Introduction: Homemade Laundry Soap

Picture of Homemade Laundry Soap

Time: 20-30 mins
Makes: 5 gallons

Hot water
1 cup borax
1 bar fels Naptha OR (Zote, Octogon, Castile, or other high quality lye soap if felts - naptha is not available in your area).
1 cup washing soda

*I turned the baking soda into washing soda, by placing baking soda on a cookie sheet and baking for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. I found this idea on if you want more information on why or how this works.

Step 1: Shred & Heat

Picture of Shred & Heat

1. Shred fels naptha bar.
2. Place 4 -5 cups of water in a sauce pan and add the shredded soap. Heat on medium heat, until soap is disolved.
3. Fill up 5 gallon bucket half way with hot water.
4. Add the soap mixture.
5. . Add 1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda. Mix.
6. Fill the rest of the bucket with hot water. Stir well.

Step 2: Pour & Store

Picture of Pour & Store

7. Using a funnel pour the liquid into jugs, a containers with a lid or plastic laundry containers.

8. Let the mixture sit over night to gel up and it's ready to use.


SmartAZ (author)2017-04-13

Washing soda is Na2CO3 and baking soda is NaHCO3. You are not going to get from one to the other by heating it. That's why results are not right.

I have used this recipe for years and it works as well as any commercial soap, using 1/2 cup per load and cold water. I also use vinegar for a softener to dissolve the last of the soap.

As for cost. I paid twenty bux for supplies twelve years ago and have not used all of them yet.

russpmc (author)2017-01-16

um. how much do you use per load? everyone seems to know but me..

ready to make but would like to know......

1 tsp or 1 cup?

KathieS22 (author)2017-01-09

I used to do this type of shred and heat recipe. Now, I leave out the grated bar of soap. I've gotten out all kinds of things with the small amount of washing mix I use. My hubby recently did laundry for me and didn't know about a (chocolate) spot on my sweater that needed to come out; it still came out. I've also used Zote. I like this blend the best:

doo da do (author)2016-12-05

Don't t know about that, if you have an ant problem by at store

And mix 50/50 witht sugar and they will die. May take a while depending on nest size

Pa1963 (author)2016-08-21

I just use the dry ingredients. Throw a couple of tablespoons in the machine and you're good to go. Zote works well instead of Fels Naptha, BTW.

malitam (author)2015-08-23

the last time I made laundry soap with a similar recipe I had to use 6x the called for amount in a wash load and it still did not make the water feel like it was soft enough to wash and dirt was not removed from the clothing. any thoughts?

feralmonkey4 (author)malitam2016-01-19

you probably have hard water up the borax by 1/2 cup to 1 cup and use washing soda instead of baking soda there are instructions online to change baking soda into washing soda also if all you can find is baking soda.

Jennprice33 (author)malitam2015-08-23

Maybe it has something to do with the water? Do you have well water or hard water? My husband works on cars and his clothes are usually filthy and they come clean every time and smell great too!

Crazyneighbor (author)2015-08-22

Cool instructable! I like to use the sensitive skin detergents. I assume this is less likely to irritate skin than store bought detergent?

Yes, I think so. My daughter used to break out when I used store bought laundry soap. She hasn't had a problem with this soap at all.

XFT (author)Jennprice332015-11-01

Anyone have any idea if this can be used with HE washers? Didn't see any notes about it.

Mariecarte123 (author)XFT2015-12-20

I use that in my HE washing machine without any problems!

XFT (author)Mariecarte1232015-12-21

Thanks Marie!

amwill (author)2015-08-29

what's the pint of advertising something that's only available in the USA...can someone please tell me what Fels naptha is ???

Jennprice33 (author)amwill2015-08-29

I had no idea it was only aviable in the USA.....but I did a 30 seconds Google search and it states you can use one bar shaved Fels-Naptha OR Zote, Octogon, Castile, or other high quality lye soap as a substitute for Fels-Naptha soap.

Jennprice33 (author)amwill2015-08-29

Fels-Naptha is an American brand of bar laundry soap used for pre-treating stains on clothing and as a home remedy for exposure to poison ivy and other skin irritants. Fels-Naptha is manufactured by and is a trademark of the Dial Corporation, a subsidiary of Henkel.

Linwiz (author)2015-08-23

We use the same recipe but do not add any water. We blend everything into a Fine powder and use 1 tbsp per large load.

Jennprice33 (author)Linwiz2015-08-23

Thanks for sharing! I was wondering if it could be left as a powder. I'm going to try that the next time I make it.

About This Instructable




Bio: Follow us on Instagram @JennPrice33 or on
More by Jennprice33:How to Make Hard Candy for the HolidaysHow To Make Chocolate Covered Pretzels How to make a Mermaid Tail Blanket
Add instructable to: