Cost savings breakdown
Prior to making our own, we were using Arm & Hammer liquid detergent. Here is the breakdown in cost analysis:
Use 1 Tbsp per load, or 2 -3 Tbsp for large or heavily soiled loads.
- Arm & Hammer® liquid 100 ounce detergent – $6.79 – 32 loads = $0.21 per load
- Tide® with Bleach powder 267 ounce detergent – $20.32 – 95 loads = $0.21 per load
- Jabs Homemade powder 32 ounce detergent – $2.98 – 64 loads = $0.05 per load
As you can see, whether I compare against traditional store bought liquid or powder, I am saving $0.16 per load!
Note: No time or desire to make your own laundry detergent? You can always purchase natural brands like these.
High Efficiency (HE) Washers
HE front-load washers require “special soap” for one reason alone – low suds. Because they use less water, they require soap that is less sudsy. The good news is, this homemade detergent is VERY low suds. The ”special” HE detergent is just another advertising mechanism to push consumers to buy “special soap” for unnecessarily high prices.
Regardless of your washer type, just make your own in confidence.
Safe for septic tanks and fields
This is the best laundry soap to use with septic tanks because it contains zero phosphates and zero fillers (like montmorillonite clay) that cause commercial powder detergents to clog lines. It is also completely non-toxic so it will not harm necessary septic bacteria like toxic detergents and antibacterial soaps. Use with confidence.
Is Borax Toxic
After thorough research, I concluded borax is only as toxic as baking soda or table salt; if you ingest it in high quantities, it may make you sick. If you use it as described in our recipes, it poses no toxic threat.
Just make sure you don’t confuse Borax with Boric Acid, the two are NOT the same. Use borax (I recommend 20 Mule Team brand), and steer clear of boric acid.
For those of you who want more info, read this excellent Crunchy Betty article where she expounds the toxicity levels of borax; I couldn’t have said it better myself – thanks Crunchy Betty.
At the end of the day, decide for yourself to use it or not, and afford others the same courtesy.
What are you waiting for? Go get the ingredients and make yours today!
References and Resources
- Borax on Wikipedia
- Toxicity reports for Borax on PesticideInfo.org
- Washing Soda (a.k.a. Sodium Carbonate or Soda Ash) on Wikipedia
- International Chemical Safety Card for Sodium Carbonate at the Center for Disease Control
- Sodium Carbonate on the National Center for Biotechnology Information PubChem
- Fels Naptha on Wikipedida
- Fels Naptha Material Safety Data Sheet MSDS L-101 on Prosarcorp.com