Monday, September 21, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Heather and I got pioneer-ish again...this time it's homemade laundry detergent.

Supplies needed:

  • Washing Soda
  • Borax
  • Bar of soap
  • Water

Step 1: Grate bar of soap.

We grated all the soap and bagged the extra for future use.
(It looks like mozarella cheese, doesn't it? One of my kids almost ate some.)

Step 2: Boil 6 cups of water in a deep pot.

Step 3: Add grated soap and stir until dissolved.

Step 4: Add 1/2 C washing soda and 1/2 C borax. Stir over heat until dissolved.

Step 5: Remove from heat and pour into a large bucket.

Step 6: Add 4 more cups of hot water and mix well.

Step 7: Stir in 1 gallon plus 6 cups cold water and mix well.

Step 8: Let sit for 24 hours.

It's ready to go! Use 1/4 to 1/2 C per load of laundry. I have a large capacity washer, so I use 1/2 C. Despite my 13-year-old's fears, it worked great and did not disintegrate his clothes.


One bar of soap = $0.30

Washing soda = $0.28

Borax = $0.18

Total cost for 64 loads (using 1/2 C) = $0.76

(Fab @ Sam's Club costs $7.12 for 64 loads)

You save about 90%!

  • Ivory soap costs the least and dissolves well, but you can also use Fels Naptha, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, and Zote. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps.
  • Washing soda too some effort to find. In the end a local hardware store ordered it for us.
  • Here are 10 more similar but different homemade laundry soap recipes.

P.S. Sorry it took me so long, Heather!


  1. I love this stuff!! Just a tip I have learned from using this recipe...about once or twice a week run vinegar threw your rinse cycle to get rid of soap scum on your spinner and inside the washer. Also, fels-napa works great as well as Ivory soap. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Wanna try shaving cream next?? Found a recipe. And what is fels-naptha anyway. They don't teach this stuff in school.