Make It Monday: Homemade Laundry Detergent

     I thought I would share this recipe for homemade laundry soap that I finally got around to trying out (after months of actually having the ingredients on hand). I got this recipe from Living on a Dime, though there are various recipes out there that use pretty much the same ingredients.

     1/3 bar of laundry soap (Fels Naptha, Zote) 
     6 cups water
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
     Grate the laundry soap. I actually just chopped it up as you can see in the pic above, but I think that made the heating process a lot longer. Also, I recently saw Zote flakes next to the bars, so you might want to consider those and skip the grating all together! I’ll definitely be doing that in the future if I continue making the soap. The flakes are slightly more per ounce than the bar, but worth the time it would save I think. And still cheaper than buying a bottle of detergent! 
     Stir in washing soda and Borax. Mix and heat until dissolved. Boil 15 minutes. Remove from heat. 

     In a 3 or 5 gallon bucket (I used a new kitchen trash can) add 1 quart of hot water, then add the soap mixture. Mix. Add enough cold water to make a 2 gallon mixture. Mix until well blended. Add to detergent bottles or gallon size jugs with screw on lids. Let sit 24 hours. 

     The soap is supposed to gel but never actually did for me. It is ok if it doesn’t gel. Use 1/2 cup for each load. Shake before each use. The detergent will not suds up, but it will still work. 
     You can get a whole box of washing soda, a whole box of Borax and a bar of laundry soap (which will all make multiple gallons of detergent) for about the same as a bottle of Tide. Try it out and let me know what you think!


  1. I have been making a version of this for nearly two years.. I also make the liquid version. I have had to tweak it as I go along.. the recipe I started with was 1 cup Borax, 1 Cup Washing, Soda, and 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap… I had to stop using the Fels Naptha because we didn’t care for the scent of it. I switched to Kirk’s Original Cocoa Castille soap. I have also scaled back the amount of Borax. I am liking the latest batch much better. I love that I can play with it to make it what we want and I am still saving a ton over name brand detergents. I also use vinegar in the fabric softener compartment of my washer. It virtually eliminates static from our clothes. I never use regular fabric softener or sheets because of the chemicals and the fire hazards they create. My sister finally gave in and made the powdered version of the laundry detergent and she was disappointed and went back to store bought.

  2. I made the powdered version. I didn’t see any difference except less money going out for detergent. My husband said that he didn’t feel clothes were getting as clean and leaving a powder. I had to go back to store bought detergent.

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