This homemade laundry detergent only costs around 60 cents per gallon

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It’s been said that there are two kinds of people in the world: Those who make their own laundry detergent and everybody else!

If you fall into the former category, here’s an easy recipe you can try that takes five minutes to put together. Best of all, it doesn’t involve any grating or boiling.

And fans of this formula say it works better than Tide at a fraction of the cost!

RELATED: 9 ways to make your laundry routine cheaper and more effective

Making homemade laundry soap has never been easier! 

Clark.com reader Kathryn C. recently saw our article about ways to cut down on your laundry costs in Clark’s daily newsletter and was excited to share her own recipe for a super-easy homemade laundry detergent.

In a 1-gallon jug mix:

  • ½ c. borax
  • ½ c. laundry soda (not baking soda)
  • ½ c. Oxy Clean (I use Kroger’s Home Sense brand)

“Add a few cups of very hot tap water and shake; keep adding a little more hot water and shaking until all the powders are dissolved. Then fill it almost to the top with water and add ½ c. Dawn liquid dish soap,” Kathryn writes.

After that initial round of shaking, you’re going to want to pay special attention to how you finish mixing this formula together.

The preferred mixing method after you add the Dawn is putting the jug on its side and rolling, not shaking. Otherwise it will get too messy with all the suds.

You’ll also want to roll the bottle back and forth before using the mixture. Use ½ cup for top loaders, ¼ cup for front-loaders.

“It takes five minutes to put together…[and] I calculate that it costs 58 cents per gallon,” our Clark.com reader notes. “No sulfates, phosphates, noxious perfumes and no packaging waste.”

Kathryn also makes homemade fabric softener using a combination of cheap hair conditioner, white vinegar and water.

“VO5 seems to be the most economical hair conditioner at 78 [cents] for 15 ounces,” she notes. “[My] bottle of homemade fabric softener costs about 40 cents, compared to around $5 or $6 for comparable amounts of Downy or Snuggle.”

If you’d like to try her homemade fabric softener, here are the measurements you’ll need:

  • 1 c. cheap hair conditioner
  • 1-½ c. white vinegar
  • 3 c. water

This one is safe to shake before use because it tends to settle. Use ½ cup for top-loaders and ¼ cup for front loaders.

Kathryn also saves money on her laundry by hanging her clothes to dry when the weather allows and replacing fabric softener with a ½ cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle.

“The vinegar ensures a good, clean rinse, and it helps to remove sweat odors from clothes … and it’s almost free, my favorite price!” she says.

But this member of Team Clark’s savings don’t stop in the laundry room. She also makes her own personal care products – body butter, face moisturizer, stick deodorant and anti-aging facial serum — among many other things.

About that anti-aging facial serum, Kathryn says this: “Lancôme costs $70 a bottle, and I make my own for pennies…I’m on my second bottle, about halfway through, and I started last November 25, so I’d say, depending on how much Lancôme I would have used, [that I’ve saved] probably about $100.”

We’ve reached out to her to get that Lancôme recipe and will share it with you right here when we get it. So stay tuned…

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the New York Times #1 bestseller Living Large in Lean Times. As a single widowed parent of two young children, he strives to bring unique savings tips to men and women like him who must face life without their spouses. He can be reached at [email protected]
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