Liquid laundry detergent is so 2011. Heralded as the biggest laundry innovation of this generation, single-dose detergent capsules known as laundry pods hit the market shelves in 2012 with a sudsy bang. Dozens of brands offer laundry pods, but Tide Pods are by far the most popular, commandeering at least 75% of the laundry-pod market and reaching a staggering $50 million dollars in sales last year.
I love laundry pods since they are mess-free (it’s one of my biggest pet peeves to have spilled, blue liquid laundry detergent splattered all over my white washing machine), help ensure that you’re putting the correct amount of detergent in your wash, and are easy to carry around. If you’re heading down to the communal washers in your apartment complex or going to the laundromat, it’s so much more convenient to just throw a couple laundry pods in a plastic zip bag than to lug a heavy bottle of liquid detergent around with you.
A 57-pack of Tide Pods Spring Meadow Laundry Detergent at Walmart.com is $15.47. That works out to $0.27 a load. A 100 fl oz. bottle of Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent, Mountain Spring Scent is $11.97 at Walmart.com. Since a 100 oz. bottle of liquid Tide is indicated for 60 loads of laundry, that works out to $0.20 a load. As such, when it comes to laundry pods, you’re definitely paying a premium for the convenience factor. If you’re like me and love the convenience of laundry pods but not their higher price point, try making your own homemade laundry pods with this easy recipe for all-in-one laundry pods that function as detergent, fabric softener and stain remover:
What You’ll Need:
- mixing bowl
- flat sheet pan or cookie sheet
- parchment paper
- rounded 1 Tbsp measuring spoon
- stirring spoon or fork
- spray bottle
- 1 1/2 cups washing soda (e.g., Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda Detergent Booster and Househoold Cleaner, 55oz., $3.24 at Walmart.com)
- 1/2 cup laundry soap bar, grated (e.g., Fels-Naptha Heavy Duty Laundry Bar Soap, 5.5 oz., $1.99 at Drugstore.com)
- 2 Tbsp Epsom salt (i.e. CVS Epsom Salt, 100% Natural-Minerals, 6 lbs., $4.79 at CVS.com)
- 3 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide (i.e. CVS Hydrogen Peroxide Solution, 16 oz., $1.39 at CVS.com)
- 1/4 cup and 2 Tbsp white vinegar, separated (e.g., Heinz Distilled White Vinegar, 16 oz., $1.00 at Walmart.com)
- 15-20 drops of essential oil such as lavender or jasmine for fragrance (optional)
- Place washing soda, grated laundry soap and Epsom salt in a mixing bowl.
- Add hydrogen peroxide to bowl and give the ingredients a good stir.
- Add 1/4 cup vinegar to bowl. Then, if you want your homemade pods to smell nice, add 15-20 drops of essential oil such as lavender or jasmine to the mixture. Stir all the ingredients together. The mixture should resemble wet sand and should clump together when you press it.
- Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Use a rounded 1 Tbsp measuring spoon to scoop the mixture out of the bowl and onto the cookie sheet. Leave a little space between each scooped out mound.
- Add 2 Tbsp vinegar and 2 Tbsp water to an empty spray bottle. Spritz the pods on your cookie sheet with the solution.
- Completely dry pods at room temperature for at least 8 hours before using. One pod is good for 1 load of laundry. This recipe should make about 28 pods. Store in a resealable plastic bag or a container with a lid.