Easy and Inexpensive DIY Recipes for 10 Common Cleaning Products (1 of 11)

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Ingredients to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

You can't give up cleaning -- no matter how much you wish you could! -- but the cost of store-bought cleansers, laundry detergent and other cleaning products can feel like highway robbery. Instead of shelling out money for store bought, follow these recipes to make some common cleaners yourself; they're easy to put together and will cost dollars less than your store bought version.

Super Frugal Laundry Detergent

I stumbled across Glenda's recipe (adapted from Michelle Duggar's recipe) for inexpensive laundry detergent (which works in high-efficiency machines) and in December, I made a batch for myself. Glenda figured out the math and found that it cost her 20 cents for a 75-load batch. Not 20 cents per load, but 20 cents for 75 loads! Three months later, I have only used half of the batch I made (and a stomach virus this month meant more laundry than usual). 


  • 1/4 bar of Fels Naptha soap
  • 2 Tablespoons Borax powder
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
  • 2 empty laundry detergent bottles or 1 - 2.5 gallon water jug

Grate the 1/4 Fels Naptha Bar using a cheese grater. Put the Fels Naptha shreds and 1 cup of water into a pot and melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until all the soap has dissolved. Pour 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) of water into a large container or bucket and add the cooked soap mixture. Add 2 tbsp. of Borax and 1/4 c. of the washing soda and stir. Add 2 1/2 quarts more water and stir. Cover the mixture and let it set overnight. The next morning, your soap will have thickened and gelled considerably. Stir it up. Add the mixture to your empty container(s) filling only half way full. Fill the rest of the container with water. Shake the bottles to mix before use. Use 1/4 cup per load.

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Photo Credit: Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl