Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe

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The other day while doing laundry I realized that the bottle of liquid detergent was nearly empty so I reached for another bottle and was surprised to find that I was on my last bottle of detergent! Gasp, right? I even checked the “second spot” where I sometimes stash extra items and there was no detergent there either.

I know I’ve not been couponing as much lately and building a stockpile (mainly because we are following Dave Ramsey’s plan and I just don’t want to spend the money on items we don’t “need”) but the lack of detergent was an eye opener. That same day I was on Facebook and saw a post from a friend and fellow blogger Deal Detecting Diva sharing her homemade laundry soap recipe. About a year ago I contemplated making my own laundry soap but didn’t act on the idea, probably because I had just stocked up on soap with coupons for a nice price.

Anyway, seeing her post on the same day I realized I was running out of detergent made me decide to act.

Below is my experience using her recipe; it was easy to make and I think it is going to be very cost effective!


Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe

6 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax (find this in the laundry soap area of any major grocery store)

4 cups of washing soda (find this in the laundry soap area of any major grocery store)

4 bars of grated Ivory soap (you can also use Fels Naptha soap)

Directions for making homemade laundry soap:

Grate the bars of soap up; this process is a little tricky and be warned – the soap is slippery and you can easily grate your skin! Below is my “after” photo with the band-aid on because 3 swipes with the soap into the grating process I grated my thumb! Be careful! (You can also cut up the soap and put it into a food processor, but we do not own one of those).


As you grate the soap you will notice that it kind of builds up on the grater. I used a toothpick to clean it up a few times during the process. When you are finished with the grater and have cleaned it up with the toothpick, run it under very hot water and the leftover soap will come away easily.


Finished grated soap:


Combine the grated soap with the other ingredients in a large bucket (I used an empty plastic ice cream container).

This recipe is powerful, so only 2 tablespoons are required per load of laundry. We happened to have an unused plastic scoop so I measured out 2 tablespoons and used a Sharpie marker to make a line on the scoop for easy reference when measuring the soap.



I have over 1/2 a bucket of soap with this homemade laundry soap recipe, and there is still leftover washing soda and Borax in the boxes. The total cost spent was under $10.

This is going to last a long time because you use so little per load. I did 2 loads of laundry yesterday using the new soap, including a load of dirty jeans from yard work and they came out wonderfully. I did not notice any difference when compared to the results using store bought detergent.

If you own a HE washing machine you may be wondering if this is safe to use. We do not own a HE machine, but from the research we have done this recipe is low suds and that is a requirement with HE washers. (Deal Detecting Diva uses it in her HE machine). My mom owns a HE machine and is going to make this laundry soap this weekend so I’ll be able to update you with her experience.

Oh, and you can add some Purex Crystals or Downy Unstopables to the mix if you wish, for added scent.


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