Yes You Can Make Homemade Laundry Soap

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Yes You Can Make Homemade Laundry Soap

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Over the past few weeks I have had multiple inquiries asking if I have ever made my own laundry soap.  The answer is YES YES YES I have and after I did, I never looked back.

In todays blast from the near past, I share the article I wrote describing my experience making my own laundry soap with just three ingredients:  Borax, Washing Soda, and Dawn dish detergent.  Don’t ask me why this works so well – it just does!  Not only that, according to my calculation, the cost is only 23 cents for a half-gallon batch or less than 1 1/2 cents per load using a full half cup per load.

I personally use this DIY Laundry Detergent in my HE, front loading washer and it works perfectly!

DIY Laundry Soap 403

The No Mess No Fuss Method of Making DIY Laundry Detergent


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Bargain Bin: Just a few related items today for your consideration.

Mule Team Borax and Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda Variety Pack: Here are two of the three ingredients you need, packaged together with free shipping.

Dawn Ultra Original Scent Dishwashing Liquid: Dawn has to be one of the few household products I have been unable to duplicate myself.  It is worth it to get the real thing.

Laundry Drying Rack:  For even more savings, try line drying your laundry outdoors.  The sun will provide a natural bleaching action and nothing beats the fresh smell – especially on pillow cases.  I own a laundry drying rack which I keep on my deck.  And when the weather is nice, I use it.

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8 Responses to “Yes You Can Make Homemade Laundry Soap”

  1. Some time ago, when I started to think about things we will need to have when we won’t have a store to go to, I looked into making soap the way our ancestors did. It didn’t take long until I reached the conclusion, that making lye is not for me, so I have enough soap for years to come, as cleanliness is vital to survival.
    My question to you, is this soap better than just purchasing soap? Or is it a matter of saving a few cents, which I’m good with too?

    • When I went out and purchased the Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda, the Fels Naptha bar soap (I got three, instead of the one the recipe calls for, just because), and the Borax – I think I only spent around 8 dollars on the whole thing.
      I made the recipe right away. It lasted for around five months. In that time, we would normally have spent about twenty dollars or more on regular laundry soap.
      I found the smell of the Fels Naptha to be rather offensive as I was making it. But as it blended with other ingredients, it became less noticeable to me.
      As far as how it cleans: It cleans just as well as the store soaps, but without all of the scents and the bad things that are in those particular brands.
      Conclusion: It is cheaper and cleans just as well.

    • John – I totally agree with you. Using lye to make soap is not for me (although many do so with great success). Making your own laundry soap from a few simple ingredients is to me, more than about saving money (although the money saved is dollars and not pennies).

      Making your own cleaning products allows you to store just a few simple ingredients than can be combined to produce a wide variety of cleaning concoctions – not just laundry soap. With a small investment in these basic ingredients, you would have the ability to keep things clean for a long, long time even if there were no stores.

      If you have not seen it, check out this article for more DIY cleaning recipes: //

  2. I’ve just about finished my first gallon, of a 2 gallon batch, using Dial White (cheapest bar soap per ounce at Walmart) instead of Fels Naphtha. Took a little bit of work to brew but SO worth it!

    Add a gallon of vinegar with about 15 drops of Tea Tree Oil for softener and laundry day is a bit more pleasant. (And a WHOLE lot less costly!)

    • Cheap dial soap – who would have thought it? I may try it since, as I mentioned above, I did not care for the Fels Naphtha. It did not work well for me plus the odor was offensive.

      I do like the Dawn version because it is so easy to make up in small batches. Plus, for me, it simply works 100% of the time. No spots and no odors. As I like to say, easy peasy 🙂

  3. @Karma007 – One of the disadvantages of living in a remote area is that there is no Wal-Mart. I try to stock up when I travel so I don’t get gouged, price-wise.

  4. Gaye , you can buy these items at Walmart, along with Fels Naptha bar soap for under $8.00. You can make 50 gallons of laundry detergent for use in any type of machine. Only use containers made from the hard plastic, such as recycled laundry detergent bottles.

    • I too use these ingredients. The recipe I use is as follows: 4 Cups Hot tap water, 1 Fels Naptha soap bar, 1 Cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda, and 1/2 Cup Borax.
      – Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
      -Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
      -Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
      -Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
      -Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
      -Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
      -Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

      I got this recipe off the site for 19 Kids and Counting. It works quite well. I have been making it for a little while now, for a family of five. The last batch lasted me about five months.

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