Homemade Laundry Soap

DIY Laundry soap

Are you tired of seeing your money go down the drain? Why spend $75 to $100 a year on laundry soap when you can create a concentrated alternative for a fifth the cost?

Follow the recipe below for a simple DIY alternative to the expensive store brand options. Let us know other ways you are saving money around your house on Twitter with hashtag #emeals

Homemade Laundry Soap
Save money with this recipe to make homemade laundry soap
  • 1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax
  • 1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
  • 1 55 oz box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap
  • 2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean
  1. Grate the soap with a hand grater or a food processor. The finer you can get the soap the better.
  2. Mix all ingredients together and store in container
  3. Use 1 scoop per load of laundry.



24 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Soap

  1. Sylvia Taylor

    In reading about Borax, in order for the chemicals to be effective, it needs hot water…I wash in cold water to save money. How would I save money now?

    1. admin-dm

      Sylvia, in our household, we use this laundry soap with cold water, and in reading other peoples experience, it doesn’t seem to be a problem with using cold water and the detergent.

    1. admin-dm

      Fels-Naptha is a brand of bar laundry soap used for pre-treating stains on clothing and as a home remedy for exposure to poison ivy and other skin irritants. Fels-Naptha is manufactured by and is a trademark of the Dial Corporation. That is the technical explanation from Wikipedia.

  2. Krissy

    Question: is there a way to lightly scent this homemade detergent? By the looks of the picture, there seems to be some sort of orange zest or the like in it?

  3. debra

    I make my own soap using Borax and Arm&Hammer Washing soda. If I want it scented I use one bar of Castille soap or even just a bar soap (Dial, Neutrogena). I use hot or cold water. I love that this is easy to make, cheaper to use and it saves me money. For Fabric Softener, I use straight vinegar: living in the Mountains in New Mexico, we totally have hard water and vinegar is perfect for the cloths and the machine: plus no stinky vinegar smell.

  4. Julie G.

    After a LOT of research, I started making my own laundry detergent. This IS safe for HE washers (front loading, high efficiency, etc).

    I wanted to make a smaller batch to see if I liked it before committing to a large amount. I found a recipe that is an easy start.

    I bought 1 bar of Fels Naptha and based everything on the weight of the bar (IIRC it was 5.5 ounces). Anyhow, I used 1 part Fels Naptha, and 2 parts each Washing Soda, Borax and Oxygen cleaner.

    I have the Borax and Oxygen cleaner at home already. The washing soda was about $3.50 and the bar of Fels Naptha was $0.98. I barely put a dent in the Washing soda. After shredding the soap (I used a salad shooter, makes shaving this incredibly easy!!). I mixed everything. The powder mixed fine, except the soap. I worried it wouldn’t mix evenly so for personal preference I ran it all through my food processor. I like the consistency of the product better, since my husband isn’t always as careful as me. It just makes it more homogeneous…but I don’t think it is necessary unless you are just paranoid (like me).

    I use 2 Tablespoons per load. I had a small scoop that was perfect for this. A batch this size measures out approximately 36 loads.

    Anyhow, we love this stuff. It has shown to be good at “getting out the funk” in towels and works just as good as Gain or Tide (the two detergents we use). I do still use fabric softener because while this cleans well, I really enjoy laundry that has a good smell. This doesn’t smell bad, it just kind of smells like “nothing.” It smells great in the container, it just all washes out when you use it.

    Hope this helps. I understand the trepidation but this is one of those really great cost cutting measures that works as well (or better) than the product I would usually buy…so in my opinion it is definitely worth it!

  5. Danine

    I use the same recipe as Debra, with the Castille soap. Castille is all natural made from coconut oil and smells much better than the Fels-Naptha, which is very chemically. Works great in all water temps. I just add before I put the clothes in, turn the water on to dissolve it a bit and start adding my clothes. If you think you’ve got an extra dirty load, add an extra scoop. The basic recipe I use is 1 bar of soap grated, 1 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. I like to run mine through the blender to grind up up a bit more. Looks just like commercial laundry detergent!

  6. Krissy

    I love the jar posted in the picture and want to use something similar for my laundry soap. Will everything fit in that jar from this recipe and any ideas on where I can find it? Thanks!

  7. Marisa

    I have been making my own laundry soap for 3-4 years. I make a 5 gallon bucket for around $1.25 and was SHOCKED to see the price of the leading brand laundry soap at $14!

  8. Pingback: DIY Homemade Laundry Soap | The eMeals Blog » Cody's Corner

  9. Cindy Bemis

    I have read a recipe that includes a laundry fragrancer like Downy Unstoppables, and Purex makes one that is a lot less expensive than the Downy brand. I would use 1/2 to a full container, depending on how big a batch of detergent you are making and how “smelly” you like your clothes!

  10. Pingback: DIY Homemade Laundry Soap | The eMeals Blog » Cody's Corner

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