Monday, April 25, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

So this is my stock of laundry soap! I'm getting ready for baby sister and decided to make several batches so I won't be stuck without detergent in the first several months after she arrives. I love homemade laundry soap because it is MUCH cheaper than anything I've bought at the store and it works just as well (if not better!) than the old brands I used. I also like knowing there are no dangerous chemicals in it and it is sensitive enough for using on cloth diapers. This is not my own recipe but it comes from my dear friend Jeanie who lives in Arkansas:

1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1 bar Ivory soap (or 1/3 bar Fels-Naptha soap)
large funnel
2- 1 gallon milk jugs

1. In a large stock pot, heat 6 cups of water to boiling with grated soap. Boil for 10 minutes. 
2. Add washing soda and borax, stirring to avoid boil-over (which happens a lot to me!). You may need to turn the heat down low or take it off the burner for a moment if it starts to boil over. Boil for 10 minutes until dissolved.
3. Remove from heat and add another 6 cups of very hot water, stirring until well dissolved. Using a large funnel, divide the laundry soap into 2 milk jugs and fill the rest of the way with hot water (leave about 2 inches at the top to allow for shaking). 
4. Let sit for 24 hours. Use 1/2 cup per load and always shake well before use. 

I am horrible at math and haven't tried to calculate it but this supposedly comes out to approximately a penny per load and $0.80 per 2-gallon recipe (about 64 loads)! This compares to $0.25 per load for Tide or Gain. All I know is that we have saved a ton of money :)

Depending on where you live, you may have to check a finer grocery store like Kroger for Borax and Washing Soda if it isn't carried at your local Walmart. Where we live, I finally had to go to Ace Hardware (of all places!) to get my ingredients. There are lots of other great uses for Borax and Washing soda that you can research. Borax has a natural anti-fungal property so I use my laundry soap for cleaning the bathroom too! So I guess all I have left to say is...happy cleaning!


  1. Thanks for the info! I am definitely gonna look into this when I get a large stock pot. I need one anyway for when I make my chicken stock :)

  2. Thanks for the info! I am definitely gonna look into this when I get a large stock pot. I need one anyway for when I make my chicken stock :)

  3. Yes! I use my stock pot all the time. Hope you like the laundry soap...I've been making it for two years now and I love it!

  4. I'm about to make some myself :) I have to get the ingredients this week b/c I'm about out of detergent. :)

  5. Yay! I just made some the other day using your recipe. That was really smart of you to make a lot of it before the baby comes. I wish I would of thought of that.

  6. I have been getting ready to make this exact recipe of soap for awhile. Saved up some jugs, and I am waiting til my current detergent starts to get low. I do have a question though. I have an HE machine and I have heard that you can't use it with HE. Any ideas?

  7. Hi Maura, I don't know a lot about HE machines so you might want to look into that. My friend who gave me this recipe originally said that she thought it was fine for HE machines because it doesn't cause suds like other detergents would. Hope that helps!