I have gotten several emails recently about how to make homemade detergent tabs. Whenever that happens, I usually take it as a sign from the universe that it’s time to write a blog post addressing that particular topic. But I have to admit, at first I didn’t quite understand why people were interested in making homemade detergent tabs. Homemade laundry detergent is plenty useful on its own, and I didn’t see the harm in using a scoop to measure it out every time!
The Advantages Of Laundry Detergent Tabs
But after giving it some thought, I started to see the possible merits of using detergent tabs over powdered detergent. One advantage of detergent tabs is that they offer a simple solution to the problem of detergent overdose. If you eliminate the variable of scooping or measuring, you’re much more likely to use the correct amount of detergent. Avoiding detergent overdose saves money, is better for your clothes, and protects your washing machine from excessive wear.
Related: How To Avoid Detergent Overdose
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Another advantage of using detergent tabs over powdered detergent is that they can make doing laundry easier for everyone. If you have a husband, wife, or teen who tends to struggle with doing laundry, detergent tabs may be a great way to simplify the process. (After all, saying “drop one of these tabs into the washer” is much easier to remember than “use this scoop, but only fill it two-thirds of the way up…”)
Some other clever uses:
- If you need to use a laundromat for some reason (I like to take my really big blankets to use their really big washers) grabbing a few tabs is a lot easier than lugging a bottle or jar.
- If you put a few into a sturdy tupperware container, you could easily take them with you on longer trips.
- You could also pack them up and send them to your college-age kids in a care package! The sky’s the limit for these handy tabs. :-)
The only real downside to laundry detergent tabs is how much they cost to buy. Almost all commercial detergent brands are more expensive in tablet/pod form than they are in liquid or powder form. However, if you’re willing to make your own detergent tabs using homemade laundry detergent, you can do it at no extra cost! How’s that for a win-win situation? :-) Here’s how it’s done.
How To Make Homemade Laundry Detergent Tabs
- Powdered laundry detergent*
- Spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Ice cube tray or silicone mold
Start by pouring a cup or so of white vinegar into your spray bottle. Then put a couple cups of your powdered laundry detergent into a bowl, and spray it with the vinegar to moisten. You want to get it just damp enough that the mixture forms a clump when you squeeze it in your hand.
Add one heaping tablespoon of the moistened detergent into each cavity of your ice cube tray (or whatever mold you choose to use). Press the detergent down firmly until it is tightly packed and level.
Once all of the detergent mixture is packed into your mold, allow the tabs to dry completely. This usually takes about 12 hours (or for those of us who live in Utah, about 12 minutes! It’s occasions like these when living in such a dry state really comes in handy.)
When the tabs are dry, pop them out of the mold and put them into an airtight storage container.
How Many Laundry Detergent Tabs Should I Use?
- For front-loading washing machines, use one tab per normal-sized load.
- For top-loading washing machines, use two tabs per normal-sized load.
I’m really glad I took the time to think this the whole “detergent tabs” thing through. Now I think they’re a brilliant idea, and I can see so many ways they could come in handy!