ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

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!


Submit a Comment

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, Careermommy! Give it a try - you won't regret it!

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    I'm always looking for ways to save money and this really works! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    I love this recipe and have used it for years! I highly recommend it.

  • Careermommy profile image

    Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    Wow, I would have never thought of making my own laundry detergent, but this was rather enlightening. I'm glad I read this hub. Thanks for sharing it.

  • faythef profile image

    Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

    Great Hub and a great way to save money....

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    This is a very handy recipe. I knew someone that made her own, and it worked out quite well. I am looking for things I can make, so I may try this soon. Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm sharing this with others, since it is useful.

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Washing soda is a cleaner and/or laundry booster. You can find it in the laundry detergent aisle in the store.

  • profile image

    mnneapolis5 5 years ago

    what is washing soda? I know you said washin soda not bakin soda

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    It does save a lot of money, athena09. I can't tell you the last time I bought laundry detergent. I'm glad you stopped by. Check out my other hubs for more money-saving ideas.

  • athena09 profile image

    athena09 6 years ago from Philippines

    Thanks for sharing this. This would help us a lot, especially those who are on a budget.

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    How did your laundry soap-making go, Hyphenbird? I recently made another batch. So easy and so inexpensive.

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    I have been wanting to make my own laundry soap. I am finally going to do it. I will let you know how it goes. My goal is next weekend! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks for reading, Bkcreative.

  • BkCreative profile image

    BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

    Lovely - and I can tell this will work. I'm still using the same bar of brown soap I bought a year ago to wash my dishes.

    Love your frugal living hubs and now I will follow and keep up! Yay! Rated up!