Make Your Own Laundry Soap

While I was laid up in the hospital, I decided to do something I don’t do very often – watch TV.  Did you know there’s a show on The Learning Channel about a mother who’s had 18 kids?  Holy $#*!  That woman must have a uterus made of steel.  Anyways, this family does something I thought was very cool – They make their own laundry soap!  And it’s actually a very easy way to save money and reduce the amount of plastic laundry detergent bottles that quickly come in and out of the house.

Look how simple the ingredients are:

1 bar of soap
½ cup washing soda
½ cup borax powder
and a big ass bucket

To make your homemade laundry soap, just grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use ½ cup per load.

Many thanks to the Family Homestead for sharing that recipe, having a step-by-step picture page just for us newbies and they also sell a laundry soap kit for gift giving or for us lazy mamas with the soap already grated.  Whoo hoo!

4 Replies to “Make Your Own Laundry Soap”

  1. We’ve been making our own laundry detergent for several years now. It was one of our first “Going Green” steps. The only difference in our recipe and the above, is that I use 1 cup each of washing soda & borax (rather than 1/2 cup). I also use 1 Cup per full load of clothes. It makes a 5 gallon bucket worth, and when I melt the grated soap, I’ve never bothered to measure out water, I just use a small sauce pan and cover all the soap with water (usually this about fills the pan). I’ve seen Fels Naptha recommended for the soap (some types of bar soap will leave a white residue on clothing) – but I always used South of France bars of soap with great success. Now I use soap that we make, so I don’t have to buy those anymore.
    This last time I made it I added some Peppermint Essential Oil to the finished detergent as well. It smells so wonderful!! LOVE IT!! You can try all sorts of different essential oils.
    When we first did this we added up the math and realized that we were saving easily around $120 annually by making our own. Each 5 gallon batch cost only about $5 to make. It literally cost around a penny per ounce!! Now, since we use our own homemade soap, it (and I did the math here!) costs us a FRACTION of a PENNY per ounce!!!! Compare this to other eco-friendly detergents: Mrs. Meyer’s 64 oz. was nearly $12 in the store!!! It costs us less than 64 CENTS for that amount!!
    We even sell ours locally to people we know, at a rate of 5 cents an ounce. So, they get a “typical” 100 oz. bottle for $5 — again, compare that to any other eco-friendly detergent on the market!!
    Glad you found this Sadie. And, just to let you know, we used it with cloth diapers and it works just fine. We also ALL have sensitive skin and NO problems there either!

  2. Oh, I’ve heard of that show…I don’t understand how they could have 18 kids, on purpose! lol. What’s wierd is all their names start with J.

    Thanks for the laundry soap recipe! Laundry soap is so expensive, even the “cheap” brands are pretty expensive. I’ll have to give this a try! Thanks!

  3. Okay..so I have to admit that this is one area where I have just never bitten the bullet. I have always been concerned about even the phosphates and chemicals in some of the “natural” detergents.

    I recently learned about “soap nuts” and I love them. I can rest assured that there is no chemical detergent in the nuts and I am not doing any unnecessary harm to my environment.

    There are many different sources where you can buy soap nuts online.
    I hope you guys all try them out to see how amazing they are!

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