How I make 1 Year's Worth of Laundry Detergent for CHEAP (links to products)

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

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This super easy recipe saves us so much money every year. When my husband worked in the oilfield, he'd come home covered in crude oil. Crude oil is a whole different beast than regular motor oil. If you(or your spouse) is an oilfield worker, you know what I'm talking about.


A cup of regular detergent just wouldn't do the trick. Every now and then, he'd also come home soaked in salt water. Not ocean water, the salty water they use on the rigs. My point is, his clothes were difficult to wash.


We were washing his jeans(and shirts) several times, and purchasing so many different laundry additives. Coke will get motor oil out of clothes, but not crude oil, or hydraulic oil for that matter. Our laundry detergent costed $20 for a large container, then add on the cost of additives. Two jugs a month(and we often bought more) added up to $480 a year. Our laundry bill was out of control!


That's when I searched for a DIY laundry detergent. After some trial and error, I perfected me recipe and this detergent cleaned some hydraulic-oil soaked jeans and left them smelling nice, after one wash. So far, it's been up again all of the tough oilfield stains, including salt water, crude oil, diesel motor oil and just plain old dirt. I firmly believe in this detergent.


This recipe can be made monthly or even yearly. It can be completely customized, with ingredients added or taken out as needed. It's great for large families, budgets or anyone looking to stock up on detergent.


I'm going to give you the 3 month's recipe(for my family.) It can be doubled or tripled as needed! Keep in mind, you only use about one ounce per laundry load. This isn't a typical detergent where you're using the cup full. It's grittier and tougher than your store-bought detergents.


3 Months Worth of Laundry Detergent

Each of these ingredients have links to where you can buy in bulk(usually cheaper than buying one at a time!)

1 Bar of Laundry Soap

1 4lb Box of Baking Soda

1 65oz Box of Borax

Optional, but highly recommended:

1 Bottle of Scent Booster(Gain, Snuggle, Downy)


Use about ONE OUNCE per load. Two to three for really large or soiled loads. I used an a whole cap from a Tide bottle the first time and I had to wash my clothes three times to get all of the undissolved detergent out. Heavy blankets, a large load of towels, etc., get about 2-3oz. This will vary based on your washer, but the most I've been able to use without washing twice is about 4oz. I never use that much unless what I'm washing is badly soiled.


Add or subtract to this recipe as needed. Grate the soap with an old cheese grater(I picked up a cheap one from the thrift store,) then mix together in a large container. o be honest with you, I just repurposed an old plastic kitty litter container for this. Nobody sees it and it will hold so much more. Repurposed = WIN!


You can re-purpose the scoops from old detergents, but you can buy a scoop, here.


Have you tried this recipe? Did you make changes to it? Let us know in the comments!!


Note: I've read that this isn't recommended for HE washing machines. I personally have not tried it, but I wanted to shout that warning out to you.




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