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I used to make my own super easy homemade HE laundry detergent, but it was so simple that I taught my son how to do it. Cooking up some detergent doesn’t get any easier than that!
Read on for simple recipe and instructions for low foaming homemade laundry detergent that is safe for your high efficiency washer.
There are a lot of recipes for homemade laundry detergent on the web. I’ve been tweaking this one for a few years. I LOVE it.
I’ve been using it in my HE washer for 2 years now, and I have never had a problem. This recipe does not cause a lot of suds and bubbles, but it gets your clothes CLEAN.
Trust me, with three kids ages 2 to 7, we have a lot of stains.
We aren’t DIY type of people, but I did go through a phase where I was geeking out over making all of my own household products. I made all different cleaners and detergents and soaps. Honestly, most of them were awful. The only stand-out was laundry detergent.
recipe for Homemade HE Laundry Detergent
Family of five clumsy spillers who like to leave towels on the floor, a four-year-old that changes her clothes six times per day, and a baby. Nuff said.
This is a money saver – but honestly, I wouldn’t bother but I like it EVEN BETTER than what I can buy at the store. Name brand detergents bottom out at about $0.17/load around here, plus OxyClean, plus something to make it smell nice = $$$.
These ingredients put me in at about $0.10 or less per 2TB load. Get the Crystals and OxyClean on bogo and you’re saving even more. One batch lasts our family over ten months. Before the baby it lasted a little over a year.
Now, we average one load of laundry a day – the big kind. So I’m using 2 tablespoons every time. But I am a chronic over-soaper. If you are feeling frugal, one batch could last you up to two years and cost $0.05 or less per load.
3 Step Directions
This seriously is ridiculously easy. Soap, Mix, Measure.
I’ve added some notes and suggestions along the way.
Really, you can’t mess this up.
Step 1 – Soap
Crushing up the soap is the best way to do this.* I like the Fels-Naptha because it’s easier to cut than the Zote (which I’ve also used and is harder to work with because of the size and texture).
Let it cool completely outside. It’s soapy/stinky. The cooler it is, the flakier it gets.
Crush it up into a powder.
*Note: Hey people, I’ve tried the alternative to microwave – put the bars into a food processor and go to town. This is NOT a good way to do it. Your kitchen will be filled with a huge cloud of soap smoke, and cleaning the sticky soap off of the blades is just plain scary.
Step 2 – Mix
This is the hard part.
Okay, not really.
Step 3 – Measure
The easiest way to portion this out is scooping it right back into your Purex Crystals bottles. The caps even have a measurement guide.
However, we are a family of over-soapers.
You don’t need much of this detergent:
1 tablespoon for small or regular loads
2 tablespoons when you’ve made it through your entire wardrobe
Put one tablespoon at a time and mark it all the way around with a Sharpie.
Make sure you write small and large in case, ya know, anyone else in your family is an over-soaper, too.
Sensitivities – I have extremely sensitive skin (psoriasis basically from head to toe), and every scented detergent I’ve tried makes me break out. This detergent has never bothered me – with either type of soap.
Babies – I refuse to buy different types of detergent for our whole family. I defiantly wash everything together without sorting! This detergent has never bothered any of my babies – even during my cloth diaper kick.
Scents – If you don’t like your clothes to smell like a field of flowers, skip the Crystals. I was nervous about them at first and only used 1/2 a bottle in our first batch. I’ve worked my way up to two full bottles. Next time I’m going to use thirty because I love it so much.
Products – The first time I shopped around – Walmart, grocery stores, hardware store… With three kids in tow, it’s a little harder to get what I need when I need it. For convenience sake and to satisfy my prime addition, I ordered almost everything from Prime Pantry.
If cart-shopping is your style, all of these products can be found in the laundry aisle of your grocery store. Except for Baking Soda – Baking aisle, obvs.
That’s it! Really it is that easy.
My oldest did this literally from beginning to end in about 15 minutes. That was with me making him pose for 154 pictures.
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Ashley helps parents who want to homeschool find the resources they need to successfully teach their children. Ashley is a former teacher, current homeschooler, published author, and designer behind Circle Time with Miss Fox printables as well as the creator of this website, The Homeschool Resource Room.