Saturday, January 21, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap - Effective and CHEAP!

I am thrilled!  I was perusing Mooberry Farm's blog the other day and found her recipe for homemade laundry soap (See link below to Julie's posting).  I've made laundry soap in the past but I wasn't happy with the recipe.  I didn't feel it was adequately getting our clothes clean. 

I decided to give Julie's recipe a try. 

I purchased the ingredients at my local grocery store -

(Please note, you will be able to make multiple batches of laundry soap with these ingredients)
  • Borax - 76 ounce box for $3.38
  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda - $3.24
  • Fels Naptha Bar Laundry Soap - $.98 a bar
  • Essential Oil for Scent (Optional) - Lemongrass - $4.50 vial

This is how I made my laundry soap -

  1. Chop 1/2 bar of Fels Naptha soap into small pieces

2. Heat chopped soap and 6 cups of water in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir until well soap is dissolved completely.

3. Add 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, 1 cup of Borax and 6 cups of water.  Stir well until dissolved.
    4. Pour soap mixture into a large bucket or stockpot.  Add 20 cups of water to soap mixture.  Stir completely.  You will have approximately 2 gallons of soap.
5. Add 10 to 15 drops of essential oil of your choice, if desired. 
6. Let sit overnight.
7. Transfer to your storage containers.  (I used an old gallon sized laundry detergent bottle and an old plastic gallon sized ice cream tub). I like to use hot water to wash our laundry.  This soap seems to dissolve well in the wash water.  I don't know how it would work in cold water as it is thick. 

BIG Money Savings!

I calculated the cost of this homemade detergent and the cost is only $0.69 per gallon!  That is an amazing savings over store bought laundry detergent.   I was paying almost $7 per gallon of the cheaper laundry detergent from the supermarket! 

I use approximately 3/4 cup per wash, adjusting for the load size and depending on how dirty the laundry is. 

As you can see, it isn't difficult to make your own laundry soap.  And it is such a good feeling to know you are saving your family so much money! 

Thanks Julie for your recipe!  I really appreciate your frugal tips! 

To see Julie's soap recipe and to pick up more helpful tips from her, click on this link . 

(Click HERE for updates/reviews on all my homemade cleaners)


  1. Looks great, Poppy. I love the savings of this laundry detergent. I use it in cold water with no problems--it does dissolve nicely.

    Great pictures,too!

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know you can use it in cold water! I know my husband would love it if I only used cold water to wash! I just love hot water so much. It's probably one of my wasteful vices!

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Have been making my laundry soap from these same ingredients for atleast a year or so now. I am very pleased with it as well. Mine is a smidge different in ingredients amounts but makes 2 gallons as well. I don't add essential oils only because I didnt have any when I first started making it. I do now mmm maybe I will add some to my next batch. Its such a great price for laundry soap and it works so well. How can one go wrong :O)

    1. Thanks Texan, I really don't know if I can smell the essential oil. The Fels Naptha has a bit of a smell and I can't tell if that is what I'm smelling or the lemongrass. Oh well, I may try it without next time. It is a great price! I was a little stunned when I calculated the cost! Out of curiosity, how much do you use per load? I'd like to use as little as possible and still get good results. Thanks for stopping in!


  3. This was the recipe I needed but now I want to try all your recipes out. Thanks again.

  4. Can you use this in a high efficiency washer? BTW love your blog!! :) Thank you for the great ideas!!

    1. Dawn,

      I've read that this soap is perfect for high efficiency washers as it doesn't suds up. My mom made it a week or so ago and is now using it in her front loader. She says it is working great!

      Thank you for visiting! Hope to see you again!

  5. I have never heard of the particular brand of bar soap, where have you found it and is there anything you can use as a substitute ?

    1. You can find Fels Naptha soap in the laundry section at the grocery store usually. But you can also order from my Amazon store down below this article (scroll way down to the bottom of the page and click on the Household Cleaners Supplies). I've heard of people using Zote or any other bar soap. I tried Irish Spring years ago and wasn't happy with it but never tried another brand other than Fels Naptha.

      If you do try a different brand, please do stop back in and let us know what you think of it!

  6. I recently quit my job as a Director at a company to stay home and home-school my struggling teenager. I was/am stressed about going from two paychecks to one with house payments and two car payments. I have been spending more time researching ways to save money so I can make up some of that lost income. I have to say that I am making my second batch of this homemade laundry soap and fabric softener. I LOVE THEM!! I always bought expensive soap and softener but there was always a "smell not quite right"after getting them out of the dryer. My personal opinion is this stuff is BETTER. Everything smells fresher. I do not add the essential oils simply because I love the smell of the soap alone. It's a fresh clean smell. Thanks for the recipes and the blogs. You've given me hope that I can do this.

    1. Yay! I'm so glad you love the laundry soap as much as I do! I am excited to hear about your money saving tips that you discover during your journey to live more frugally, so please feel free to stop back by and share with us! Best wishes to you and your family! You CAN do this!!!!


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