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Laundry savings 101: DIY detergent for smart and frugal mom

(Last Updated On: July 2, 2023)

As a frugal mom, finding ways to save money while keeping your household running smoothly is always a priority. One area where you can significantly cut costs is laundry detergent. Rather than purchasing expensive store-bought options, why not try making your own DIY laundry detergent?

Not only is it incredibly budget-friendly, but it’s also easy to customize and eco-friendly. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of creating your own DIY laundry detergent that will keep your clothes clean, fresh, and your wallet happy.


To make your own DIY laundry detergent, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 bar of laundry soap (such as Fels Naptha or Castile soap)
  • 1 cup of washing soda (sodium carbonate)
  • 1 cup of borax (sodium borate)
  • Essential oils (optional, for fragrance)


Follow these simple steps to create your frugal-friendly DIY laundry detergent:

Step 1: Grate the soap: Using a cheese grater or food processor, grate the bar of laundry soap into fine shavings. This will make it easier to dissolve in the washing machine.

Step 2: Mix the ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the grated soap, washing soda, and borax. Stir the ingredients until well combined. If desired, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a pleasant scent. Lavender, lemon, or tea tree oil work well.

Step 3: Store in an airtight container: Transfer the DIY laundry detergent mixture into an airtight container, such as a glass jar or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Label the container with the contents and usage instructions.

Usage tips

Here are some helpful tips on using your DIY laundry detergent effectively:

  1. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load: Depending on the size of your load and how dirty the clothes are, start with 1-2 tablespoons of DIY laundry detergent per load. Adjust the amount as needed.
  2. Pre-treat stains: For tough stains, pre-treat them with a small amount of undiluted DIY laundry detergent before washing. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wash as usual.
  3. Compatible with high-efficiency (HE) machines: This DIY laundry detergent is safe to use in both regular and high-efficiency washing machines.
  4. Soften hard water: If you have hard water, add ½ cup of vinegar to the fabric softener compartment of your washing machine to help soften the water and improve detergent effectiveness.
  5. Experiment with essential oils: Customize the scent of your laundry detergent by trying different essential oils. Start with a few drops and adjust to your preference.

Benefits of DIY laundry detergent

Making your own laundry detergent offers several advantages, especially for frugal moms:

  1. Cost-effective: DIY laundry detergent costs a fraction of the price compared to store-bought options, saving you money in the long run.
  2. Customizable: You can adjust the ingredients and scent to suit your preferences and specific laundry needs.
  3. Eco-friendly: Homemade laundry detergent reduces the use of harsh chemicals found in commercial detergents, promoting a more environmentally friendly approach to laundry.
  4. Gentle on clothes: The DIY detergent is typically gentle on fabrics, making it suitable for both regular and delicate clothing items.

As a frugal mom, creating your own DIY laundry detergent is a practical and cost-effective solution. By following this guide, you can make a budget-friendly laundry detergent that keeps your clothes clean, fresh, and saves you money in the process.

Enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you’re taking control of your laundry routine while being environmentally conscious. Give it a try and experience the benefits of frugal and eco-friendly laundry care.