Family Life · Responsible Living

Homemade laundry soap.


For those of you who have wondered if you could really do this, you can. And should! Making our own laundry soap has to be one of the easiest ways to save money ever. When I make a batch it seriously lasts me nearly 6 months and I do a LOT of laundry! AND It probably takes less than 15/20min (+ overnight) to make.

Let’s look at the basic cost first.

One bar of Fels Naptha costs less than $2 (typically). We bought a box of 50 and got them for cheap (and for life!).

A box of Washing soda is probably around $4 and you only need 1 cup for the recipe.

A box of Borax is also around $4 and you only need 1/2 cup for this recipe.

That means, at most, the total cost for 5 gallons of laundry soap is $2.50. Not too shabby, huh? So, wanna join me in spending $5/year in laundry detergent costs?? Just think about what that could save you when you can’t even buy ONE jug/box of conventional laundry detergent for $5 lately!

So ok, here’s how you do it.

Gather up your supplies: A 5 gallon bucket (we use a home depot bucket), a long spoon that you don’t mind getting soapy, an old pot and your aforementioned ingredients.

Take the Fels Naptha bar and grate it. It doesn’t have to be super finely grated, just whatever works. When I made mine today I just used a knife to shave it but, honestly, I think it’s probably easier to just use a hand-grater. Get some water (around 4 cups or so) hot on the stove and add your shredded soap. Leave the temp on medium or medium-low and stir. Stir some more.

While you’re waiting for it to melt, go ahead and fill your bucket about half-full of hot water. I just use hot tap water.

Keep stirring your soap until you have a smooth(ish) soap soup.

Next, you want to measure out your powders…  1/2 cup Borax   +   1 cup Washing Soda











Pour them both into the bucket of hot water and stir to dissolve.

Add the soap soup, too!

Stir it all up until you think it’s all mixed and then top it off with more hot water. It will look like this:

Put the lid on it and leave it to rest overnight. In the morning take off the top to reveal a nicely gelled soap. You will need to mix it up really well again and then it’s ready to use.

To save space and make it easier to use we transfer the finished product into old laundry detergent and/or big empty vinegar bottles with a funnel. That way we only have a normal-sized container near the washing machine and not a massive 5 gal bucket AND I just use the cap to measure and pour like I would with conventional detergent. Super simple. Please keep in mind that some people make this recipe and then dilute it once again. I don’t do that because it wastes space in jugs. I just don’t add as much of the more concentrated version to the laundry load since there’s water in there anyway.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you. 🙂


3 thoughts on “Homemade laundry soap.

  1. Sarah, I’ve always thought about making my own detergent. Is it really easy? Where can I buy those ingredients? I’ve never even heard of some of them! And tell me again why you think liquid is better? I was reading the FB comments and dry does sound easier. How many times have you made it? Love, S

    1. It really is super easy! You can get all of the ingredients at your local grocery store. Sometimes Fels Naptha is a little harder to find but you shouldn’t have a problem in Tampa. I like the liquid because it is already dissolved. That’s a big deal to me. With the powder I find that I would need to use hot water and stir it around just to get it to dissolve all the way and that’s such a hassle. When I make the liquid, it’s actually easier to make, in my opinion, and I can use it worry-free. Try it!! 🙂

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