How I Saved $406.52 on Laundry Detergent

UPDATE: Twelve months later, and I can honestly say that this is the best laundry detergent we have ever used. Both our clothing and our washing machine smell wonderful and we appreciate the savings each and every month!

You showed up today because you want to save $406.52 like I did, correct?

If so, you came to the right place.

This past month I came across a method of savings that I have previously spoken against. It goes to show that you never talk badly about something (or someone) you haven’t personally experienced, but I’ll leave that for a future blog post.

Seriously, though, anyone that knows me, knows that my experience with DIY projects is that I normally end up spending more money to make it then it would cost me to just purchase it at the store. In fact, I’ve really had to train myself to simply say no to DIY. When it came to making my own laundry detergent, something I don’t view as “fun” anyways, I really couldn’t understand the excitement that everyone seemed to have. I mean, wouldn’t it be better to spend time making chocolates or other fun things guests to my home would enjoy?

It turns out, I was horribly wrong.

How I Saved $406.52 on Laundry Detergent

Thankfully, a friend told me I absolutely had to try it out. One month, she said, was all I would need to realize that it was the right, money-saving DIY project for me.

She was right.

Not only will I save a total of $406.52 over the next 36 months, but my clothes have never smelled cleaner, my skin has never been this happy (and my daughters’ skin too), and I’m actually excited when it’s time to refill the detergent containers each month.

Budget-friendly, skin-friendly, and family-friendly – what more could I ask for?

Tip: Grab the FREE printable version of this recipe HERE.

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. These involve no extra cost to you, but may result in me receiving a small commission – for which I am very grateful! Learn more here

Ingredients (Per 1.5-Liter Bottle)


Step 1: Add two tablespoons Borax, two tablespoons washing soda, and two tablespoons castile soap to the bottle of your choice. (I use my old liquid laundry detergent bottles.)

Step 2: Add two cups of hot water to the bottle.

Step 3: Replace the cap on the laundry detergent bottle and turn in upside down twice (carefully!!) to mix the ingredients. Remove the cap carefully (it will often spray and is full of very hot water).

Step 4: Fill the bottle with cold tap water.

Step 5: Wait for the laundry detergent to cool and add one cup of it to each load of laundry. Make sure to turn upside down a couple of times before adding to the washer to ensure the ingredients remain mixed.

I choose to make two bottles of detergent at once and to add it until it just overflows the liquid detergent cup in my washer.

Keep in mind that it will seem like a really watery detergent. This is normal and will not change the effectiveness of the product.

Cost (Per 1.5-Liter Bottle)

My total expense for the products was $24.40 (I purchased them in local grocery stores including Walmart, Rosauers, and Winco).

  • Borax: $4.46 for 65 ounces
  • Washing Soda: $3.96 for 55 ounces
  • Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap: $15.98 for 32 ounces
  • Total: $24.40

As I’ve mentioned before, I normally purchase the Tide Free and Gentle Laundry Detergent, and it runs me between $11 and $14 for a month’s worth of detergent for my family (currently on sale for $11.98 for the 64-load bottle that we typically go through in a month). Trying this new method didn’t pose a lot of threat to my budget, because I knew that, after a month of trying it out, if it still wasn’t working, that I could just scrap the ingredients and move on to purchasing laundry detergent at the beginning of the month as I have been all along.

Imagine my surprise when, not only did it work, but it worked better than the Tide detergent and, by my calculations, I have enough of the product to get my family through 36 months! If I purchased laundry detergent at the sale price mentioned above, that would be a 36-month savings of $406.52!

Simple Savings

I’ve piqued your interest, haven’t I? Trust me, I was a skeptic, but it actually works. Not to mention, I haven’t had any complaints about itchy skin from my kids or my husband in the past two weeks.

Keep in mind that my budget savings may be different than yours depending on where you purchase your ingredients. Even if your spending is slightly more (or less) than what I spend, you will still be saving money.

Looking for other ideas for budget-friendly cleaning and household products? Check out the following:

Only Crazy Weirdos Like Cleaning, Right?

Money Saving Tips: Your Home Cleaning Day Made Easy

Everyone Loves Household Chores – Or Do They?

Have a wonderful, budget-friendly weekend!

Tip: Grab the FREE printable version of this recipe HERE.

UPDATE: Just a quick note to let you in on a couple of things I learned after I published this post. First, if you are going to use this laundry detergent, be careful using vinegar as a softener as it will counteract the borax and washing soda combo. (Thanks to Bekah for that tip!) Additionally, this recipe is safe for high-efficiency washers!