DIY Laundry Soap

I know, I know- there are TONS of tutorials and recipes out there for this stuff.  You can boil it, grate it, blend it, buy it…but this is what we do, and I’ve used this recipe for over 2 years now.  Through 2 toddlers, and currently through cloth diapers.  It works, it’s CHEAP, it’s easy.  Oh, and it’s low-suds so it works in HE front loaders.  Go make some!

DIY Laundry Soap:


1 bar SOAP (Fels-Naptha or homemade)

1 cup borax

1 cup washing soda

Chop your soap into cubes like so

Place into food processor bowl, fitted with blade.  Blend until pulverized like so

It might clump.  It’s OK!  (Alternatively, you can grate the bar of soap, and do this all by hand.  Personal preference here: the Cuisinart is quicker, cleaner, and makes a finer product.)

Add 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda and blend again (with a towel over it, you don’t want this dust flying around) until it’s all homogenous and happy and decant into whatever you’ll store it in.  Done!

I use 1 Tablespoon per load of laundry in my front loader, with 1 Tablespoon of oxygen bleach (Oxy Clean), and about a 1/4 cup of white vinegar splashed into the “pre wash” compartment or in the “bleach” compartment, just depending on where I splash it that day.  It doesn’t make much of a difference, but if it’s in the bleach compartment, your clothes will smell a little like a salad bar before you dry them.  Drying zaps the smell right out  of them, though.

Now go and try, and mix it up a little!  See what works!  Use 2 Tablespoons for a top loader.  Use more if you need, or less if you don’t need as much.  For my husband and my clothes I can normally get away with less than a Tablespoon.  For the kids clothes, they NEED the purging power of the soapy water 🙂

For the soap, it’s important that you use a soap.  Just soap.  It’s actually kind of hard to find in the store, on the beauty aisle!  Fels-Naptha is found on the laundry section of most grocery stores, it’s a REALLY old product.  As in, your great-grandmother probably used it if she didn’t make her own soap.  Speaking of which, making your own soap or purchasing handmade soap isn’t a bad idea either.  I really like the soap I’m using now that my friend made- it’s softer, and melts faster.


6 Responses

  1. I have a hard time finding Fels-Naptha where I live.
    Ivory soap works fine for me.
    And sigh…. I grate by hand, since I don’t have a food processor.

  2. I’m trying this today. We just whipped up a double batch.

  3. It’s fabulous! I’m back today to make the recipe again. My laundry has never smelled so clean.

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