Homemade Cost Savings: Laundry Detergent & Spray Starch

Like most people I know, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to save money around the house.  In addition, I also try to minimize the amount of chemicals I use.  I really like Seventh Generation and some of the other eco-friendly, non-toxic brands, but they aren’t exactly easy on the wallet.  So, here are two ways you can save some green while being green!

Make your own laundry detergent:

I have done this recently; and I’m about to make my second batch.  It works well thus far!  I used this recipe from a great blog called Homestead Revival.  They have two versions; I used the Fels Naphtha version because that’s what I could find in my area. 

It’s easy to make, and one batch lasts as long as a regular bottle of laundry detergent (if not longer).  I priced the ingredients today at my local grocery store.  All the ingredients for three batches of the recipe were less than $10 with washing soda and borax left over, too!  Compared to $8.99 for a bottle of Seventh Generation laundry detergent at my local Publix, that’s a no-brainer for me. 

I use one tablespoon sized scoop (not exact) in each load.  I actually use a plastic scoop leftover from a container of baby formula.  Try not to breathe the mixture in very deeply.  The borax can make you cough.  I think you’ll be pleased with the outcome of this recipe.  I am!

Make your own spray starch:  

Mix 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 cup of cold water.  Take care to make sure there are no lumps of cornstarch remaining in the liquid.  The mixture will be cloudy, and this is okay.  If you like, add one drop of your favorite essential oils to give a slight fragrance to your ironed items.  Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and use as you would any store-bought starch!  How easy is that? 

Before making my own starch, I’ve been buying Niagara brand spray starch in the pump bottle as pictured below.  I like this brand of store-bought spray starch.  These pump bottles are the best I’ve found!  I washed out several of them and kept them for reuse for my homemade starch, as well as homemade shampoo & conditioner.  

Homemade spray starch is so inexpensive, too!  Comparatively speaking, Niagara spray starch costs approximately $3 per bottle.  Most municipal water costs less than/around one cent per gallon; corn starch costs approximately $.12 per ounce.  That means you can fill that same 22 ounce Niagara bottle for about 25 cents!!

I hope that these ideas encourage you to think outside the “big box” and consider other easy projects which can help you save time and money in your home!



Filed under Homemade

3 responses to “Homemade Cost Savings: Laundry Detergent & Spray Starch

  1. Katie Schmoeckel

    We may need to talk….I might need some recipes from you…homemade shampoo and conditioner? You had me at chemical free! 😉

  2. Eliza,

    I have been using a very similar recipe for about 3 years.
    1 cup of borax
    1 cup of washing soda
    1 bar of Fells Naptha
    3 gallons of hot tap water

    Grate the Fells into a pot, fill with water to completely cover and then sit over night. Heat the next day till completely melted. Mix with the soda, and borax, and water.

    My notes: Making the liquid means no issues with the powders dissolving. Once it has been mixed and sits for a while, it becomes a gel like substance. It dissolves easier in the wash and it lasts a long time.

    However, you need to wash all your clothes the very first time with a small amount of soda to get the residue from the previous detergent off your clothes, especially whites as the potential for them to have a yellow hue is great. This does not do well with dark clothes or your nicer clothes at ths borax dims the colors. After several washings they will become dingy. I use it for all my towels, linens, Matt’s work and kids play clothes. That only leaves a few loads a week that I use my other detergents.

    I am going to try the spray starch.

  3. Amy Perry

    I did not sign my last post and was logged into the wrong acount.


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