Make Your Own Laundry Soap {Saving Money}


laundry soapAt church a few Ladies are making their own laundry soap and it got me wondering if this was something people were doing and saving money.  It turns out there are thousands of people who want to know how to make homemade laundry detergent.  {{who knew?}}

So today, I’m featuring a Leisha who took the time to create a tutorial and help us save money and make our own homemade laundry soap.  It cost her only $13.08 for all the ingredients to make a 5 gallon batch of laundry soap.

Homemade Laundry Soap Ingredients

  • 1 whole bar soap
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 3 gallons/4 cups warm water

Laundry Soap Recipe

  1. Begin by pouring 4 cups of water into a medium sized pot to boil.
  2. While waiting for your water to boil grate as much soap as you plan to use, this can be done by hand or in a food processor.
  3. Add grated soap to pot and stir until dissolved fully.
  4. Add 3 gallons of warm/hot water to a 5 gallon bucket.
  5. Add your pot of soapy brew to the 5 gallon bucket.
  6. Add 1 cup of washing soda and stir for 2 minutes with a large long handled strong spoon.
  7. Once your washing soda is dissolved and well mixed in, add 1/2 cup of borax and stir for 2-3 minutes to dissolve and mix well.
  8. At this point you can add your fragrance if you so desire. We love good smelling things at our house and so I like to add a little extra yummy smell – this time I chose a sandalwood amber fragrance oil.
  9. Pop the lid on tight and let it sit overnight.

This is where the magic happens. In the morning you will open your bucket to 3 gallons of gelled glop – it will smell great, it will clean your clothes but the consistency will be a little watery and a gloppy – that is perfectly ok.

Use 1/2 cup per load.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Tips

I also found these great tips on how to make laundry detergent from Suite 101.  To enhance the clothes washing process, try these tips:

  • If the clothing comes out feeling stiff, lower the amount of detergent used per load, particularly in high-efficiency washing machines. As each washer is different, it may be necessary to adjust the detergent accordingly; start with 1 tablespoon and increase or reduce as needed.
  • A cup of vinegar can also be added to the rinse cycle as a natural, chemical free fabric softener. Once the clothes have thoroughly dried, the smell of vinegar will not remain.
  • Add water to a small amount of detergent and rub directly into a stain to pre-treat heavily solid clothes before placing them into the washing machine.

More Laundry Tips from Tip Junkie:


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  1. p.s. don’t be off-put by the consistency. It comes out pretty much like snot. Really gloppy, thick and gooey snot. But works like magic! My amazing soap-making friend has adjusted her recipe over the batches to make it less snotty… shh – don’t tell her – but I secretly feel like it worked best in its full, snotty glory! The thinner stuff is still good, but the first thick-n-goopy batch was definitely the best! Just give the bottle a good shake each time you use it and you’re good to go!

  2. I am too busy (lazy?) to make this up myself, but luckily I have a good friend who cooks up a big batch every few months and sells/gives away the bounty. This is some good stuff! She uses it for just about anything (I asked her the other day for her frugal recipe for homemade carpet steamer solution – she mixes this soap with a bit of bleach and water – AWESOME!).

    I just use it for laundry, but I did take her frugal advice and switch to vinegar for my fabric softener – I’ll never look back! Clothes come out BETTER (IMHO) with vinegar than with fabric softener alone! I use a Downy Ball and fill it half to 3/4 to the line with vinegar. Using the homemade soap and vinegar will give you a scent-less load of laundry (so sad) so to add that fresh-clean scent I top off the ball with a splash of my favorite liquid fabric softener.

  3. You can use homemade laundry detergent in your HE washing machine, but you have to use even less than with a top loader. However, you have to do so at your own risk, because some HE machine warranties say you have to use HE detergent or the warranty is voided. I know the Duggars, the family with 19 kids, have been making their own laundry detergent for years and use it in their front loaders though.

  4. Does this work in the FRONT LOADIN washers…..the ones you have to use the HE (high efficiency) labels for your washer??????? Would LOVE to use this, but don’t want to mess up my washer:O)

  5. Can you use this in the high -efficiency washers? We buy the stuff that has “HE” on it in the stores… just wondering if we could use this…

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