Laundry Soap

I’ve made laundry soap several times now, and as I was making it yesterday morning I thought it would be worth a share. I’ve posted a similar recipe at my old blog,, but have modified it a bit over time to account for experience. Whichever way you choose, it’s really easy to make… in less than an hour you are in possession of 4 jugs of laundry detergent.

What you need:

1/3 bar of Fels Naptha
1/2 C. borax
1/2 C. washing soda
A stock pot
Lots of water
A big bucket (I recommend 5+ gallons. I got my six gallon bucket at Steinbart’s)
A grater
A funnel (For a big one, check in the auto department)
Something to stir with (my heat resistant spoon also came from Steinbart’s).

Step One – grate 1/3 bar of your soap.

Not cheese

If you’re using the Fels Naptha, it will smell amazing.

Step Two – Toss it in a pot with 6 cups of hot tap water, and set it over medium heat.

Keep stirring, it will take a little while to melt, but you don’t want it to boil. However, this isn’t really a precise science, and if it does start to boil it’s really not the end of the world.

Once the soap has melted, add 1/2 cup of washing soda:

And 1/2 cup of borax:

When it dissolves, it will all look like this:

Not sudsy OJ

Now in your bucket pour in 6 cups of hot tap water, and the soap mixture, then stir it all together.

Now keep adding hot water – a gallon, plus 6 more cups. If you have a 4 cup measuring cup like I do, this mean 5.5 of those (yeah, I had to look it up).

Then stir-stir-stir until it’s mixed really well, and transfer it to jugs to gel up over night.

In the end I filled just shy of four!

Now let it sit over night, and shake before using. Use 1/2 cup for top loading machines or 1/4-1/3 cup for high efficiency/front-loader machines.

Now it’s cost benefit analysis time:

1 box of Borax = $4.35 (One box can make 19 batches)
1 box of Washing Soda = $3.49 (One box can make 13.75 batches)
1 bar of Fels Naptha = $1.33 (One bar can make 3 batches)

One batch = $0.92 (Each one of those bottles comes out to about $0.23)

One bottle contains about 24 washes – so each wash is less than a penny!

There you have it – you save $0.28 every time you do a load of laundry. And the best part – it took less than an hours worth of work, AND my house smells amazing!!!


2 thoughts on “Laundry Soap

  1. We only use unscented soap because we are rash prone people. It’s not easy finding an unscented laundry bar soap (there are recipes for that part, too, but no). I did find this:

    I’ll let you know how it works out. Evidently any old castile or lye bar will do, but laundry bars are meant to be less sudsy, so hopefully this works out as a substitute for Fels Naptha.

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