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. I use the vinegar but I also make my own “Dryer Sheets”.

    The Duggar’s profiled it on their show and I haven’t turned back either.

    Basically, buy your favorite fabric softener (I love Gain’s scent), use another 5gal bucket and dump the whole bottle in, and then fill the bottle up twice and add to the fab softener mix. So basically it is a 1 part Fab Softener and 2 parts water.

    Now get some sponges and you can store them in the buckets. When you go to dry a load wring out the sponge lightly and add to the dryer full of clothes.

    My last batch of laundry detergent I made in the middle of July. It’s almost the middle of October and I’ve got 1/4 of a bucket left. I have 8 kids so a family of 10! A bucket of laundry detergent costs me less than $4 to make and lasts 3 months. Compared to $8-$12 a bottle of commercial detergent that lasts maybe 1-2 weeks IF that!

    My “dryer sheets” lasts the same amount of time.

    My one friend has been experimenting with her laundry soap and has added oxy clean to her recipe. She mixes it in during the cooking stage and hasn’t had problems with it. I’m going to do this with my next batch.

  2. I’ve been making this soap for over a year and it works great for normal loads. Use some Oxy-Clean pwd with heavily soiled loads or pretreat stains if things are really dirty. I’ve found that Fels-Naptha soap ( usually found with the Borax & Washing Soda) gets clothes the cleanest. I’ve tried Ivory & Zote soap before the Fels-Naptha and it’s the best 🙂

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