Food & Recipe | April 6, 2015

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Until we had kids, I paid little attention to all the toxins in household cleaning products. Little by little, I found safer cleaners that actually worked. But I was still buying laundry detergent. I didn’t want to ruin my clothes.


Two things happened. We realized our teenage daughter has skin sensitivity to fragrances.  Shortly after that, my friend shared her laundry detergent recipe with me. Quick, easy, no fragrance, and her clothes looked fabulous; so I knew it wasn’t harsh.


Prices vary across the country. I make Nickel-Penny and a Tablespoon Laundry Detergent for about 6 cents a load (Hence the Nickel-Penny). My ingredients and a nationally popular brand are about 10 cents an ounce, each. Here’s the catch. The popular brand uses a half-cup--liquid measure 4 ounces or eight (8) Tablespoons. Mine uses 1 Tablespoon--just over ½ ounce dry weight. I get 7 loads out of 4 ounces to their one load. We pretty much do a load of laundry every day.  At 34 cents a load cheaper, I easily save $9.52 each month. Lunch anyone?


This recipe has no filler, no fragrance. Three ingredients. Unfortunately, they are sold in different sized containers, so there will be leftover of one and not of the other. However, each ingredient is useful by itself. All ingredients are easily purchased at larger grocery stores in the laundry isle.

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Washing Soda

*Note: Measure the ingredients into a tightly lidded container, leaving room at the top.



Secure lid and shake well to mix ingredients. (Wash measuring utensils in soapy water before using to cook.)


Let the powders settle before opening the lid.


Use one tablespoon for each load of laundry. Each 3-cup batch does 48 loads.

For stubborn stains, mix 1 part liquid dish soap with three parts water in a spray bottle. Sprinkle laundry detergent on the stain and saturate with the spot spray. Gently rub into the stain, adding more water or spot spray as needed to pull the stain out. Let rest 15 minutes or more, and launder as usual. Check the stain before drying, because heat will set the stain.


*DISCLAIMER: Read the health statement on each of these ingredients. There are cautions for prolonged skin contact with the powder and breathing in the dust.

Credits // Author: Rasheila Dolleman // Photos: SueAnn Chong

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