Homemade Laundry Detergent and Gift Idea!




About: Hi! My name is Natalie! I have an awesome husband that lets me be a Play-at-home mom of 3! We homeschool and do projects daily! Check out my blog Doodlecraft for more awesomeness!

Homemade Laundry Detergent!

Laundry soap is expensive!

I walked down the soap aisle of a store as a young mother and just cried while looking at the prices of laundry detergent. It was so expensive for our tight budget! On top of price, we all have high allergies and soap is packed full of scents and stuff that we are allergic to.

I felt defeated.

Then a friend of mine mentioned she had made her own laundry soap. I was thrilled--I may have hugged her for joy! I discovered quickly that making laundry soap was super cost effective, low on the allergens scale, and totally liberating as a budget conscious mother!

Cost breaks down to about $1 (or less) a gallon! I know--life changing!

And, I've decided to share the wealth to those looking to cut costs.

Laundry soap also makes a great holiday neighbor gift!

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Step 1: Ingredients

So here is what you need:
Fels Naptha soap

(found in the laundry soap aisle at the store...less than $2...most places under $1)

Super Washing Soda
(huge box about $5--turns out you can make your own by baking baking soda...)

20 Mule Team Borax
(about $5 a box)

You will use the entire bar of Fels Naptha, but only about 1/6 of the other items.

So, buy 6 bars of soap ($6), SWS ($5), and Borax ($5), about $16-20 and that will make 30 gallons of laundry soap!

Guess what? 5 gallons of laundry soap lasts my family of 5 about 6 months. Booyah!

Step 2: Soap Making!

Grate your entire bar of soap.

Add grated soap to large pot of 6 cups of hot water...
with the heat on medium/high.

Once the soap dissolves add

1 1/2 cup of washing soda

and 1 1/2 cup of borax, stir well.

Then add 12 cups of water...don't breathe in the steam!

Turn off the stove top element.

Pour the soap mix into a 5 gallon bucket and add about 4 gallons of water...it will fill nearly to the top!
Stir well.

It will get gelly and chunky...Perfect!

Step 3: Fill Bottles, Set Up, Wash!

I use a pitcher and a funnel and fill up my old laundry
soap bottles or cleaned out plastic containers...or quart mason jars!

The soap is a plain scent (great for our allergies!)

You can add essential oils if you like a scent.

Let it set up overnight. It will "gel"...it still remains slightly chunky...

so I shake it up before I pour it out!

Use about 1/4 cup per large load.

This works great as a stain fighter prewash too!

I will never pay high laundry soap prices again.
Love it! I've used it in High Efficiency machines and

regular washing machines...both work GREAT!

Step 4: Gifts!

And because I love homemade gifts that are useful non food items...

this one is perfect!

"I'm dreaming of some White Laundry!"

Here's my plan for neighbor gifts for Christmas this year!

1 quart of soap...25 cents,

mason jar...about 70 cents...

Under $1! :)

And super useful...and not fattening!

(Feel FREE to copy my genius idea! Right click to save off the printable tags!)

Check out my blog Doodlecraft for more daily fun and budget friendly ideas!

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52 Discussions


3 years ago on Introduction

make sure you really clean the blades and gasket between jars or your gasket WILL slip and be torn up in your blades


4 years ago on Introduction

I make this all the time in my crockpot, but I make it more concentrated so that a level tablespoon is all I need per load. Gotta love it, works awesome!

2 replies
Hippy Nerdmommyhen42

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

@mommyhen42 Please share your method for a more concentrated form! I need to save $$ and space!

mommyhen42Hippy Nerd

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

your basic recipe but combine all in crockpot with 4 cups of water and cook on medium until the powders are dissolved.
keep an eye on the crockpot because it will boil over if you dont.
once dissolved pour into 2 quart mason jars and wait till cool, it will seperate into layers.
cut into the solid layers in an X pattern, add more water till it is at the shoulder of the jars.
Then screw the blade attachment from your blender onto the jars and blend till smooth and thick.
most blenders blades will fit standard mason jars


3 years ago on Introduction

I have seen on other sites that they microwave the Napa soap first to change the texture before grating. Also I just found "ALL" (brand oxy booster) that is made for sensitive skin. It happened also to be on sale and cost less than any other oxy in the store. Score!

There is nothing


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Any drug store should have it. Ask for Sodium Borate (Borax) and Sodium Carbonate (Washing Soda).


Reply 4 years ago

Thanks groundup always useful to get the chemical name (guys in the US, while your inventiveness is great, brand names aren't helpful to the rest of us...could you poss give us a clue....for instance, what is fels naptha? I think it's just a pure laundry soap....is that correct?)

Fels Naptha is a concentrated bar laundry soap that my mother used to pre-treat stains on clothing. It is the closest thing to an ash based home-made lye soap of yester-year, now made by Purex. Borax is a ground mineral i.e. Twenty Mule Power..the mules used to transport the mineral from Death Valley California. A bit of history.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

You can use any pure bar soap that is designed to be used for laundry. Or, if you can find it, any pure soap that is already flaked or grated. If you are adventuresome you could make your own.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

me too but savers and wilko has borax Super Washing Soda or backing powder so not that hard to find no need to order online


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

You can try ordering them online. The expenses would be well worth it if you have 6 to 7 months worth of laundry soap.

I keep the dry mixed soap ingredients in Tupperware and take out a cup or so every month. Put in a mason jar and pour boiling water over it the night before laundry day. Mix it with a stick blender in the morning and you're good to go. I don have space to store all those plastic bottles, I tried using just the dry ingredients, but didn't think it dissolved well enough.

2 replies


Could you tell us more preciously how you do this? I really want the convenience of liquid but lack the storage space! Your method is the perfect solution!

Mix about half a cup in a mason jar and fill with boiling water. set on the counter overnight and in the morning mix with a stick blender. The consistency you are after is a soft gel. If it is too thick, it won't melt quickly in cold water. I use about a tablespoon per load.


4 years ago on Introduction

another option is to use Ivory soap bars in place of the Naptha bars thats what I did last time and for the liquid version it does great

2 replies
Hippy Nerdchikid68

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

@chikid68 How much Ivory did you use? I'm in Canada (Toronto, with almost 3 million others) and still haven't found either Zote or Fels Napha

@ follow Canadians (at least those in the GTA) I bought Borax @ No Frills along with Washing Soda (not all stores carry them)


4 years ago on Introduction

I am sorry that a few people here felt the need to bash you.

You article is great, keep it up!

I intend to try it, dry version, soon. I get intense migraines just walking down the household cleaner isle! I was at my favourite dollar store the other day and they had both the generic Fels Naptha(you can tell what it is by feel-the bar is extremely hard and usually has deep grooves running the length of it for ease in scrubbing off stains) and generic Oxy-clean for only $1.25 each…score! I live in Canada, and the difference in cup sizes is negligible when it comes to mixing up a batch of soap powder. I also plan to add a few drops of tea-tree oil(for anti-bacterial properties) and lavender for a natural, non-toxic scent. You could also use lemon or grapefruit oils, just keep those oils' products away from your kitties…citrus is toxic to them.

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

People bash this because it's ripped off of Duggar Family and other sources and claimed to be "my genius idea", not giving any credit to people who came-up with the recipe.

Then there's censorship. That is why this comment will be deleted, but there's no surprise in that. The standards in creating content for this site are in the gutter.