Laundry Soap DIY

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Happy Sunday! I have had quite a few people ask me over the past couple of months what recipe I use for my homemade laundry soap. There are TONS of good liquid and dry recipes available online. When I first started looking into making my own soap, I remember being blown away by the volume of recipes available and the inconsistency in most of them. My recipe is loosely adapted from many others that I have found online.

Homemade Laundry Detergent 

Supplies Needed: 1 bar Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap (available in most local grocery stores), 1/2 cup Borax, 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, a cheese grater, 1 large bowl to mix ingredients, measuring cups, an air tight container to store finished product, and a blender (not shown and optional).

#1. Grate as much of your soap bar into a large mixing bowl as possible. This takes a while and can be very tiring. I remember the first time I made my own soap I was extremely discourage at the amount of time it took to grate the entire bar of soap – but just keep pushing, it is all worth it in the end. The more times you make the soap, the faster you get each time. The batch I made for this DIY only took about 10 minutes to grate. #2. Once the soap has been grated, it should be a very fine texture. This is the texture of how the soap will be put into the washing machine, so big chunks are a no-go. #3. Measure out 1 full cup of grated soap. This should be close to the entire bar. #4. Measure 1/2 cup Borax, and 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. I prefer to use a blender to ensure that all ingredients get well-mixed. The first few times I made the soap I mixed them by hand, and haven’t found one process to work better than the other. I prefer the blender because it is far less labor intensive than mixing by hand. #5. Place detergent into an airtight container and store in laundry room for future use! Scoop out 2 full tablespoons of detergent per 1 full load of laundry. TADA! Simple as that. You can add in oils for more “fresh” scents in you are so inclined, but I have found that my laundry comes out smelling just fine after washing and drying with my DIY fabric softener sheets. It is incredible how quick this method of making detergent comes together and how ultimately inexpensive it is. The Fels-Naptha bars at the local grocery store run about 1.60/bar and the other two ingredients are anywhere from $2.50-$3.90 for a large box. I have made 4 batches of laundry detergent using the measurements above from 1 box of Borax and Super Washing Soda and there is still enough left in each for a few more batches. I would say that each round of detergent will do about 30 loads of laundry. Saving myself from math – I think it’s obvious that this an extremely nice savings. Plus, it’s fun, which is really what I’m all about.

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Have fun making your own laundry soap! I’m off to do a couple loads before dinner…

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2 thoughts on “Laundry Soap DIY

  1. Hi, there.
    I’ve just made this mixture last night and haven’t used it yet. However, I shaved a whole bar of a ivory soap into 1 cup each of the Borax and Washing Soda. Washing soda has to be the most old timey word ever….next to Fels Naptha. Which I also bought. For my recipe, the bar of ivory can also be subbed with the Fels. I was going to make a double batch and thought of using 1 bar ivory and ALSO adding one bar Fels. Do you think I should keep it just one-soaped? Mixing sounds so productive! If one soap is good then 2 of differing abilities seems to round it out better. What do you think?
    The joke around here is that I want to save 20 cents a load in $3k machines. I admit to feeling silly but I think this will be awesome, right? I’ll be all DIY-ey and crafty. And, hopefully, this will work even better (although I confess that Tide takes out pretty much all the stains we throw at it).

    • I’ve never tried making laundry soap with an ivory bar before – I looked up a couple of quick recipes online and all I found for ivory were liquid varieties. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with a powdered version as well. I wouldn’t see why using both soaps would matter, either – as long as you incorporated the right amount of washing soda and Borax. Maybe test the batch first on a few old or stained clothes? Wouldn’t it be the worst to ruin great clothes on a new recipe!! I’m still looking for a great home alternative for stain remover… you are right, Tide works wonders, but I am too cheap to buy it. Keep me updated if you find anything… and good luck with your soap mixture! Let me know how it works out!

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