Homemade Laundry Soap

I’ve decided to take the plunge. I am going to try making homemade laundry soap, but I need your help. I am looking to hear from all of my readers what works and what doesn’t work.(first hand experience please) If you could answer the following questions your answers will greatly assist me in making a choice of which products I should invest in for the most value and effectiveness. In addition to your answers leave any suggestions or advice that you have.

1. What is your recipe?

2. How much does your recipe make?

3. How much do you use per load size? (ex: large load 1/4 cup)


  1. beckyboop says

    Goodness, it has taken me ages to get back here!

    I used the recipe at family homestead initially. I have since tweaked it to work better for us.

    I use:
    1/2 bar of Fels Naptha
    1 cup Washing Soda
    1/2 cup Borax

    I grate the soap and heat it with 10 cups of water. Then I add the Washing Soda and Borax and stir until completely dissolved. I pour 4 cups of hot water into my bucket, and then add the soap mixture and stir. Then I add an additional 22 cups of water. I use my 4 cup pyrex measuring cup and do it that way. I stir until I feel it is sufficiently mixed and then let it sit. I stir occasionally for the next few hours, but I pour it into my recycled laundry containers before it is all the way gelled up. This batch will fill two 11oz laundry containers, and part of an old gallon vinegar container. I use one full laundry lid per load.

    I put white vinegar in my downy ball as well.

    Some drawbacks to this have been always having to wash laundry on warm or hot. I cannot wash the darks in cold or the they do not get clean and I can still detect odors, especially on my hubby’s shirts. Also, towels have to be washed in hot water or I get the same. That being said, my washer’s warm cycle is not terribly warm either. I have to use more than 1/2 cup for sure, but the savings a still huge.

    I do keep the other 1/2 of the Fels Naptha and use it for treating stains and it lasts a LONG time and really gets them out. At 99 cents a bar, that is a real savings for me. I always buy two bars so that I can make soap with one, use half for stains, and make soap two more times with the other bar before my stain bar runs out.

    I think I wrote a novel here. And now matter what, the clothes will not smell like commercial detergent gets them. That is a drawback too in a way. The vinegar does help to bring out a fresher smell.


  2. Kysha says

    I use the powder form of
    1/2 cup Armer Hammer Washing Soda
    1/2 cup 21 Mule Borax
    2 cups of my favorite soap grated
    Most put in 1 cup of grated soup but I like more scent. You can also add more washing soda if your clothes are extra dirty.
    Use 2 tsp per load. I use 3. I have some boys who love playing in the dirt.


  3. Hadias says

    I want to bebin line drying as well. I just haven’t decided if I want a clothesline in my backyard. I am thinking of using my attic or putting something together in my laundry room.

    Maybe something on my deck in the Fall.

    I don’t want to use the outdoors because myself and two of my children are severe allergy sufferers. The thought of tree or grass pollen on my clothes gives me nightmares.


  4. HopewellMomSchool says

    I use the recipe at http://www.thefamilyhomstead.com I’ve gotten lazy and bought some at Sam’s last time I ran out, but I liked this well enough I will soon be doing it again. Forget the essential oils unless you already own it–might as well just buy Tide for the price! I saw you like the smell of commercial laundry soap. My suggestion would be add just a little commercial fabric softener–same economic benefit, but smells good! I just use white vinegar for softener most times. If someone complains I dose the next load of their clothes with real softener!!! Since our drier is not working and no $ to fix the plumbing leak and resulting electrical problem yet, we are line drying too!


  5. beckyboop says

    I will answer this more tomorrow, but I can tell you now that I only use Fels Naptha because Ivory and Zote do not clean the clothes as well, and I use the full cup that comes with my recycled detergent bottles. 1/4 is not enough. I also tweak the recipe.

    I am beat after working 11 hours at a wedding today, but I will write more tomorrow!


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