Homemade Laundry Soap

Soooo….I’m a horrible blogger. I made about a year’s worth of laundry soap a couple days ago. I meant to take pictures so I could post step by step photos. The last time I intended to do a DIY tutorial, I ended up in the Emergency Room. This time, I got half way into the process and forgot to take pictures.

I’m horrible, I tell ya!

But enough about me. Let’s learn how easy (and cheap!) it is to make your own laundry soap.

There are about a bajillion different diy laundry soap recipes out there. I’ve been using this particular recipe on our clothes for at least two years now. Why did I choose this one?

Because it was the one my cousin gave me back before I really got into this diy journey.


And because it’s simple – only 3 ingredients besides water. Washing soda, Borax, and Fels-Naptha soap (all can be found in the laundry isle of most large grocery stores).

That’s it.


I know, right?

And the process is just as simple.

Step #1: put 4 cups hot water in a pot.

Step #2: grate the Fels-Naptha into the water.


Step #3: stir and then gently (gently!) boil until the soap is all melted. Don’t vigorously boil unless you don’t mind suds all over your kitchen.


(And that’s all the pictures I got till the next day.)

Step #4: add in 1/2 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda (this is not baking soda – there’s a difference!) to the pot and stir till dissolved. (Note: this time around I doubled the amount of borax and washing soda to see if there is any difference in the long run.)

Step #5: fill a 5 gallon bucket half full with hot water. Pour the soap contents from the pot into the bucket and stir well.
Step #6: fill the rest of the bucket with hot water, stir and set aside until the next day to let it set up.


See, told you it would set up.

Step #7: now stir, stir, stir! It would be awesome to have one of those paint stirring attachments for a power drill. That would make this part super easy. I thought we had one of those somewhere. Hmmmm… it’s probably still in our shed back on the homestead. Since I didn’t have one of those stirrer thingies, I just used a big slotted spoon.


And eventually I even just used my hand to reach in and mush up all the gloppy clumps. It was strangely satisfying.


Step #8: fill a container such as an old laundry soap dispenser or large jar half full with your soap, fill the rest of the way with water and shake. Use approximately 1/4 cup for a front loading washer (you lucky folks) and about 3/4 cup for a top loader. Shake with each use.

That’s it. See, told ya it was simple. And yes, with 4 people in our family and a top loading washer, this amount of soap will last us approximately a year.

So, how does it work? You know, I have to be honest, it’s not the greatest on stains. But it does a good job keeping things generally clean.

It is gentle enough that we used it on Flower Girl’s clothes when she was a baby and suffering from bad eczema and it did not irritate her condition.

It does tend to be clumpy when I pour it, but then, I’ve never taken the time to really, really stir it up well either. I’m sure that would make a huge difference.

As we travel on our journey toward all natural products, I like that the majority of ingredients in this laundry soap are all natural. I did however, read the ingredients on the Fels-Naptha soap and it does have some perfumes and unpronounceables. It’s diluted quite a bit in this recipe, so I went ahead and used it this time. I think by the time we need another batch, I will try to find a more natural soap. I have heard you can use Ivory soap in place of the Fels-Naptha. I will have to look into it more.

But, I’ve got a year to do it. 😉

Have you ever made your own laundry soap? What’s your favorite recipe?


“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121

This entry was posted in Portland Interlude 2014-2016, Recipes, Skills and tagged , , , , , , , on by .

About Maridy

Hi, I'm Maridy. I have many interests in life. Right now, my husband and I and our two girls (ages 14 and 7), along with a couple of dogs currently live in a 33ft trailer while we build our house on our homestead property in Northern Nevada (Castle Rock Homestead). Follow us on that journey to building our high desert homestead from the ground up! I also have a passion for hiking and have a blog for that, too. (Journey in the Wilderness) Join me there as I explore the beautiful outdoor landscapes of Northwestern Nevada and Eastern California. And finally, I love historical costuming. Though I haven't been able to do much of that in recent years, I'm hoping that "once the house is built" I'll be able to get back into it more. See what all we've done with that on my Yesteryear Productions blog.

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