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Homekeeping · Laundry · Laundry Products: DIY or Buy?
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Laundry Products: DIY or Buy?

To DIY or Buy...that is the question!

For those of you who’ve ever wondered if “homemade” necessarily equals “cheaper”…..we offer you another chapter in our “Homemade vs. Store Bought” series. Today we focus on our extensive collection of homemade laundry products!

A few weeks ago I did a post on Homemade vs. Store Bought Cleaners where I analyzed a whole bunch of our homemade cleaning posts based on three factors – the effectiveness of the product, the cost, and the health benefits. I then presented my conclusion as to whether or not it is worth it to make the product at home or to just buy it at the store. We had a fantastic response to that post and got a lot of requests to do the same thing for our homemade laundry and beauty recipes. Today I’m tackling the laundry recipes

Just like the the cleaners post, I’m including a price breakdown for each product. I based the prices on products and ingredients found at Walmart since that is a store just about everyone has access to. I didn’t use sale prices or coupons so keep that in mind when it comes to cost. If you don’t have time to make homemade products you may be able to get store bought things for much cheaper with coupons.

Fabric Refreshing Spray

Store Bought: $.18 per ounce
Homemade: $.03 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: Make Your Own Fabric Refreshing Spray

Conclusion: Make your own! The price difference is huge and the homemade recipe only has 3 simple ingredients so it’s super easy to make.

Wrinkle Release Spray

Store Bought: $.66 per ounce
Homemade: Less than $.01 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: Homemade Wrinkle Release Spray

Conclusion: Make your own! Just look at that price difference!

“Shout” Stain Remover

Store Bought: $.08 per ounce
Homemade: $.02 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: Make Your Own “Shout” Stain Remover

Conclusion: Make you own! This recipe is incredibly simple and you save a few bucks in the process. Plus, it’s just as, if not more, effective than the store bought stuff.

Fabric Softener

Store Bought: $.08 per ounce
Homemade: $.02 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: Homemade Fabric Softener

Conclusion: I’m a little torn on this one…the recipe is just water, hair conditioner and vinegar. Because of the hair condition this homemade fabric softener still contains some questionable ingredients (unless you get all natural hair conditioner). But it does save a bit of money. So I’ll leave this one up to you 😉

Fabric Softener Crystals

Store Bought: $.45 per ounce
Homemade: $.14 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: Make Your Own Fabric Softener Crystals 

Conclusion: Make your own! Great savings on this one and no questionable ingredients.

Reusable Dryer Sheets

Store Bought: $.05 per sheet
Homemade: $.02 per use

Homemade Recipe: DIY Reusable Dryer Sheets

Conclusion: Jillee loves these reusable dryer sheets and still uses them with all her laundry. The cost difference is small but you’re saving the environment by not having to throw away used dryer sheets, so my vote goes to the reusable kind. Tip: If you prefer store bought, you don’t need to use a whole dryer sheet in each load. If you cut a sheet in a half you would only be paying $.025 per use.

Wool Dryer Balls

Store Bought: $5 per ball
Homemade: $1.25 per ball

Homemade Recipe: Energy Saving Wool Dryer Balls

Conclusion: Make your own! Wool dryer balls are a great substitute for fabric softener. You can use them forever and they are free of any harsh chemicals.

Oily Stain Remover

Store Bought: Zout, $.13 per ounce
Homemade: $.10 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: Getting Oily Stains Out of Dark Colored Clothing

Conclusion: Make your own! I’ve never actually used Zout but it was the closest option to our homemade oil stain treatment that I could find at the store. The savings here isn’t huge but I love, love, love this recipe. It has never failed me and uses ingredients I always have on hand.

Grass Stain Remover

Store Bought: $.14 per ounce
Homemade: $.02 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: Grass Stain Buster! The Ultimate Laundry Spot Remover

Conclusion: Make your own! This recipe is extremely effective and inexpensive.

Liquid Laundry Detergent – No Grate

Store Bought: $.12 per ounce
Homemade: Less than $.01 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: No Grate Homemade Laundry Soap

Conclusion: Make your own! This one is a no brainer. This recipe is simple, effective, and inexpensive.

Dry Laundry Soap

Store Bought: $.13 per ounce
Homemade: $.09 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: Make a Year’s Worth of Laundry Soap for $30

Conclusion: Make your own! Another no brainer. I’ve been using this recipe for well over a year and I love it. It makes a batch that can last a family of 4 a year. It’s made with natural ingredients and it’s inexpensive.

Laundry Detergent Tabs

Store Bought: $.29 per ounce
Homemade: $.09 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: Homemade Laundry Detergent Tabs

Conclusion: Make your own! These tabs are made with the detergent listed above. They are so much cheaper than store bought detergent tabs!

Laundry Stain Stick

Store Bought: $.83 per ounce
Homemade: $.08 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: Make Your Own Laundry Stain Stick

Conclusion: Make your own! This recipe is a little time intensive but it’s much cheaper than the store bought version.

Bleach Gel Pen

Store Bought: $1.36 per ounce
Homemade: $.03 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: How to Make Your Own Bleach Gel Pen

Conclusion: Make your own! Such a huge savings here!

Whitening Solution

Store Bought: $.14 per ounce
Homemade: $.05 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: Miracle Laundry Whitening Solution

Conclusion: Make your own! This homemade whitening solution is extremely effective.

Spray Starch

Store Bought: $.09 per ounce
Homemade: Less than $.01 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: How to Make Your Own Spray Starch

Conclusion: Make your own!

Washing Soda

Store Bought: $.07 per ounce
Homemade: $.04 per ounce

Homemade Recipe: Making Your Own Washing Soda For Homemade Laundry Detergent 

Conclusion: Buy it! The homemade version is a tiny bit cheaper but for me it’s just not worth it to make my own. The only reason I would say you should make the homemade version is if you can’t find washing soda locally.

Dryel Cleaning Cloths

Store Bought: $1.48 per cloth
Homemade: $.21 per cloth

Homemade Recipe: How to Make Your Own Dryel Cleaning Cloths

Conclusion: Make your own! This homemade version is effective and so much cheaper than the store bought Dryel cloths.

Laundry Color Catchers

Store Bought: $.18 per sheet
Homemade: $.10 per sheet

Homemade Recipe: Make Your Own Laundry Color Catchers

Conclusion: Make your own! The savings per sheet isn’t huge but this is a one time use product so the cost adds up.

It’s obvious that making your own laundry products really IS the economical choice in addition to the environmentally-friendly one! 🙂


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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