Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials
You wil need:
Food processor
1 bar laundry soap like Fels Naptha or Zote, or Ivory - Zote can be found in hispanic grocery stores
1 Box Borax - found in the laundry aisle
1 box Washing Soda or Oxi Clean, orBaking soda - (Washing Soda AKA soda ash AKA sodium carbonate available in some grocery stores made by Arm and Hammer or you may find it art supply stores in the dyeing section)

OPTIONAL- essential oil of your choice, I didnt do it but I think tea tree might be nice.

Some recipe considerations, there are many variations to be found online but I based mine on this here http://www.thegreenguide.org/article/diy/household

Powdered Laundry Detergent
# 1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha Soap
# 1/2 Cup Washing Soda
# 1/2 Cup Borax
# For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons.

I adjusted for the fact that Zote is at least twice as big as a Fels Naptha bar, and personally if I'm going to make a mess I'd rather double or triple the recipe which still easily fit in the food processor, also I used baking soda AND oxi-clean instead of the washing soda, the reason being that I could not find the washing soda, and Oxi-clean is essentially the same thing but with added peroxide* which does add a mild bleaching action, should be "color safe" though. It is also my understanding that baking soda is similar to washing soda but half as alkaline, so using baking soda will give you a gentler blend.

*note don't try and make the liquid recipe behind the link with "oxi clean" because the peroxide will make the whole mess foam, that was what I originally tried -- and ended up with useless semi solid foamy spooge.
nataleeb6 years ago
I was having a horrible time finding the washing soda where I live. I called 1-800-524-1328, the parent company for Arm and Hammer, and you can order it directly from them. If you order 3 boxes or more, the shipping is free, and the total bill comes to 11.95 I believe. I also found out that the reason it's so hard to find is, the grocery store chains are losing money on it because it works. Most of the stores won't carry it so they will get more money from the high priced detergents that you're forced to buy. What does that tell you?
Hi! Did you know that you can also MAKE your own washing soda? I bought a 50 lb. bag of "animal grade sodium bicarbonate" (baking soda) from the local feed and grain mill... then you can BAKE the baking soda at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or microwave it in a glass bowl for 10 minutes and this will turn your baking soda into SODA ASH! Now it is "sodium carbonate" which is no longer safe for cooking. You can also purchase soda ash at pool supply stores, art supply stores and sometimes even a local forge. Good luck!
I can't find borax in local stores, instead there is a lot of places selling boric acid, can I use that instead borax?
Borax is sodium tetraborate, not boric acid! Use this UPC code and ask the store to order Borax for you. UPC: 0 23400 00201 6
krizrose5 years ago
There is a FAKE oxiclean.....it is found at the Dollar Tree for ONE DOLLAR per 20oz. (last size i bought there)..........it really works VERY well n saves LOTS of money compared 2 buying the name brand!!!!!!!
dexter165 years ago
I haven't had a problem finding washing soda but I usually buy soda carbonate from a pool supply store (PH increaser) as the cost is less.  When I first began making laundry soap I used Fels Naptha.  Now I pretty much use whatever I have on hand and try to include some Fels or Zote.  The recipe I use is:

2 c. soap
1 c. washing soda
1 c. borax

I use 1/8 c. per extra large load.

I have a nine year old son and an infant.  Works great.  If you have really oily clothes you may want to add some glycerine soap to your mix.  You really just have to play with it until you find out what works for you.  The water is going to be a big factor.  I have softened water with a lot of minerals and wash in cold water.  Hope that helps!
yoslick6 years ago
We used this recipe for years. We once washed clothes with commercial detergents while visiting relatives and we broke out in a rash! Now we carry some in our pack up. My recipe is 1 part Borax & 1 Part Arm & Hammer Washing Powder and 2 parts ground up bar soap. So if you use Kirk's Castille Soap, (Best we've found!) it makes about 1 cup, then you add ½ cup Borax and Arm & Hammer. This adjusts well to any bar you may choose.
strmrnnr6 years ago
If you really want to experiment, you can easily make potash lye from wood ashes from the wood stove or fire place. Mix 1:4 wood ash:water (podwer ash-no chars) in a bucket. mix wel and let settle for a couple of days. Laddle off the clear lye water as needed. You can evaporate this to a powder. Different wood ash gives different strengths. As a WARNING: It is strong.
suzy776 years ago
I like the powder recipe best. It does clean surprisingly well. I just thought I would add that laundry soda (sodium carbonate) is the very same thing as PH up which you can find at any sporting goods store or major retailer in the pool chemical aisle. It is 100% sodium carbonate. Check the label to make sure you are getting the right thing, but it's a whole lot easier to find.
mommym00n6 years ago
I have been having trouble finding super washing soda I got one box from the Internet but is was to much money to do every time I found a box of pure baking soda at wal-mart for 2.18 and it said on the back to add to liquid laundry soap just like the washing soda does. so can I use it instead?
nikki05227 years ago
How much Baking Soda and Oxy Clean did you use?
Caya8 years ago
That foam is so cool. MUST TOUCH IT. I want to do this whole experiment, just to get the foam and play with it, do something with it. WOW.
gowithflo (author)  Caya8 years ago
ok use the liqid recipe (behind the link) w/ oxiclean instead of soda ash, when you pour out of the pot to into other container i also used much less added water, like maybe only 2 cups. You should also know that the foam dries out into a chalky crusty mess after a few days, well I messed with it a lot as it dried, if you want cool blobby shapes wait for it to do its foaming action about a 1/2 hour to an hour of just sitting and it will keep growing, and when it gets gelatinous ... well you'll figure it out . Have fun!