This post was most recently updated on May 18th, 2015

In my last post, I shared a recipe for Laundry Sauce – one of my favorite homemade laundry detergents that costs just pennies a load and does a great job.  I mentioned a second recipe I love to use, and I’d like to share it with you today.

This homemade detergent is in powder form, as opposed to the ‘pudding like’ texture of the Sauce.  It’s also marginally more expensive, depending on the variations you make to the recipe, but it lasts longer and serves my family a little better because of the added softener.

These are the ingredients you’ll need:  (I found all of these ingredients at my Wal Mart store, costing about $31.00 total.)

  • 1 box (76 oz.) 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1bBox (55 oz.) Super Washing Soda
  • 2-3 bars Fels Naptha or Zote Laundry Soap
  • 1-2 bottles (55 oz.) Purex Crystals* – scent of your choice
  • 1 tub (3 lb. size) oxygen cleaner of your choice**
  • Large bowl, bin or tub for mixing
  • Storage containers for finished product – makes approximately 3 gallons of detergent (I take the labels off the Purex bottles for part of the detergent and use clean, family size ice cream buckets with lids for the rest.)

Photo credit: Blissful55 

* You may choose to add only 1 bottle of Purex Crystals, or to leave it out altogether.  This is the softener component of the detergent so if you leave it out you need to be aware of the probability of static cling when you run your laundry through the dryer.  I use 2 bottles and don’t need any extra softener.

** Most people go right for the OxyClean brand when making this recipe but I have found the Sun brand oxygen cleaner at Wal Mart for less than half the cost of OxyClean and it works just as well.  I get a 96 oz. tub of Sun, use half of it in the recipe and keep the rest for extra dirty loads.

Okay, here’s the very complicated method to mix this detergent together …

Step 1.  Grate all the bars of Fels Naptha or Zote in your food processor or with a cheese grater.  (I use 3 bars total – my family is pretty dirty.)

Step 2.  In a large (think industrial mixing bowl size) container, mix together the entire box of Borax, the entire box of Washing Soda, all the grated Fels Naptha or Zote soap, 3 lbs. of oxygen cleaner, 2 bottles Purex Crystals.  Mix THOROUGHLY.

I mix this in two smaller batches.  In my very large mixing bowl, I mix HALF of all the ingredients together, stir and divide out into containers.  Then I mix the other half of everything together and do the same.  It’s a bit easier to get all the ingredients mixed thoroughly this way.

Here you can see my go -to laundry tag team – my Sauce on the right and my super yummy-smelling powdered detergent on the left.  I use the Purex bottle cap to measure out 1 to 2 tablespoons of the powder per load, depending on size and dirt level.  So handy!  And – I think they look much prettier on my laundry shelf than the grocery store bottles anyway. (Please excuse the U.G.L.Y. paint color in my laundry room … changing it is on The List.)

I LOVE this laundry detergent so much!  It truly does an amazing job on my family’s clothes.  I use the purple Purex Crystals (as you can see) and I think our clothes smell soooo good!  I don’t have to use additional softeners, even when I hang clothes on the line to dry.  You can easily use this detergent in your HE machine, just add it directly to the wash basin and not the detergent dispenser.

This recipe made approx. 3 gallons of powdered detergent and lasted my family of 6 a whopping EIGHT MONTHS!  That’s with me washing 6-10 loads of laundry per week, minimum!  WOW!  At an average cost of around $.10 per load, it’s a bit more expensive than the Laundry Sauce.  BUT … this recipe includes a softener AND the oxygen cleaner as a brightener and stain remover so you’re getting a little more for your money.

Whether you use this powdered detergent or the Laundry Sauce, I think you’ll be happily surprised at how much money you’ll save while getting your family’s clothing clean and fresh.  Happy laundering!


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