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A cost-effective way to make your own laundry detergent

If you have any kids, then you know how much laundry there is to be done on a constant basis. The more kiddos you have, the more laundry there is to do.

Besides it being time-consuming, it can also get to be expensive buying laundry detergent all the time. So, my search for a more cost-effective way to do laundry started and I have found the best laundry hack that all moms need to know about.

With my family of four, we were going through a Tide Pods container every two months, and they cost around $15-$20 a container. Along with the cost, the pods didn’t always dissolve like they should and would leave residue on our clothing, which sent me looking into alternative laundry options.

When I started looking into making my own laundry detergent, I was shocked at how easy it could be. I Googled different “recipes” to follow for mixing together laundry detergent and found that most of them only contain five ingredients. You can find recipes to make liquid detergent and powder detergent online. I went with the powder detergent for my family.

One of the major appeals to making my own laundry detergent was that most tutorials said it would last for six months to a year, depending on how much laundry you have.

I read that and thought I had to try it. So, last March I bought all the ingredients and went to work. Here is what you need.

The recipe I used called for:

  • 1 box (55 ounces) of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • 1 box (65 ounces) of Borax
  • 1 box (3 pounds) of Oxiclean
  • 1 box (4 pounds) of baking soda
  • 2 bags (35 ounces) of Foca Laundry Detergent
  • 1 container of Arm and Hammer scent boosters (optional)

All of those ingredients cost me $35 — but this amount should last up to a year. Worth a shot in my book!

I used a big painter’s bucket to mix all the powders together. Once mixed together, you just need two to three tablespoons of powder per wash, depending on your load size.

After trying this recipe, I learned a few things.

First, it’s so simple to make — it took less than 5 minutes to mix together.

Second, it’s more cost effective in the long run, saving us close to $100 a year on laundry detergent.

Third, our clothes were getting clean and smelling fresh, which is obviously very important.
Lastly, the recipe did in fact last us a year!

So, I totally encourage any moms out there to try making your laundry detergent and saving some money! I even had my daughter help mix the ingredients to get her involved in the project.

This is one hack too good not to share.

ANN BURNS is a Morgantown native, raising two young children with her husband, Drake. She writes weekly columns for The Dominion Post. Contact her at