Even if you don’t use cloth diapers in your house, this recipe from my good friend Brandi Hohner will work for your family! Check out her price breakdown at the end, it’s a staggering difference from store-bought detergents. Thanks Brandi for helping Metro Detroit moms save a little green!

Frugal Fridays with Brandi

by  on August 15, 2014 in frugal fridayhealthy homerecipes
When I became a mom I knew pennies would be pinched. So we did as most new/parent’s to be do and shopped around for best diaper and wipes prices. Little did I know that not even 2 months into mommy hood we found out that our sweet little Babycakes was allergic to disposable diapers :0/ What’s a {new} mom to do?! Cloth Diapers here we come!Budget wise it was it actually made more sense, 1 upfront cost and then diapers for life! Only problem now was cost of special detergents to wash said super economical cloth diapers. The new style cloth diapers need to be washed in special detergents with no whiteners, scents, no fuss no muss and low suds! Oh and I have an HE washing machine!

After about 2 months of buying special and expensive detergents for just the diapers and wipes. I started doing some research and that’s when I found my fist recipe for homemade laundry detergent. Well the Hubster thought it was a waste of time, too much of hassle and not cost effective. But me being me I had to prove him wrong. After all he did quickly jump on board the breastfeeding, cloth diapering, & homemade baby food wagons!!

So there I was on the hunt for washing soda, borax and Fels Naptha {yeah what’s that?!}Brandi frugal friday 5

First recipe I tried was for liquid {almost gel} detergent and honestly was a little time consuming. Then I found a powder version and fell in LOVE!

Now over the years and as my needs have changed I have tweaked the recipe and made it work for us. With 2 very messy little’s and stinky sweaty clothes from Hubster and I, I’ve added an oxy cleaner and  baking POWDER to help eliminate stains and odors!!

I hope you enjoy and also find your perfect blend! Here’s mine for you to give a whirl, recipe and tutorial!


Brandi’s Laundry Detergent Blend


takes approx. 15mins to make (with hand grating the soap)

Makes approx. 160 Loads.

2 Cups Borax

2 Cups Washing Soda {different from baking soda}

2 cups SunOxy or Oxyclean {optional}

2 cups Baking Soda {also optional}

1 bar Zote {originally used pink one, now use half pink and half whitening}

Brandi frugal friday 4  Brandi frugal friday 3  Brandi frugal friday 6     Brandi frugal friday 7Brandi frugal friday 2

First in a very large bowl shred your Zote (or Zote blends); I use the super fine side on my hand grater. I have found that it dissolves easier and less sudsy that way.

Now add each of the other ingredients one at a time mixing very well in between each. You want to make sure it is as evenly distributed as possible.

Guess what…YOU’RE DONE!

That was it!

I use 1 TBSP per load, I do adjust with dirtiness and smelliness of loads also.

Price breakdown per load

Borax – $3.97/ 76oz = $0.052/oz   x 16oz = $0.83

Washing Soda- $3.97/55oz = $0.72/oz   x 16oz = $1.12

Sun Oxy- $5.94/96oz = $0.063/oz x16oz = $1.28

Baking Soda- $3.47/40oz = $0.084/oz x16oz = $0.99

Zote – $0.97/bar

Total per batch is $5.19 divided by 160 loads

Is……. $0.03 per load!!!


I really hope you enjoy this recipe and have fun making your own detergent!

For those who like added scents to their laundry stay tuned for my scent booster hacks! How to make your own or make your store bought last 2-4x as long!

Farewell my Frugal friends!