Making Laundry Soap…

Been meaning to share this with everyone for awhile now, but a bit ago, Miss Julia and I decided to try making some homemade laundry soap. All the recipes online seemed really pretty easy and for us to gather ALL the materials to make a zillion gallons was a big whopping $7. Yep. $7.

You need three things.

Washing Soda (Not Baking Soda… sold in laundry area)
A Bar of Soap.

Now a lot of people use that good old Fels Napa soap, but we just used some dollar store soap bar that I had laying about the homestead. And I have to tell you, it worked just fine. Some folks swear by a bar of Ivory soap, and I think that it would be very mellow and gentle on your clothes and for those with a allergy sensitivity to soap. I think next time I will try Irish Spring, just because I ADORE the scent of that soap!

Each of the boxes of stuff, cost about $3. And you can make many many batches with each box.

Okay. First you take and grate up about 1/3rd of a big bar of soap. We used a regular old grater and it worked wonderfully. It doesn’t have to be real fine, and I suppose you could even chop it with a knife, just be careful. Soap bars are slippery.

Then you pop it in a big saucepot and add in 2 cups of water.

Warm it over a medium heat, stirring to melt the soap flakes up nicely. It really only took a few minutes. Not long at all.

Once it’s nice and thick, like a liquid hand soap or something, you turn off the heat and add a half cup of washing soda and a half cup of Borax powder. Just stir until there are no lumps. Lumps are for gravy! We actually used a whisk to just sort of break up all the lumps and get it nice and smooth again.

Have a 5 gallon pail waiting, filled with 2 gallons of warm tap water. You don’t have to heat it, just as hot as your kitchen tap will make it. It’s a lot easier to pour the warm saucepot of stuff into the bucket, if the bucket water is warmed up. Just pour in and stir with a big spoon. It’s super easy. You’ll notice that some of it will kind of lump up and we just used our hands to stir it all, and break up the biggest lumps. You want to stir it up nicely, then put the cover on and let it sit and gel up for overnight. I suppose that you could use it right away, but it does get nicer after a little rest.

That’s it. I figured it to be about oh, less than 70 cents for a 2 gallon load. That’s just pennies a load of wash, ladies! Considering those huge bottles of soap are easily $5 to $7 bucks even at the dollar store, I would have to say, hands down, this is a huge savings.

Now how does it work? Fantastic!!! The first time we used it, I just ladled off a big quart jar of the stuff and we used about 1/4 cup per load. I noticed that there was still some lumpies, but you can decide if you want to strain them off or just go with it and use them. Miss Julia says that too many lumpies will leave little blobs in your wash on darker stuff. She agrees, strain it off and avoid the little blobs. But honestly, it cleans like crazy! My girls were pretty much sick of me saying “OH MY GOSH, Look at this bra!” or “OH MY GOSH, Look at these undies!” as I was folding clothes at the laundrymat! Haha… but I was amazed. Everything was sparkling white and bright. Brighter than I’ve even seen. Especially the whites and light colors. And thinking about only pennies per load? Well, that made my day as well!

Now we’ve used the stuff for well over a month and I have to say, it’s still fantastic. And I have enough now in the two boxes of powder to make many many more gallons. Just have to add that 1/3 bar of soap. I’ve heard of folks adding a few drops of essential oil to their mix as well, just to bring in a lovely scent. I know there is a dry mix formula of laundry soap, but I’ve heard that it can cause a bit of a mess in your drain tubes of a washer. Sometimes the powders don’t dissolve well enough. The liquid is really easy to make and use. In fact, we were done so quickly, we figured we must have done something wrong! Haha… It’s super easy… give it a try!

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


Making Laundry Soap… — 6 Comments

  1. I make and use the powdered kind. You use so little that I don’t see any way it could clog up drain lines. You’d have to dump the whole batch in there or something! lol.

    I use 1 tbsp for the largest load my machine does. It dissolves great, smells great and works great. Plus, it takes up so little room to store it.

    • I haven’t tried the powder, it’s just what a few friends had said. Something about it building up or clogging??? I do think the small size of stuff needed is awesome! Great for saving space!!!

  2. Your ingredients list says “washing soda” but your instructions say “baking soda”. For the record (I have made this very same laundry soap myself) the correct ingredient is in fact WASHING SODA, folks. There is a difference. They are not interchangeable.

    Baking soda may have many uses in cleaning, but this product is not one of them.

    • Thanks for catching that! Haha… late night posting is bad… It is WASHING SODA and I went and corrected it on the post! Thanks!


  3. At the top you have washing soda listed in the ingredients and down in the story you say baking soda. So, is washing soda just plain baking soda? I want to try this and I want to get the right things.Thanks!

    • Sorry! Late night posts…. it’s WASHING Soda… Available in the soap area of your larger stores. I ended up at WalMart to get it… it’s not as common anymore at little stores.