Making Laundry Soap


Throughout the years that we’ve housed people, we have had a couple of guests who had incredibly sensitive skin. So much so that even the mildest dish soap or laundry detergent would cause painful rashes and reddened cracked skin. Necessity is the mother of invention, right? We started scouring Pinterest for recipes to help. I don’t remember whether we found this recipe online or if it was passed to us from a friend but we have been making homemade laundry soap for the last three years and not only is it much more economical, it cleans just as well as any purchased detergent.

First, with a cheese grater, grate 1/3 of a bar of Fels- Naptha soap. Put it in a small pot and add 2-3 cups of water. Cook on medium heat until the soap melts.

Once the soap is melted, remove from heat. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with hot tap water about 2/3 full.

Add 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of washing soda to the bucket. Then pour in the melted soap and water.

Mix well, cover bucket with foil or plastic wrap and let it sit for 24 hours. The laundry soap will be gelled on top. I used a metal whisk to break it up and blend it into the rest of the liquid.

Fill empty containers with laundry soap. We use washed out milk containers and empty Tide jugs from years ago. I have found that the easiest way to do this is to lay down a large towel underneath and use a 2 cup measuring cup and a funnel. We filled five containers!

We use the homemade laundry soap exactly like purchased detergent. We have a high-efficiency washer so it takes about 1/2 cup per load. Happy washing!



One Comment Add yours

  1. Shoshana says:

    I bet it would be good for hand-washing, too. I hand wash all my clothes, bedding, towels, etc and found that homemade cleaners are better than the commercial ones when hand-washing. I have tried both store-bought and home-made. My son dislikes the odor left behind in store-bought detergent and my girls complain their clothes don’t feel the same. The clothing also takes longer to rinse the detergent out, which is wasteful of water and time. My home-made recipe is different since where I live it’s hard to find borax and when we do it’s expensive and washing soda is non-existent. My recipe is also easy: 1 bar favorite body soap (mine is home-made) finely grated, 1 cup kosher salt, 1 cup baking soda. Mix together and add a few tablespoons to laundry water in powder form as it’s pouring into the bucket (about 10 liters). For fabric softener I use one cup vinegar (leftover wine) to one gallon water and add a few drops of my favorite essential oil. I rarely use fabric softener, though, because the salts and soap in the cleaner do their job beautifully.


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