Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe
I decided awhile back to try my hand at making our own homemade laundry soap. It’s cheaper than buying brand detergent and I know what’s going in it. Plus, it sort of makes me feel like Super Woman knowing that I can make my own!! 😉 I’ve tried a handful of recipes in smaller batches and I found one that I really like. I had always preferred liquid detergent and I’ve tried a homemade liquid detergent recipe BUT it didn’t clean the clothes nearly as well as the powder so this is what I’m sticking with! My husband is a welder and he has some pretty stinky and grimy work clothes and this detergent does a wonderful job! I’ve done the math and if I’ve figured correctly, it costs around $1 or so a batch which would give you 48 regular loads coming to about $0.02 per load.
WARNING: Make sure to keep all ingredients with your other cleaners – locked and away from children. Small kids like to imitate, so if they see you playing in it…they may try to play in it too.
NOTE: This detergent works perfectly in HE washing machines. From what I gather, powder detergents work better in HE machines than liquid detergent. This is just what I’ve read on several other articles online.
Homemade Laundry Soap Ingredients:
All of these items can be found at your local grocery stores, Walmart, Target, etc.
NOTE: Previously, even when I made this post, I was using Ivory Bar Soap. I’ve found that I like Fels Naptha MUCH better! That’s why the photos below show white shaved bar soap instead of the yellow color of Fels Naptha.
- 1 bar of Fels Naptha, shaved (I use an old cheese grater)
- 1 Cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda Laundry Booster
- 1 Cup of 20 Mule Team Borax (in the laundry aisle)
This is a really simple process. First, just shave the bar soap, I just use an old cheese grater and grate it into a bowl. Then in the same bowl combine the soap with the borax and washing powder. Stir really well until it’s all combined and in a course powder. Try to break up any clumps.
Another thing that I suggest is adding your powder and bar shavings to a food processor to make the powder really super fine. Use 1 to 1 and a 1/2 Tbsp. for a regular load or 2 to 2 and 1/2 for larger or heavily soiled loads. Depending on your water softness, you may need to use more or less. Just find what amount works best for your clothes.
Store your powder detergent in an airtight container with a lid. I personally use an old diaper wipe container to keep mine in. You can also use a coffee can or old baby formula can with the lid.
I also add about a 1/2 to a whole cup of vinegar to my wash cycle as a fabric softener, plus it helps to brighten and whiten and take away any stinky smells in your clothes. It also helps to rinse any leftover residue from the powder on your clothes.
My friend, Alea from Premeditated Leftovers, also has some great laundry tips that you can check out. She mentions how to get rid of mildew, reducing night time allergies, and she has some great tried and true ways to organize, sort and put away your laundry!