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Save 100$ With An Easy Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

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The worst decision I made was instead of paying 7.23$ for my homemade laundry detergent recipe I spent 21.99$. Let me tell you why.

I went to Costco this weekend for our monthly “Big Shopping”. We ran out of my homemade detergent and I told myself, I am out of time and will buy it there. I have been making my homemade liquid laundry detergent recipe for 3 years now and I was traumatized by the choices in the store. I spent 20 mins looking at ingredients, comparing the prices and going back in forth with my life choices.

Not only are pods quite expensive, but all non-plant-based mentioned aluminum… Why? I settled for one that said plant based on the bottle even though it was more expensive. At least, I could read all the ingredients without a doctorate. But seriously, why is there so much crap in each bottle, shouldn’t it be only water, soap and washing soda? Shouldn’t it be simple?

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homemade liquid laundry detergent recipe used in machine

Why is there aluminum in a non-homemade liquid laundry detergent recipe?

On Arm & Hammer’s website, you can find some explanations about the use of some unheard products. In short, it removes dirt and makes your clothes white. But at what cost?

Also, it is pretty common in other products like liquid soaps, shower gels, shampoos, dish detergents, facial washes etc. Anyhow, if you want to read about this great stuff we can’t pronounce, here is the link.

What to avoid

  • Artificial fragrances
  • Preservatives such as 1,4-dioxane
  • Carcinogens such as benzene
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Phosphates
  • Synthetic dyes
  • Fabric brighteners
  • Harsh surfactants such as LAS

Read more here

All normal right?

Why do we use Borax?

Best sentence I heard:

Natural doesn’t mean safe.

Most homemade liquid laundry recipes will call for Borax. It was quite popular before the 2000s, just like using lard in cooking in my little town growing up. Borax unlike baking soda should not be ingested.

What does Borax do

  • Effective cleaning product
  • Disinfects
  • Whitens
  • Fights mould and mildew
  • Kills ants (or cockroaches…)

If you want a recipe without any Borax, simply replace it with Baking Soda.

soapberries for alternative laundry detergent

What about Soapberries?

When I heard of soapberries, I was shocked! You are telling me there is a plant out there (also should not be eaten) that you can throw in the machines up to 10 times and it will just clean your clothes. It’s hypoallergenic, cheap as hell and reusable, like what? It felt like something magical I was not aware of. The only downside was that hot water was required.

I also have some in my home for whenever I run out of homemade detergent. The reason we aren’t using them all the time? We like our clothes to smell like they were washed out of a field of flowers.

Soapberries will wash your clothes, but you will not have that nice fresh laundry smell afterwards.

Benefits of soapberries

  • Compostable
  • Multiple Use
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cost Effective

Printable Retro Laundry Product Stickers

Want to make your home cool and fancy? Don’t miss my homemade stickers for all your Laundry Products!

Printable Retro Laundry Product Stickers

Here is a list of all the labels included:
– Fabric Freshener
– Soap Berries
– Dryer Sheet
– Baking Soda
– Borax
– Scent Booster
– Laundry Detergent
– Bleach
– Drying Balls
– Detergent Pods
– Fabric Softener
– Stain Remover

Get your own on my Etsy Shop!

Let’s talk savings

How much will it cost for our homemade liquid laundry detergent recipe?

I buy everything on Amazon, I started seeing Borax at Walmart, but my cost analysis will not include their prices. The following table does not include price variation and taxes.

2 Castile Bar (Dr. Bronner’s)21.95$
4 lbs Borax (1.84kg)21.99$
2 kg Washing Soda (Simply Clean)10.79$

The total cost is 54.73$, but that’s just for supplies. You can make more than one batch with that. How much will it cost per load and for our recipe?

Cost Analysis

  • For 1 cup of liquid soap if you make it from a bar it will cost 2.74$
  • For 1 cup of Borax, which is 250g for 1 cup, it will cost 3.14$ (I did round up)
  • For 1 cup of Washing Soda, which is also 250g of 1 cup, it will cost 1.35$

We have a big old amount of 7.23$ that’s for approximately 48 loads. We have a big whooping 0.15$ per load!

With all these ingredients above you can easily make up to 7 batches of the recipe below.

Yes, 54.73$ is more at once but in the end for the same quantity I spent at Costco, it will cost me 153.93$ vs 54.73$. that’s almost 100$ in savings!!!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

Recipe by Melissa I BerryCourse: Homemade Cleaning ProductsCuisine: DIY RecipeDifficulty: Easy


Prep time




Resting Time


Total time



To save money, I buy a bar of soap and make liquid soap, which takes 15 mins. This step can be skip if you have the right type of soap for the recipe.

If you are not using Borax in your recipe, simply replace it with Baking Soda.


  • Liquid Soap
  • 1 Bar of Natural Castile Soap
    4 cups of Water

  • Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • 1 cup of Borax or Baking Soda
    1 cup of Washing Soda
    1 cup of Castile liquid soap (Homemade or bought)
    15 cups of water
    Optional: 50 drops of essential oils of choice


  • Liquid Soap
  • Cut or grate the soap into a large pan (a food processor does work as well)
  • Add 4 cups of water
  • Bring to a simmer and wait for the soap and water to combine
  • Pour one cup for the next part and save the rest in a glass jar (or multiple)
  • Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • Bring to a boil 15 cups of water and remove from heat
  • Add the Borax (or Baking Soda) and Washing Soda until dissolved
  • Add the liquid soap and stir
  • When cool down poor into a glass jar and add your essential oils


  • Use 1/3 cup for each load
  • Over the next few days your laundry detergent will create a goo on top, simply add water and mix well before using.

Other natural recipes

If you are sold and want to make all your other products at home (vinegar is a great tool), don’t miss my other recipes here:

In conclusion

Like anything there are pros and cons, yes convenience is nice, but saving money is also. It all depends on what your life and priorities are.

I hope from all this you will at least question what goes on in the products you buy. I know it’s not for everyone to make homemade liquid laundry detergent recipes a few times per year. We are all busy I get it.

But I do believe we need to be aware of the choices we make!

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