Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap, as listed above
½ cup washing soda
½ cup borax powder
~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.  Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.  Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.   Now add your soap mixture and stir.  Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.  Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel.  You use ½ cup per load.

**A few things to note about the soap**

~The finished soap will not be a solid gel.  It will be more of a watery gel that has been accurately described as an "egg noodle soup" look.

~The soap is a low sudsing soap.  So if you don’t see suds, that is ok.  Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.


  • I've made this 3-4 times now and it seems to be working well with our water and machine.  I probably should note that I really don't have any regular laundry challenges like cloth diapers, super hard water, or really dirty work clothes.  It has met all my usual challenges like grass stains, etc. though.
  • It has a pleasant, clean smell.  As suggested, I added lavender and orange oil to the first batch, but it really wasn't a notable improvement, so I've skipped the expense since then.
  • I'm not sure why the directions say to add water in these crazy increments.  The first time is obvious - a smaller amount so I can make sure everything is dissolved.  After that, just dump it in.  There are 2 gallons total.
  • After it cools, there will be a very gelled layer.  I just hit it with the immersion blender to mix it all together before transferring it to my empty laundry jugs.
  • Easy-peasy.  Practically free.
  • Source  (Word of warning though, its crazy colors, multiple fonts, and "cute" laundry graphics make it a challenge to read.  That's the main reason why I transferred it here.)


Mrs. N said...

The only problem I've had with the homemade detergent is that undershirts and socks get really grungy looking after a couple of months.

Margaret Mary said...

I wonder if it's your water. I've been using it for several months and haven't noticed a difference. I will admit that I don't have a lot of white clothes though.

Mrs. N said...

It might just be the darn eco friendly washer.

happymomonline said...

I used this same "recipe" and it was totally easy and super cheap. However, I had the same problem with whites looking dull after a while. Also, after using my own soap for a year...the washer broke...twice! The repair man said that it was the soap I was using. I have a HE washer that we paid a pretty penny for, so I went back to the Tide that the manufacturer recommended. That way, if I have any more problems, I can say that I've been using it by the book. BTW - I have not had any problems since switching back to store bought brand...hmmmm....

Emily said...

The whites might look dingy because there are no optical brighteners. If you wanted to go old-school, you could always try bluing.

You can also make this as a powdered detergent: http://taadaadesigns.blogspot.com/2012/12/homemade-laundry-detergent.html