Thursday, September 29, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

I have been using my own homemade laundry soap for over a year now. I decided once the last batch of liquid soap was done I would try and make the powder form.

The powder detergent takes a lot less time to make up than the liquid version. Here is the directions.

Combine in a bowl:
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda
1 bar of grated soap (I used Fels Naptha)

I actually doubled the recipe but still only used 1 bar of soap.
That's it. Use 1 Tablespoon per load of clothes. I was a bit skeptical because 1 Tablespoon seems to be such a small amount. So far though I have been happy with the results. I do still use my commercial detergent on the really dirty/smelly items (for example football gear).

This stores more conveniently than the liquid soap as well. I can keep it in a jar on top of my washer.Do you use homemade laundry soap? If so, do you use the powder or liquid?


  1. I recently switched to making powdered laundry soap also. I was a liquid user but at this time in my life I need something that doesn't take as long to make. So far I like the version have made. But I am not sure it last me as long as the liquid does.

  2. I agree Melissa it doesn't last near as long as the liquid. I doubled my recipe but it will still run out before I would have with the liquid.

  3. I used to make the liquid, but I LOVE the powdered. Not only does it take less time to make, but it is much easier to store.

  4. I loved the powder, but it started to leave spots on my clothing. They were similar to what grease/oil spots would look like. It could be because I only wash our clothes in cold water & with my front loader, was not able to dissolve as well. I made 5 batches at a time & was able to make it every 3-4 months. I switched to liquid earlier this year & am on my first batch still! I used an old commercial brand liquid container with a dispenser that I refill as needed.

  5. Sara--is this the kind that Maria uses?
    Katie R--I had this problem when I used a commercial powder detergent. I found that if I put the detergent in first with the water started, then added the clothes, I didn't have the spots. Not sure how that would translate to a front loader though.

  6. I make the liquid and powder. I prefer the liquid. I have children that are old enough to throw in a load of laundry and I only allow them to handle the liquid because of how bad borax is if you ingest it. The powder seems to take to the air really easy and i just dont want them breathing that in. I remind them to wash their hands after pooring the liquid also.
    I have been making my own laundry soap for 3 years and I don't think i will ever go back. Our clothes are always clean and my kids don't ever break out like they did when we used detergents.

  7. Heather, I am not sure if it is the same to Maria's or not. I am sure it is very similar.

    Katie, that is interesting that you say it left spots. I found that on a few of our shirts too but couldn't confirm if it was the soap or not. Now I think I know.

    I like the powder but agree totally that the liquid will last much longer. I just have to have a place to store it. Not a huge deal, just something to think about.

  8. I make a gel version of the liquid. I use the same amount of washing soda, borax, and soap. but just a total of 15 cups of water instead. Then I use 1-2 Tablespoons of gel, depending on how grungy the load of laundry is. I make sure to stir the gel often as it cools.

  9. It's similar to mine, Heather. Mine makes a bit more because it uses more grated soap. Here's the recipe link:

    I prefer to use the Kirk's brand bar soap because I stocked up on it when it was on sale for the same price as Fels Naptha and it grates so much easier.

    I usually start the washer on hot for just a few seconds while I put in the powder to make sure it dissolves, then switch it to cold. Never had a problem with spots.

    I prefer the powder over the liquid one I used to make because it takes less time to make it and it takes up so much less space to store.

  10. I've made and used the powdered version for a long time. What confuses me are the differences among recipes which call for different amounts of the washing soda and borax per bar of grated soap. The last batch I made contains Oxyclean. I'm not sure if it's made a difference or not. I like the way this laundry soap leaves the laundry smelling neutral instead of scented.

  11. I just made up a new batch of this. I doubled it and my recipe calls for the Sun version of Oxyclean also. I am going to keep track and see how many loads of laundry I get out of this double batch. Hopefully it last me for a while!

  12. I make a liquid detergent and liquid fabric softener at home. My recipe only takes about 30 mins to prepare the detergent, and about 5 minutes to prepare the softener. I tried using the powdered once and I went back to the liquid. I feel like the recipe I use keeps my clothes "cleaner". Maybe the liquid is just better for removing enormous muddy paw prints?
    p.s. I just found your blog and I love it. <3

  13. Silly question, but what do you use to grate the fels neptha? It seems to have a much finer look than what I get.