Yes, I will admit I make my own laundry soap! I officially made the switch April 5th and have been going strong ever since.

I had been using soap nuts, which seems to work okay for regular clothes, but was not working well for my cloth diapers at all. So then I went to Rockin’ Green for my diapers and Soap Nuts for the clothes. That seemed to do the trick, but it was a bit pricey ($16 for 90 loads) just for a couple of loads a week. I wanted something that could be used for both! So I hunted down the Dugger recipe (I’m sure you’ve heard of the family, 19 kids….) and tried it out. So here’s my take on it!

There are only 3 ingredients: 1 cup Borax, 1 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda…) and 1 and 1/2 bars of soap. They recommended using a specific type of soap that I cannot get here, so I went with Ivory Soap.

Please note that I doubled the receipe in this batch

First grate the soap (much handier if you use a food processor, make sure to REALLY wash well after using), then add the Borax, Washing Soda, and grated soap into the food processor and pulverize until it looks like laundry detergent.

All ingredients mixed together

You can add a scent (although I haven’t yet) to customize your laundry wants.  Total time to do this (including running downstairs to get the ingredients) 5min.

Final results in a pretty jar

Now for a breakdown in costs.
Borax =$6.99 for 2Kg
Washing Soda =$6.97 for 3Kg
Ivory Soap = $4.29 for 10 bars

Okay, now if my math is right (using all sorts of conversion such as cups to oz to kg, etc….)  it cost roughly $1.96 to make 1 batch of laundry soap. 

How long does it last?  It all depends on how much you do laundry!  I do laundry roughly 11 times a week (6 people and 1 is in cloth diapers) and use between 1 – 2 tbsp per load.   The first batch lasted me about a month, which is around 60 loads of laundry.  The last time I went to the grocery store I priced out powdered detergent for the same amount of loads which came out to $8.98  (This is the cheapest no name brand I found, it can go up from there)  A minimum savings of $7.02!  If you want your savings to go even further you make this into a liquid.  I haven’t done that yet because I don’t own a big enough bucket.  Of course you can always wait for these items to go on sale and get an even better deal.

The results: So far it has been working great with my cloth diapers.  No stink issues and I haven’t had to strip them either.  When I was using the Rockin’ Green I would have to strip them every other week.  As for the regular clothes, it does an ‘okay’ job.  I have to admit it doesn’t get the kids stains out as good as I hoped, but then again I”m really bad about pre-treating stains.  Although when I do a combo of borax/baking soda/vinegar it seems to do the job…I just have to remember to do it BEFORE I wash the clothes.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I have a front loading washing machine…..

Any thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?  Now go out there and start saving money!!