How much can you save with homemade detergent?

A growing group of people are looking to eliminate unnecessary chemicals from their cupboards, opting to make their own cleaning products with natural ingredients like vinegar and baking soda instead. 

While these products keep mirrors and countertops sparkling, does homemade laundry detergent get clothes just as clean as store-bought options? And is it worth the time and money to make it?

What it is: The draw of homemade detergent is controlling the formula, an essential aspect for people with allergies or skin sensitivities. A few recipes are floating around online, but typically a homemade laundry cleaning mix will contain:

  • Borax balances the pH level of water and gets rid of dirt.

  • Baking or washing soda strips clothes of oils and residue.

  • Soap flakes dissolve during the cycle, creating suds to clean clothes.

What you’ll pay: The price will vary depending on the formula you choose. It also depends on the quality of ingredients you choose—we’re using this recipe to calculate the cost using the lowest prices we could find online. 

  • The total cost was $73.63 and will produce 35 cups of the powdered formula or 560 tablespoons.

  • An average load requires 2 tablespoons, so each cycle you run will cost you about 25 cents a load, though some boast they can get the cost down to ten cents by buying supplies in bulk.

What you’ll save: The top-rated allergen-free detergent costs $67.49 for a 2.4-litre bottle that will wash 110 loads at 61 cents a load. 

So is it worth it? If you suffer from skin sensitivities or allergies or hate the scent of store-bought detergents on your laundered clothes, making your own detergent is cheaper than paying for a premium allergen-free formula.