Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe

Once upon a time, I was a loyal user of store-bought liquid laundry detergent.  Tide was my favorite.  It worked well.  My mom used it when I was growing up.  I could buy it for a relatively inexpensive price at a big box store or warehouse club.

But then, one day, I had to stop buying Tide.  Our youngest daughter had a rather severe allergic reaction to something in disposable diapers.  We were forced to switch to cloth diapering and the very specific laundering regimen that cloth diapering requires.

The timing of our cloth diapering experience also coincided with my introduction to microfiber cleaning rags.  Both the diapers and the rags require laundry detergent that is free of dye and fragrances.  I experimented with liquid laundry detergents that met the requirements.  Tide was one of them.  In the process of my experimentation I discovered two things.  First, Tide is simply not the cat’s pajamas of laundry detergents.  Many other brands also work effectively.  Second, dye and fragrance-free laundry detergent is pretty expensive.

We do anywhere between five and eight loads of laundry per week in our home.  Even with our front-loading, high efficiency washing machine, the cost of detergent adds up.  While I still think Tide is very effective at cleaning clothes, I have found an alternative that works just as well for our family, but at a fraction of the cost.

There are many different homemade laundry soap recipes floating around online and in library books.  This is the one I like best.  It is inexpensive, simple to make, and lasts for a long time.  One batch will get our family through four to six months of laundry loads.

All of these ingredients, except for the baking soda, should be available in your grocery store’s laundry aisle.

IMG_20150918_084838646_HDR-min

Homemade Laundry Soap

Ingredients:

  • 1 bar Fels-Naptha soap, 5.5 oz.
  • 1  3/4 cup washing soda
  • 3  1/4 cups borax
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 3/4 cup Oxiclean Versatile Stain Remover powder

Directions:

    1. In a large container, finely grate the entire bar of Fels-Naptha soap.  Some people use their food processor for this step.  I don’t have one of those, so I do things the traditional way with my cheese grater.  I use the side of the grater with the small holes.

      Use this side of the grater.
      Use this side of the grater.
    2. Add each of the remaining ingredients to the grated soap.  Make sure to work out any clumps in the sodas, Oxiclean, and borax with the back of a spoon.  This is easiest if it is done with the ingredients individually before they are added to the container of Fels-Naptha.
    3. Stir well.

      IMG_20150918_140619615-min
      All done!
    4. Store in an airtight container (I use a small Rubbermaid-style tote).
    5. Add 1 tablespoon of soap per regular load of laundry.  I keep an old medication dispensing cup in my tote for easy measuring.

      IMG_20150918_140739241-min
      One tablespoon per load.

It’s that easy!  Our clothes are clean and we spend way less money on laundry detergent than we once did.  For a printable version of the recipe, click on the button below!

Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bar Fels-Naptha soap, 5.5 oz.
  • 1 3/4 cup washing soda
  • 3 1/4 cups borax
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 3/4 cup Oxiclean Versatile Stain Remover powder

Instructions

  1. In a large container, finely grate the entire bar of Fels-Naptha soap.
  2. Add each of the additional ingredients, one at a time. Work out any clumps with the back of a spoon.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Store in an airtight container.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of laundry soap per regular load of laundry.
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