I love saving money and I love saving space. So when I saw on Pinterest that you could make your own laundry detergent for a fraction of the cost, I was all over it. And I chose to make a powder version, because it stores easier than a liquid version. I figured I would just let the machine add the water for me.
I purchased the 3 ingredients (Borax, Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, and a Fels-Naptha bar) from my local Walmart for under $10. You'll find them in the laundry aisle, but you might have to look carefully, because it's a pretty small portion of the aisle.
Check here for more specific directions, but basically you grate the entire bar of Fels-Naptha and mix it with one cup of Borax and one cup of Arm & Hammer. Super easy. And it's actually kind pretty. I tossed my mix in a prego jar, but eventually I'd like to get a prettier jar to put it in.
You use a tablespoon for each load, so the detergent goes really far. And the best part is that the Borax and Arm & Hammer boxes have enough for another 5 loads, so you just have to buy another Fels-Naptha bar, for an easy $1.
Here's my estimated breakdown:
Original purchase: $10
Next 5 jars: $5, $1 each
Total cost for 6 jars of detergent: $16
1 jar has lasted me approximately 4 months/24 loads
So $16 for detergent is 24 months of laundry! 144 loads!
We haven't noticed any issues with clothes not being as clean, and it hasn't irritated our skin. And I love the way it smells! It's a win all around!