Homemade Laundry Soap

In a time that we all want to save money there are TONS of ideas and ways out there.  My friend, Courtney shared her awesome idea... making laundry soap with all of us!  THANKS Courtney!!

Homemade Laundry Detergent


Main Ingredients:
Large Box of 20 Mule Team Borax
1-4 Bars of Fels Naptha Laundry Soap
Large Box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
Add Ins:
4 lb Box of Baking Soda
2 Downy Unstoppables Laundry Crystals
Oxy Clean

So I have tried a few recipes for homemade laundry detergent. 

Basic Liquid Recipe:
The most basic (and cheapest) recipe consists of ½ cup Borax, 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap, and ½ cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Powder.  I normally mix mine in a 5 gallon bucket.  It will make about 2.5 gallons but the extra space makes it easier to mix and pour. 

-First, grate the 1/3 bar of soap with a cheese grater (or cut it into cubes and stick it in your food processor to cut time!) and put in a large saucepan.
-Next, add 6 cups of water and heat on medium heat until the soap is melted.
-Add ½ cup washing soda and borax.  Stir until dissolved.
-Pour 4 cups of hot water into the 5 gallon bucket and add your soap mixture and stir.
-Add 1 gallon plus six cups of water and stir.
-Cover tightly and let sit for 24 hours.  Shake/stir before each use.  For ease, I normally pour the mixture into one of my old laundry detergent containers.  Use ½ to ¾ cup per load.
*Note here that some recipes call for Ivory or Zote bar soaps and that you can increase the amount of soap.

This is definitely the cheapest recipe to use and my clothes were clean but did not SMELL…at all.  Now if one of my job requirements as a homemaker is going to be to put up the mountains of laundry that my 2 year old, husband, and I somehow manage to create every week, I want to at least look forward to bringing those warm clothes up to my nose and inhaling the sweet, clean fragrance that millions of candle makers have tried to duplicate in their “Clean Linens” and “100% Cottons!” 

I decided that my search for the perfect homemade laundry detergent was not over and I pulled up my favorite search engine to start looking for more ideas.  After trying a few of them and tweaking many of the recipes and amounts, I finally found the combination of ingredients that makes me feel like my clothes are clean.  This is what I came up with…this recipe is more expensive to begin with but makes approximately 265 loads (using 2 tbsp per load…and yes, you only need TWO tablespoons!)

Advanced (Powder) Recipe:

-I started with my trusty 5 gallon bucket and lined it with a clean trash bag.
-I grated 4 bars of Fels Naptha soap (found in the laundry aid aisle)

Put the following into your trash bag lined bucket:
Grated Fels Naptha Soap
Large Box of 20 Mule Team Borax
Large Box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
Large Box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
 4 lb container of Oxy Clean
2 containers of Downy Unstoppables

Now these ingredients are not all necessary to clean laundry and the amounts are up to you…this is the amounts that I have used and that I was happiest with.  Play with it!  You may cut out the baking soda or one of the Downy Unstoppables or you may change brands on things.  Try the Ivory Soap or Purex Laundry Crystals instead of Downy Unstoppables.  I liked the scent of the Downy that was available at our store and did not like the particular scent of the Purex.  Totally up to you!  I like to make a large amount at one time (even though it is a larger initial investment) so that I do not have to make it every month.  You can use smaller amounts and make smaller batches.

Mix all ingredients by either stirring or tossing the trash bag around a little.  Whatever works for you!  And I finished by pouring mine into a 32 cup clear heavy duty plastic container that I bought at Walmart.  I added a measuring spoon (1 TBSP) that only stays with the laundry detergent so that I don’ t have to go looking for one every time I do a load of laundry.  Add 1 – 2 tablespoons per load.  I like to fill my washer halfway with water before adding powder.  It works with cold water and with HE machines…make sure your soap is grated finely for HE machines. 

Now, if only I could find a cheap way of hiring someone to put these wonderful smelling clothes up…  =)

HOW AWESOME IS THAT??  Thanks SO much for sharing this Courtney!  Can't wait to try it!!!

1 comment:

  1. I have been using the 'basic' formula for months.... i had 5 containers of it and i'm getting ready to open the last one... which means its time for a new batch. I have been trying to figure out a way to get some of that commercial fragrance into the clothes and totally didnt think of those new boost crystals. I use the liquid version but i think the crystals will do fine if I add them in at the right time in the prep.
    i have been using commercial fabric softener but recently started boosting that with vinegar (due to some pretty rank gym clothes not quite getting the smell out) which has been doing as needed (just adding white vinegar to the fabric softener slot when starting the load).... thanks for the crystals idea! PS- You can get some good deals on those things with coupons and sales bc its a new product and the companies are trying to get you hooked! If you find a good deal, stock up :)