How To Make Your Own Laundry Detergent!

In today's economy, I'm always looking for ways to trim down my household expenses. Laundry detergent is no exception. So I found many recipes and many different ways to make my own laundry detergent and decide to give it a try! The soap is a  fraction of what I would pay at the store.

Here is the recipe that I used:

Ingredients Needed

1 cup washing soda, such as Arm and Hammer (NOT baking soda)
1 bar of Fels Naptha soap (I only found at Macey's, but it can be found online too)
1 cup of Borax
Essential Oil (optional)
About three gallons of water
Containers to store the soap (2 liters soda pop bottles, old laundry soap dispensers, etc)
1 five gallon bucket
Large wooden spoon
Large Pot
Cheese Grater

Put four cups of water into the pot and heat until boiling. Reduce heat until it is just simmering. While the water is heating, grate the soap up into little curls. This will help the soap dissolve faster than by chopping it up into pieces.

Place the soap into the water, a little bit at a time. Stir the soap and water solution until the soap is completely dissolved.

Pour 1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda into the 5-gallon bucket. Add 1 gallon of hot water. Stir until dissolved. Stir in the melted soap. Stir more! Add very hot water - about 2-3 gallons and stir again.

If you want to add some essential oil, now is the time to do it! I used about 20 drops of lavender oil. You can use any fragrance that you like - clove oil, eucalyptus, baby oil, sandalwood, etc.

Store the soap in any plastic conatiner (easier to handle) or leave in the bucket. Let it sit for 24 hours.


1. If you are storing the soap in plastic containers, do it as soon as the soap is done, because...

2. As the soaps sits, it will thicken (gel like) and lumps will happen. So it will be harder to scoop into the container. 

3. This soap does NOT suds - which is better for your washer and plumbing system.

4. May be used on whites (hot water) and darks (cold water).

5. May alliviate soap allergy symptoms.
*** Fels-Naptha soap contains terpene hydrocarbons, which are considered "moderately toxic," according to the Materials Safety Data Sheet. The product, manufactured by Dial Corp., is not considered hazardous but might cause eye or skin irritation upon contact. If you are looking for an All Natural soap, click HERE.
Shake well before each use.

For hard water: add an extra 1/2 to 1 cup borax per wash load.

Use 1 cup for light washes and 1-2 cups for extra dirty and super sized  loads.

The best part about making laundry detergent is the savings. The total cost for almost 5 gallon of soap was $11!!!

Year's Supply

For a family of four you'll need;
2 boxes Borax
2 boxes Washing Soda
16 bars Fels Naptha

Sorry Tide... From now on I will make my own detergent!!!


  1. We compost, but I never would have thought of making fertilizer. Thanks for this great tip!


  2. I also make my own laundry soap, very similar to this recipe, however I decided to add a bar of dove/ivory soap to the mix I like it a little better, but I also add a bit more water. I've never added oils to the soap as my hubby is allergic to almost everything!! Anyway I do love the idea of baby oil and when I make it this week I'll be sure to add some to my batch and see how it turns out!

  3. I do this but do not do the wet version, I grate the bar soap to a very fine consistency and have a dry product that I LOVE. Our clothes look and feel better. I think a lot of the "stuff" in mass produced soap just never washes out but this is fresh and clean. Love your blog!


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