Thursday, October 6, 2011

Homemade Cloth Diaper Detergent

The Why

I used the last of my cloth diaper detergent this week. Instead of purchasing more, I decided to make more. I did some research on the web and it was really quite basic research. I very quickly became aware that everyone had different opinions. I figured that if I continued to research, I would just find more of the same differing opinions.

Most recipes contained three ingredients: Fels Naptha (laundry bar soap), washing soda, and borax. Some people found the borax too abrasive for their kids bum. Also, the Fels Naptha can cause build up on your diapers which means you need to strip them more frequently. No, thank you. Too much work!

I decided to use baking soda, washing soda, and OxiClean. I had all the ingredients (except it took me a while to locate the baking soda). And they are all good. OxiClean Free has no dyes, perfumes, or phosphates. Washing soda is deemed nontoxic and baking soda… well, we cook with it, don’t we? It was easy peasy. I even took pictures.

The Tutorial


1. Gather your ingredients. Washing soda and OxiClean can be found in the laundry section of your grocery store. Baking soda is in the baking aisle.


2. Pour all your ingredients in a container. I used one cup of each.


3. Mix together. I left this scoop in there. I got it from Rockin Green. It has a tablespoon on one side and a teaspoon on the other.


4. Put lid on and label. For ease of remember, I also wrote how to make it. Super easy.

The Cost comparison

Rockin Green: $15.95 for 45 oz. I used 1 1/2 Tbsp per load so that is about 60 loads. $0.27 per load.

Homemade Detergent

Baking soda: $4.18 for 64 oz. I used 8 oz so that is $0.52.

Washing soda: $2.50 for 55 oz. I used 8 oz so that is $0.36.

OxiClean Free: $6.50 for 65 oz. I used 8 oz so that is $0.80.

Total cost: $1.68 for 24 oz. If I continue to use 1 1/2 Tbsp per load that is 32 loads. $0.05 per load.

Whoa. Okay. I wasn’t expecting that big of a savings. $0.22 per load savings!!

Right now I wash diapers three times a week. In one month I’m saving $2.64 (3*4 washes). That’s a savings of $34.32 per year (3*52 washes)!!!

The Conclusion

I can’t really say that I’d do it for the environmentally friendly aspect of it all. Rockin Green was really quite good. No phosphates, no dyes, you didn’t have to have fragrances but if you did, it all washes out so it’s really just for you to stick your nose in your laundry detergent and smell something pretty. Homemade detergent is great.

One cost I didn’t factor in is that I can buy all the ingredients for the homemade detergent at my regular grocery store. It doesn’t take an extra trip. Rockin Green I had to drive somewhere special or order it online and pay shipping. That just makes Rockin Green more expensive and therefore the savings is higher to switch to homemade detergent.

One test left to go. Do the diapers like it? I won’t know for at least a few weeks or even a month from now to get a really good idea. But I’ll be sure to let you know.

1 comment:

  1. I'm very curious how much you like this stuff after extended use of it. I like the savings, both in gas and time. I know the stuff I use is easily twice as expensive as the normal detergent because it's for sensitive skin.

    I read a tip where you can add essential oil I guess there's lavender, rosemary, and tea tree oil. (I just am not sure how I'd go about adding that.)