In with the new, out with the Tide

Some of you know, I've basically been a housewife since I was 14.  My mother had Multiple Sclerosis, so I have been doing all the family laundry since I was around 12. 
We  always used Tide! (it's been around since 1946).
I did try Surf --1 box, in 1989, but it faded my clothes, so back to Tide it was.  No savings was worth faded clothes.
Fast forward 25 years or so....I decided to give homemade laundry soap a try.  I found many liquid recipe's and thought it would be nice to put the soap in the old Tide dispenser....but so much work!  Then I asked Lori for her recipe . 
 1 bar Fels-Naptha soap
2c borax
2c washing soda
1c baking soda (not shown)
use about 2 Tablespoons per load
* I doubled the recipe for my family, and the powder is fine, didn't get clumpy or moist.

So then I put on my thinking cap and got busy with the math.
Just to prove it, I'll list all the details.
Fels-Naptha= 97 cents
2c borax = 71 cents
2c washing soda =94 cents
1c baking soda =25 cents (big bag from Sam's)
$2.87 a batch, which makes 7 cups, which equals 56 loads.


I have used this for a full month, and am happy with the results. I have not noticed any fading or dinginess.
Looks like I'm mixing up cheese biscuits=).  An upside-down cake taker proved to be the perfect mixing bowl.
As you can see on my Tide container, I keep up with how long it lasts me.  I measured the Tide on the smallest marker of the cup (which is how much I was using), and calculated that I get 150 loads from a jug.
I pay $25.48 at Sam's...that's 16.98 cents a load....over 3X what the homemade soap costs.
I also calculated that I use about 5 jugs of Tide a year, totalling $127.40.
The same number of loads with homemade soap (14 batches) will cost $40.18.
Savings per year: $87.22!!
If at any point I find the need to switch back, I will let you know.
                                                          Happy Savings=)


  1. I have a newer HE washer. I am wondering if the homemade detergent could have a negative effect on my machine. If you have any thoughts and/or experience in that area I would love to hear.
    Many thanks,

  2. Anonymous4:48 PM

    I too have an HE and I have used both powder and liquid detergents that are homemade. It doesnt give my machine any issues just make sure you ony use the prescibed amount. Also just extra here, you can use straight vinegar for fabric softner. I use about 1/8 of a cup and it does NOT leave a smell on my clothes and yes it keeps them soft. Not to mention it is a GREAT cleaner for the machine in our opinion. I can go through a gallon of vinegar in one year or more for fabric softner and we are a 9 member family. ~Trina