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Saving Money at Home - How to Make Homemade Laundry Soap

Updated on August 30, 2013
Homemade Laundry Soap
Homemade Laundry Soap | Source

Save Money & Have Clean Clothes

A friend gave me a recipe for homemade laundry soap. I thought that since I'm trying to go green and to save money, I would give it a try.

This homemade laundry soap works great and is very inexpensive. A batch I made on November 13, 2010 lasted until July 31, 2011, for our family of three. One five gallon bucket of homemade laundry soap costs less than $10.00 and there is a lot of washing soda and Borax left over for later.

Materials needed:

Used 5 gallon bucket with a tight-fitting lid


1 bar soap (Fels-Naptha, Ivory, Kirk's Castille or Zote)

Grater or an apple peeler

1 cup washing soda (not baking soda)

1/2 cup Borax

Hot tap water

Used laundry soap jug


Grate the bar of soap with the apple peeler or grater. Add the shavings to 4 cups hot tap water. Stir on low heat in saucepan until soap is melted.

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full with hot tap water. Add the soap/water mixture, washing soda and Borax. Stir until dissolved. Fill the bucket to the top with hot tap water. Stir, cover and allow to thicken overnight.

Stir the gelled soap mixture in the 5 gallon bucket the next day. I have found that sticking my arm in and squishing the gelled clumps works best. Clean out a used laundry soap jug and fill it 1/2 full with the soap mixture. Fill the rest of the jug with water.

Shake well before each use. For top load washers, use 5/8 cup per load (@ 180 loads).

For front load washers, use 1/4 cup per load (@640 loads).


1. The laundry soap will not be sudsy. This is ok.

2. After trying both Fels-Naptha soap and Kirk's Castille, I have found that I prefer Kirk's. After repeated use, my white laundry seemed quite dingy after using Fels-Naptha.

3. Essential oils may be added to the mixture for a particular scent. Add 10-15 drops of lavender, tea tree oil, etc., per 2 gallons once soap is cooled.

4. 1/4 cup white vinegar may be added to the wash as a fabric softener and odor eliminator.

5. I found all the ingredients at my grocery store but your local Wal-Mart may carry them, as well.

6. The laundry soap is safe for septic systems.

7. Since I wash about six loads of laundry a week, making my own homemade laundry soap has saved me more than $50.00 for the name brand soap I used to use. That's about $100.00 a year!


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