Homemade Laundry Soap

A couple of weeks ago I decided to try my hand at making laundry soap at home. I usually use liquid soap when washing my clothes, but all I could find was a recipe for making powder soap. So I kept searching and finally I found one. However, after looking at the directions I decided to go with the easier of the two – powder laundry soap. I also realized it would be easier for me to give powder soap to my children than trying to find containers for the liquid soap.

I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make the laundry soap. There was one ingredient called Fels-Naptha® that I’ve never heard of before. It is “a time-tested stain remover and pre-treater working especially well on oil-based stains. Just rub the stain with a wet bar of Fels-Naptha® soap. Let it sit for a few minutes and wash as usual.”

Homemade Laundry SoapThe Recipe

  • 1 cup of Borax (20 Mule Team brand)
  • 1 cup of washing soda (Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda)
  • 1 bar of soap (Ivory, Zote, or Fels-Naptha)

Tools Needed

  • A cheese grater
  • Measuring cups
  • Bucket (at least a 2 gallon bucket)

Homemade laundry soap grated


  1. Grated the bar soap in a bowl with the smallest size on the cheese grater.
  2. Add 1 cup of Borax to the bowl.
  3. Add 1 cup of washing soda to the bowl.
  4. Mix thoroughly (I use my hands)
  5. Pour into the bucket.

That’s it. You’re done!

I put 1 tablespoon of mixture in a load of laundry. I put it in the washer and turn on the hot water to melt it then I turn it to the temperature required for the clothes I’m washing.

My Evaluation

When I opened the Fels-Naptha I wasn’t expecting the smell. So after buying 9 bars of soap without looking at the ingredients I decided to look at the ingredients. Sure enough it had perfume in it. Now I got worried because I don’t use perfumes in any soaps – laundry or body soap.

I went ahead and tested it – on ALL of my laundry. Who does that! Oh well, I did and put on a pair of pajamas. NOoooo reactions! Yea me! On top of that the clothes came out clean and smelling good. Now I have an inexpensive alternative to laundry. I don’t have to go out and buy any laundry soap for awhile, even though I do plan to fill up my 5 gallon bucket. I already gave 40 loads to one daughter, who says she washes a lot. I’ll have to show her how to make her own or I’ll refer her to this post. &#9786


Although it cost me a little elbow grease (not really because I did it while watching TV), it hardly cost me anything. At first I went to eBay and Amazon to find the ingredients, but I thought the price was too high. Then I took a trip to Wal-Mart to pick up the 20 Mule Team Borax. When I found the borax I was surprise to see the Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda and Fels-Naptha soap right next to it.  I bought 9 bars of soap and 2 boxes of washing soda and 1 box of borax.

  • 9 bars of soap – 5.5 oz each  ($0.97 * 9 = $8.73)Dollar sign
  • 2 boxes of washing soda – 55 oz each ($3.24 * 2 = $6.48)
  • 1 box of borax – 76 oz ($3.38)
  • Total Cost: $18.59

I still have the majority of a washing soda box left and some borax left. Each recipe creates 40 loads and cost $1.89 so the cost per load is approximately $0.05.  The cost of Tide (150 loads) from Wal-Mart.com is $0.12. For approximately $16.34 I got 360 loads.

Here is an article on making homemade liquid laundry soap in case you prefer that. I hope these recipes inspire you to try your own. If you do, let me know how well it works for you.

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