Recipe: Homemade Laundry Detergent for My Son’s Sensitive Skin

BY: - 21 Feb '14 | Recipes

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Since the birth of my son Jackson, I have been purchasing every sensitive skin product available seems like. His skin is so sensitive that even fragrance in my laundry detergent, lotion, and toiletries must be unscented or he will have a visible breakout at the point of contact.

Before the realization of making my own detergent I was spending $25 (including taxes) every month and a half. Imagine how elated I was to find that I could put that extra $50 dollars ($200 per year) into my savings account or use it to buy diapers. No it isn’t as convenient as that jug of Tide or Gain purchased at the grocer. But it is much cheaper, lasts longer, and very environmentally friendly.

Here is the cost breakdown of homemade detergent:

$5.00          20 Mule Team Borax (76 oz.; sodium borate … not Borat)
$3.50          Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (55 oz.; sodium carbonate)
$3.00          Dr. Bronner’s Castille or Fels-Naptha bar soap (I purchase 3 at a time)
$17.50        Total + tax

So, for $17.50 + taxes I can make 12 lbs. of laundry detergent (average cost of $2.50 per 3 lbs.) which will last up to 4 months. That equals $10; $30 a year spent on detergent instead of hundreds. I forgot to mention it only takes between 15 – 30 minutes to make the detergent whether powder or liquid.

To make this miraculous money saving detergent you will need the following:

  • 1 box – Borax
  • 1 box – Super Washing Soda
  • 1 bar – All-natural soap bar
  • 1 – Large mixing bowl
  • 1 – Cheese Grater (I purchased mine from the dollar store)
  • 1 – Measuring cup



Since I have a 2 year old that is a magnet for stains I use Fels-Naptha bar soap. If you don’t need as much stain power or prefer a fragrant detergent I recommend using Dr. Bronner’s Castille bar soap. All of Dr. Bronner’s products are 100% all natural and essential oil based. You can find liquid and bar soap scents in tea tree, almond, lavender, peppermint and more in the natural products area of your grocer.

Since some prefer liquid over powder detergent, or vice versa, I will provide the recipes for both.

Powdered Detergent

In a large bowl, mix 2 cups Super Washing Soda, 2 cups Borax and the grated bar of soap (of your choice) until evenly distributed. If you are concerned about odors you can add 2 – 4 tablespoons of baking soda.

Once all ingredients are mixed pour the mixture into an airtight container. I use an old Oxi Clean container but you can use a Mason Jar or Tupperware as well. If you are using a large enough storage container, you can just put all of the ingredients in the container shake.

Use 1/4 cup per load of laundry or as needed.

Liquid Detergent

Place 2 quarts of water into a pot and bring to a boil. Grate one bar of soap with cheese grater. Gradually pour grated soap into pot, stirring constantly until soap is completely liquefied. In a 5-gallon bucket (available for free in your grocers bakery, just ask the manager or clerk on duty) add 4.5 gallons of really hot water (tap is fine). While stirring, add 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of Super Washing Soda until completely dissolved then add the soap mixture from pot into 5-gallon bucket. Stir very well.

Cover and leave overnight. Stir mixture the following morning until smooth. Transfer liquid detergent into gallon jugs or other containers (old liquid detergent bottles work perfect) or leave in 5-gallon bucket.

Use 1/2 cup per load of laundry or as needed.

BMWK – What are you spending each year on laundry detergent? Have you ever thought of making your own? Would saving up to $200 or more per year be worth 2 hours of your time? Let me know. Let’s talk about it.

About the author

Keith Luter wrote 7 articles on this blog.

I am a husband, father, foodie, singer, musician, style buff (it's a thing) and multipotentialist. I contribute to Black and Married with Kids, Fashion Mingle and my own blog #ImADapperDad. I am a grateful and valued member of the Lakewood Church worship team under the direction of Steve Crawford, Da’dra Crawford-Greathouse, Israel Houghton and Cindy Ratcliff. I live in Houston with my wife and son.


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  4. Hayley Brown

    Very interesting! I also have very sensitive skin and very often I get rash from the washing powder so I am always searching for something for my skin but I’ve never thought of making my own laundry detergent! Thank you!

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Review: Our 5 Favorite Things about the Serta iComfort Directions Epic Mattress

BY: - 27 Feb '14 | Products

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DISCLOSURE – Lamar and I are paid bloggers in the Serta 2013 Ambassador Program. However, all opinions about the products are our own.

For the last year, Lamar and I have been participating in the Serta 2013 Ambassador Blogger Program where Serta hand-picked several bloggers and sites that they wanted to have partnerships with over the year. As a perk in the program, we received the iComfort Directions Epic model with Motion Custom Adjustable Base. Needless to say, Lamar and I have never owned a mattress of this caliber before.  Here is a list of the exclusive technologies that are featured in the  iComfort Directions Epic model:


  • Thermo°Cool™ yarn fabric cover with TENCEL® fibers, an exceptionally soft material designed to help improve heat and moisture flow at the sleep surface.
  • EverCool™ Gfx Memory Foam, the world’s first premium, breathable memory foam featuring an infusion of super heat-conducting graphene material for supple, body conforming comfort and an extra ability to whisk heat away from the body.
  • Cool Action™ Dual Effects™ layer helps provide more support where your body needs it and an enhanced ability to transport heat away from the mattress layers above it.
  • Pods™ gel-activated support layer works with Comfortlast® Foam core to help provide extra support from the deepest parts of the mattress and a firmer seating edge.
  • Cool Action™ Gel Energy Foam, designed to respond quickly to body pressure for enhanced comfort and deep down support you’ll feel the moment you lie down.

And we paired our mattress with new Serta® Motion Custom™ Adjustable Foundation, that features all of the amazing features shown in the info-graphic below: wireless speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, convenience lighting, six massage levels …and more.

IComfort Features

A mattress with all of that technology took quite a bit of time for us to break it in…no pun intended. We were literally discovering more and more features as time passed. Here are 5 of our favorite features:

  • I love the fact that the mattress can whisk the heat away from your body at night.  Although I am always cold and need lots of covers, my body gets really hot.  I did not have any of those problems with this mattress.
  • Lamar and I both love the wireless speaker system.  We connect Lamar’s Ipod and listen to our favorite songs in bed.
  • Lamar sleeps like a baby…he says the mattress is soft and comfortable.  However, for me the mattress is too soft.  So, if we had to pick again..we would have to pick a mattress the would be more comfortable for both of us.
  • We both love the convenience lighting under the bed. We use it to find things under the bed and to light up the room when we are taking a late night run to the bathroom.
  • And we both absolutely love the adjustable base that is controlled via a remote.  We raise the head of the bed nightly as we watch TV or catch-up on emails.

During our experience as Serta Brand Ambassadors we learned the importance of selecting a good quality mattress because after all, sleep is one of the most important functions of our bodies and we spend a significant amount of our time in the bed. We also learned the importance of working together as a couple to make major purchases.  Finally, we learned the importance of compromise in a marriage as we both had to compromise on certain features in order to select a mattress that was right for both of us.

Disclosure: Lamar and I are paid bloggers in the Serta 2013 Ambassador Program. We will be providing information and stories throughout the year about Serta campaigns, surveys and products that we have been given to review. Information, products and promotional items have been provided by Serta, however all opinions about the products are our own.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 528 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.


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