Sunday, February 1, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

Making your own laundry soap is easy and affordable. This recipe makes about 2 gallons or enough soap for 64 to 90 loads depending on the type of washer, load size, and soil level. For us it turns out to be less than 2 cents a load. Now that's a good deal.

1/3 bar Fels-Naptha
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax powder
~ You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~

I store the ingredients in glass jars. They look much prettier in my laundry room than the cardboard boxes. On the right is the grated Fels-Naptha. The middle is the borax and the right is the washing soda. I am able to purchase all three of these items at our local Wallmart.

First you will need to grate the Fels-Naptha. I use my food processor to due this quickly. Next put the grated soap in a sauce pan and add 6 cups of water. Heat this until the soap melts.

Add 1/2 cup of borax powder and 1/2 cup of washing soda to the melted soap & water mixture. Stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat.

Pour 4 cups of hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Next add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. If you would like to add a fragrance to your soap you can add essential oil here.

Cover the mixture and let it sit for about 24 hours. During this time it will gel. I like to use my hand blender to make the soap a more uniform consistency, otherwise it seems to have clumps of gel floating in liquid.

Use 1/2 cup per load. I have a front loading washer and only need about 1/3 of a cup.


  1. I make my own laundry soap too and love it...
    It does a great job in my humble opinion!
    It's been harder lately though because nowhere in this area does anyone sell washing soda so I have to buy online...
    Wishing you a blessed week ahead!

  2. In which department of walmart do you find fels-naptha?? Never seen it before. Love the tutorial!

  3. We just made our own laundry soap this past week and basically used the same recipe, however, the lady teaching us showed us how to make a BIG batch. We used the whole bar of soap and a cup of the washing soda and 1/2 cup of the Borax. We made 10 gallons of laundry soap with that, but she said to use 1 cup of soap per load. Do you use the hand blender that you use for cooking/baking to mix it up?

  4. Thanks for the link Elizabeth! I added a link to this post on my site. :)

    lisa (5orangepotatoes)

  5. We make our liquid laundry detergent with liquid castile soap and it is much easier. It cuts out the grating and melting of bar soap. Doesn't have as much suds but cleans just as well.

  6. Marybeth WadlingerJune 15, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    For all who have front-loading washers...they are notorious for developing a musty build-up/odor that transfers onto your clothes. This laundry soap eliminates the problem - no kidding. I had been using a store-bought, fragrance free product because I hadn't stopped long enough to make some more of my own. Sure enough, the odor was back. One washload later with my soap - gone!


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