I think a lot of the responses are going to depend on the ingredients that were used to create the detergent and the laundry habits of the person using them.
Ease of Making It
All in all, the process of making laundry detergent is fairly simple whether you are making powder or liquid. Shave some Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap, mix some water, measure some washing soda. You would just have to be careful during the parts that involve heat and sharp objects. It doesn’t seem too terribly time consuming either, but for those of us with children, the time and energy may not offset the cost savings.
The initial cost of buying supplies may be a little more than you are used to paying for your laundry detergent, but the cost per use is definitely lower. If you decide this is right for you, make sure you are buying quality ingredients so that you will not have any issues with your clothing not getting clean (and staying clean!). And lastly, and probably most importantly, do you have the time necessary to create the detergent?
For me personally, I choose to buy commercial detergent and would rather save money by doing less laundry.
Give It a Try!
Here are links to recipes for liquid detergent:
The Simple Dollar – How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
Inexpensive Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe
Brown-bag Blog: Make your own Laundry Detergent