Update: If using a HE washer, our readers have suggested throwing the mix directly into the wash load, rather than the soap dispenser. Please read through the comments for more Q&As, as you have all been so wonderful to share your experiences!
And if you’re looking for even more information on our DIY suds, see our sudsy update to this post, right here.
The last time I purchased laundry soap, I threw a fit in the cleaning aisle and spent the drive home moaning over the high coast of detergent. I always knew I was thrifty, but even that took me by surprise. Since then, Scott buys the suds. Did I score in the man department or what?
First mentioned here (whew, I was on a rant that day), I decided to heck with it all, and I went and did something about it. Four months later, winter happened and all those loose to-do projects started getting done. Found on That’s Church via Tall Tales, the three ingredients were purchased at our local grocery store for a total of $10 (of course, I discovered this after first trying Ace and then Target – but only finding 1 ingredient of each in both), and it was so dang easy. You’ll need Borax, Fels Naptha soap, and washing soda:
I kid you not, the steps are even easier than getting in your car, driving to the store, and buying the 3 ingredients. Especially if you’re like us and spend an afternoon in every carry-all store in the city until you find what you needed at the first place you should have stopped. In fact, it’s so easy, I can sum up the steps in a sentence (hey, there’s a first for me!): Grate an entire bar of Fels Naptha with a cheese grater into a bowl (we used a Rubbermaid container, same diff), then add 1 cup of Borax, followed by 1 cup of the washing soda, and mix.
While we could’ve left the mixture in the tupperware, I spruced up the display by using an on-hand Ball jar instead. One regular load of laundry only needs one tablespoon of this mix, so I put an old, mini coffee scoop in the jar to use for measuring.
Here’s the kicker – there’s enough Borax and washing soda to make something like 5 batches of this, uh, stuff. And the bar of Fels Naptha was only a buck and each batch equates to 40+ loads. I’m totally fascinated by this, oddly enough. (Dork alert – I even found this nifty site for other Borax uses.) Of course the best part is that it actually works, and it works well – even with a boy in the house and all his boy clothes. No more temper tantrums in the cleaning aisle; not even for Scott.
Ooh, and here are some random mentionables. The laundry smells like heaven during the wash cycle – lemon-y and clean, but in some bizarre twist, your clothes come out smelling scent free, but fresh. I guess that could be good or bad, depending on what you’re into. And (like any well meaning geek), I even excitedly emailed Tiffany of Tall Tales beforehand, and she mentioned that Dove soap works, too.
So there you have it. Three ingredients and three steps – plus one more if you count the mixing part. But three and three sounds better. If this was Facebook, I would totally “like” this project.