Thursday, April 28, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade powdered laundry soap is easy and quick to make. I've made it several times and we've been really happy with how it works. I use this recipe which takes 2 bars laundry soap (Fels Naptha, Zote, Ivory, etc.), 2 cups washing soda, and 1 cup Borax. Using the food processor to shred the soap and mix it altogether takes me about 10 minutes tops.

A few notes:
  • This is not a high-sudsing laundry soap. In fact, it really doesn't foam much at all. I mention this because those with HE machines always ask.:-) 
  • I let the soap dissolve in the water for a few minutes before adding the laundry. Don't know if this is totally necessary but it works well for me.
  • I like to add a few drops of essential oil to each load. Lavender is my current favorite. It makes the laundry room and the clothes smell so nice! I'm not one to like heavily fragranced detergents (they make my nose run!) but I love this because it's natural and not overpowering.
  • Washing soda can be difficult to find. I know everyone says that most grocery stores carry it in the laundry aisle but none here carry it. I think I've looked in all of them.:-) I bought this box at a Publix near my sister's. Buying online is also an option. 
  • One local store carries Zote soap in both the regular and double size bar. I think it cost me around $1 for the big bar pictured. 
  • Borax is pretty easy to find at Walmart and numerous grocery stores. Again, in the laundry aisle. I like to add a scoop of Borax to my towels and then soak overnight to take the stink out.
  • The boxes of Borax and washing soda will last a long time so the cost for making this soap is really quite small.


Katie said...

I make a very similar homemade laundry soap, Mary Ann! However, the ration I've been using is 1 bar soap:1 cup borax:1 cup washing soda. I've seen many variations....but I think maybe your recipe is more cost effective! I also was told to use 1/3 cup per load! Thinking 1 T. is much more cost effective! Thanks!

Also ~ where do you get your essential oils? I'd like to use them for some other things as well but wasn't sure where to get them.

Mary Ann said...


The original instructions suggest 2 T. per load, but unless it's a heavily soiled load, I've been using 1 and so far it's been getting it clean. Depends on what you're washing, your machine, water, etc.

I got my essential oils from They aren't cheap but I've been using the same bottles for probably 2 years already. And there are so many ways to use essential oils for health and household uses!

Thanks for commenting!

tea said...

This is good info! Thanks for sharing!! :)