Natural Homemade Laundry Soap

Making homemade laundry soap is a project I have wanted to try forever. The thing is, we shop at Costco  and the Costco sized gigantic tubs of laundry soap last for ages. Just when our tub was getting low and I thought I would be able to try making my own, my husband bought another giant tub. I knew that if I made up a batch of my own the store bought stuff might be wasted so I wanted to wait until we were  totally out of detergent.  So finally, 6 months later we were out of detergent and I could finally give this recipe a go.  This recipe is adapted from one I found on Tipnut. They have lots of DIY laundry soap recipes. You can check 10 of them out here.
So, why make your own laundry soap when you can just buy it?

1) It’s fun. Anything that makes cleaning and doing household chores more fun is worth a try to me
2) It’s natural. All the ingredients are environmentally friendly. You know exactly what is in your detergent and you have control over the ingredients
3) It’s cheap.  This detergent will cost you about 1 cent per load.


1 bar of soap, many recipes call for Fels-Naptha bar soap but I used a bar of Dove and it worked just fine.

2 cups borax

2 cups washing soda

Optional: Essential oil for scent

For more info on washing soda and borax and where you can find them check out my homemade dishwasher detergent post.

Fill a pot with 4 cups or water and place it on the stove on high heat. While you are waiting for it to boil grate your bar of soap with a cheese grater.  Once the water has boiled add your soap bit by bit stirring until it has all melted together.

Reduce the heat and stir in the borax and the washing soda. Take the pot off the stove and stir, making sure all the ingredients have dissolved together.
Pour the mixture into a large tub or bucket. I used my empty laundry detergent bucket. Add 2 quarts of water. If you want to add essential oils you can do so at this step. Add ½  ounce of the oil of your choice. I never added scent to mine and it was fine. It had a slight scent of Dove soap but really, the clothes just smelled nice and clean.
Wait up to 24 hours before using. The consistency will get a little more gel like and thicken up a bit . It won’t look quite like the store bought stuff. It’s going to have more globs and chunks in it but that’s okay. Just stir it up before using and it will work just fine.

It’s kind of hard to see but this is what it will look like when it’s done.

 When you are ready to use it stir it up a little first and then use a quarter cup per load.  This stuff really works!  In my opinion, it works just as well as regular store bought detergent. My first load was my white bed sheets and duvet cover. They can get a little dingy especially since my dirty dogs like to jump all over the bed. They came out really nice and white. Then I did a load of regular everyday t shirts and jeans. Again, they smelled fresh and clean and looked just like they normally do with the detergent I used before.  If you have a stain you need to remove you can apply some of the homemade detergent directly to the stain and let it sit for a few hours to treat it, then launder as usual.

You can also replace your fabric softner with plain white vinegar. I fill up my downy ball with the vinegar and toss it in the load. Throw a couple of tennis balls in the dryer to prevent static or better yet, ditch the dryer all together and hang your clothes outside to dry this summer.
Have you ever made your own laundry soap? What are your favorite recipes?

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10 Responses to Natural Homemade Laundry Soap

  1. Can't wait to try this!! Borax can be used for SO MUCH and I do not have any…looks like I need to go find some. We use costco detergent too..Colorado costco's have an all natural liquid detergent made in Boulder, Colorado…it is perfume free and does wonders…it would be exciting to be able to beat it!! Thank you for sharing 🙂


  2. Kanelstrand says:

    Wow! That doesn't sound too complicated. I will try it out, thank you so much for sharing the DIY!


  3. yeah, it was really easy to make. We used the kirkland cheapo stuff and I like mine a lot better!


  4. Anonymous says:

    I do the majority of my washes in cold water, but do occassionally run a hot water load. Does this work equally well in hot or cold water washes?


  5. Anonymous says:

    How can you call it natural unless it is all natural ingredients? Have you actually read the ingredients of Fels Naptha? Look it up on wiki-pedia


  6. Just looked it up and apparently the questionable ingredient has been removed from the formulation. I guess it all depends on ones definition of “natural” anyways. Thanks for commenting!


  7. It does work well with cold water but hot water is usually better. I always wash in cold water


  8. Anonymous says:

    I replaced the felts naptha soap portion with a whole bar of Mrs. Meyers lavender bar soap and it smells so fabulous and IS all natural. 🙂 cheers.


  9. Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


  10. Pingback: Laundry Soap Recipe | Crafty Little Gnome

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