Simple Home Year: Frugal laundry detergent

When I go into the cleaning aisle in the supermarket my nostrils and lungs are assaulted by the smell of chemicals. Our household is not completely chemical-free nor am I asthmatic or particularly “lung sensitive” but I do find that aisle noxious — and obnoxious.

If I were to buy detergent this (below) is probably the sort of thing I’d buy. It appeals to me because it indicates that it is good for the environment as well as people, it’s toxin free and it’s Australian-made. Of course I’d check out these claims but as it’s made by Honest to Goodness I suspect they are true, I’m a fan of many of their groceries.


$12 for a kilogram of laundry powder is certainly a premium price, generic boxes sell for under $10 for four kilograms, brand name detergents of the same weight are around the $20 mark.

However why buy any of them? Homemade laundry powder can be in made up in moments, it costs a fraction of the retail version, it’s good for you and the environment, it’s toxin and sensitiser free.

Rhonda’s laundry powder recipe can be mixed up in no time, the even more frugal laundry liquid recipe can be prepared and bottled within about half an hour. The ten litres will cost you about $A2.50.


I’ve found both recipes to be very effective on clothes with all levels of soiling. I make up the liquid detergent in a saucepan on the cooktop, then pour the concentrate into a large bucket to which I add nine litres of tap water. Mum stirs the bucket of liquid every half hour or so for a couple of hours (her choice, I’d do it once or twice), we get a great gel liquid that simple needs a shake before use.

We decant the ten litres into empty two litre vinegar bottles whose contents have been used as rinse aid (more on that next week). This super economical environmentally friendly liquid also doesn’t require hauling home from the supermarket, it won’t make you sneeze and it will clean your clothes.

I hope you’ll give it a go.


7 thoughts on “Simple Home Year: Frugal laundry detergent

  1. Well, Rose, I’ve got to take my computer in to Granny’s room and show her your mom! i think you may possibly have posted her on your blog before….isn’t she just a lovely smiling lady!


  2. Making laundry soap is fun, isn’t it? I make mine because it helps my son’s eczema immensely—and like you said, buying natural products can be cost-prohibitive. I love that every time I use my homemade detergent I can take that much more pride and ownership in getting the laundry done.


  3. Rhonda’s laundry liquid is great we converted to RLL ( the label on our recycled plastic bottles) after our first trial batch. I like to think all the laundry liquid savings we have made in the last few years have gone into additional mortgage payments :).


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