Homemade Laundry Soap

It’s time…I’m out of soap. Laundry is needing done.  Finally the post on homemade laundry soap!! (Come on get excited with me!) WOOHOO!

This is super easy and cheap.  Here are all the supplies you could possibly need plus recipe and instructions. You can decide what works best for you.



So here I have Borax, Washing Soda, and Fels-Naptha soap. When you are buying this, buy one box of Borax and washing soda, but buy 4 bars of Fels-Naptha. Now you can make 4 batches of soap and no more running to the store.  Ok, I also have a spoon because you need to stir it, a pan to melt the soap in, a knife to cut the soap up, a one cup measuring cup, a funnel to pour it into containers, an empty gallon old milk jug to measure water, and a container to hold the soap once it’s done(for easy pouring).  I also have a 5 gallon  bucket with lid and an 18 qt dish pan.

First, you can either cut up 1 bar of soap with a knife and melt it or you can grate it.  I HIGHLY suggest grating this soap. It takes a little while but honestly it is so worth it because you do not need a stove then to melt it.  If you use a pan you have to keep pouring water in and melting sections at a time. It sucks. Use a grater.  I keep all my supplies in this one dish pan which I also use. I do not use these supplies for anything else..ever!

OK, so first grate the soap. Use a small grater, like for garlic. It will make the soap look like ground corn meal.

grated soap


Once it is grated, place into the dish pan container and pour 1 gallon of HOT water in, stir until dissolved.



Do this first, because it takes the longest.  Once the soap is dissolved. Take your 5 gallon bucket and put 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda into the bottom. Pour 1 gallon of HOT water in and stir until dissolved.



Now that both mixtures are dissolved, pour them together and stir until they are mixed.



Depending on how runny you like your soap you can add up to another gallon of water.  I personally like a more gel type and use another 1/2 gal.  That makes my total water 2 1/2 gallons.  3 is way to runny for me.

Let this sit in the bucket until completely cool. You can stir it on occasion if you have the time or you can leave it overnight to cool. A chemical reaction occurs in this and make it form a gel substance on top and water underneath. Stir when comepletely cooled to break up the gel.  If you have a temperamental washer you might have to strain the soap before putting it into a container. I actually just took out my tray that held soap on my HE washer.


The entire soap making process took me 20 minutes and will last me over a month for a family of 4.  We do about 5 loads a week, give or take, and I use 1 cup of liquid. I keep my soap in the 5 gallon bucket and fill a gallon jug at a time to use.  If you want a different fragrance you can try adding an essential oil to the batch(mint works well), you can also add the fragrant crystals they sell in the laundry isle, or you can add a cap full of regular detergent.  I find the smell of naptha grows on you and I don’t like anything else in mine.

If you have extra greasy clothing add more soap or you can actually wet a bar of the naptha and pretreat by rubbing it in.  I am working with a Mennonite lady on getting an actual recipe for a degreasing soap. She has only made it a few times with her mother and the recipe she gave is very incomplete.  When I have that I will share it. She says it gets out grease like no bodies business and she uses it on all her husband’s clothes.  This soap above will work on lightly greased stuff, but if your hubby is a mechanic this soap will not work that well. Try pre-treating first and see .   😉

Happy Homesteading Everyone!! 😀

Categories: Homesteading, Recipes, Skills | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Soap

  1. Thanks for the recipe! I use the same stuff to make my laundry soap, but I make mine dry. 3 cups Borax, 3 cups washing soda, 1 bar of grated Fels Naptha. Put it in an old plastic ice cream bucket and shake it to mix. I’ve thought of trying the liquid kind, but I never have gotten around to it.

    • I cannot make powder because I wash on cold with no water softener. It just does not dissolve for me. I cant use any powdered detergents even store ones 😦

      • I always wash in cold, with well water– no softener. I’ve never had a problem with it not disolving, but I only use about 2-3 tsp per load. I put the soap in, let the water run for a few minutes, then add my clothes.

  2. I’ve never made the liquid kind of soap, thank you for showing me how to do this step by step. Your blog is fun to read, keep inspiring, I need it.

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