Homemade Laundry Detergent

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

If I told you that you could make 5 gallons of laundry soap for just a few dollars would that interest you? It peaked my interest and we’ve been making our own laundry soap ever since. The average American household washes 6 to 7.5 loads of laundry each week and spends $120 – $378 a year on detergent. With less than an hours worth of time and a few simple ingredients you could save hundreds of dollars a year.

Since making our own, this is the recipe we use. You can find all of the ingredients you need in the cleaning isle of your local grocery store, Target, K-mart or other variety store. Adding a few drops of an essential oil keeps our clothes smelling fresh as the day!

To make a 5 gallon bucket of laundry soap use:

1 cup Borax

1 cup washing soda

2/3′s of a bar of Fels-Naptha or 1 bar Ivory soap, grated (I keep an inexpensive cheese grater just for the soap)

12 cups of water, kept warm on the stove

8 cups of hot tap water to be added when you mix the ingredients in the 5 gallon bucket

2 gallons + 12 cups of hot tap water for your final stir.


Heat 12 cups of water on LOW heat in a big pot.

Add the grated soap, stirring constantly to dissolve.

When the soap is completely dissolved add 1 cup Borax and 1 cup Washing Soda.

Stir until the Borax and Washing Soda is completely dissolved and the mixture thickens (about 5 minutes).

Add 8 cups of HOT tap water to your 5 gallon bucket.

Pour soap mixture into bucket and stir.

If you want a fragrant soap add a few drops of essential oil now. We use lavender or orange. It’s wonderful, smells fresh and clean!

Stir to combine the soap mixture, water and essential oils, if added.

Add 2 gallons + 12 cups of HOT tap water to make the five gallons.

Stir and cover. Let sit overnight.

When you’re ready to do laundry:

Use 1/2 cup of laundry soap for each load. I use the cap of an old liquid detergent container to measure with. To keep the cap from gunking up I just throw it in with the laundry. It comes out clean and fresh every time.
Store your homemade detergent in old laundry detergent containers or use it right from the 5 gallon bucket. For a pretty look in your laundry room pour it in old mason jars or decorative containers. Keep detergent covered when your not using it.





One Response to “Homemade Laundry Detergent”

  1. Brenda says:

    Thanks for the great laundry soap recipe! After spending $14.98 for a large bottle of Tide yesterday, I am looking forward to making my first batch of homemade laundry soap.

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