How to make your own Laundry Soap

Have you ever seen something on the internet or Pinterest and thought to yourself

Oh Man!  I have got to try that?

A friend shared a liquid laundry soap recipe on facebook and I knew I had to try it! I consider myself to be fairly cheep frugal when it comes to laundry detergent in fact I have been using a stock pile of liquid detergent that I picked up for .75 a bottle using coupons.  When our stock pile started dwindling down I knew it was time to finally DIY our own detergent.  How hard could it be? People have been washing clothes for a long time after all!  I read over the instructions which involved a boiling pot of water and dissolving this and that and decided to pass.  So the research began and finally I settled on the following dry laundry soap recipe, using a combination of a couple different ones I found!

Laundry Soap

If you would like to try and make some yourself here is what you will need

1 Container – Oxy Clean (3lb)

1 Box – Borax (4lb 12oz)

1 Box – Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (4lb or 2 – 2lb)

1 Box – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (3lb 7oz)

4 to 5 Bars – Fels Naptha Laundry Bar Soap (5.5oz)

1 Bottle – Purex Crystals Fabric Softener (55oz)

1 Container – Large (I opted for a 5 gallon bucket)

Kitchen Trash Bag (optional)

Cheese Grater

Mixing Spoon

Laundry Soap

Once you have everything assembled it’s time for the fun stuff … well umm it’s not so much fun as it is necessary.  At any rate, it’s time to grate the cheese err Fels-Naptha – all 5 bars!

Laundry Soap

Let’s take a closer look at what’s in my mixing bowl.

Laundry Soap

I’m still amazed at how much this stuff looked like cheese while I was grating it.  It might be tempting (or maybe not) but PLEASE don’t eat it!  Once you have all the grating done it’s time to get to mixing!  It’s this easy – get your 5 gallon bucket, line it with a kitchen trash bag (if you like) and start adding your ingredients little by little stirring as you go.  After it is all mixed it will look something like this.

Laundry Soap

This soap only takes 1 – 2 tablespoons per load.  How amazing is that?  I didn’t want to have to dig into the 5 gallon container for each load so I transferred some of the soap into a sealed jar and added a 2 tablespoon scoop so Matt could easily access the soap with his giant hands!

Laundry Soap

We have been using this soap for about a month now.  I am over the moon with it, not only was it super affordable to make, it smells great, it’s going to last forever, and it get’s the job done!  I use a full 2 tablespoons on any clothes we use for working out or yard work and have not had any residual smells lingering (thank goodness).  I have fairly sensitive skin and have to be picky about my detergents but have had no reactions to this laundry soap even while working out!  I’m still a little shocked that I decided to try my hand at Homemade Laundry Soap but am pretty confident in saying I have NO plans of going back to the store bought variety!

Laundry Soap

Have you ever DIY’ed your own laundry soap?  Did it work out well for you?  Let us know we would love to hear about it!


  1. Stephanie Guptail says

    I love the addition of the crystals to add scent to it. I will definitely try that on my next batch!!

    • says

      Is your current detergent a liquid or dry mixture? One recipe I read mentioned adding TWO bottles of the crystals for extra soft towels. I decided to just use one and keep using the dryer sheets I already had … Love this stuff and it smells FABULOUS!!

    • Michelle says

      Yes, you can use it in HE washers. Id o with no problems. HE machines need a detergent that is low suds. I am on my second batch and will NEVER buy laundry soap again. I also make my own dishwasher detergent.

  2. says

    Awesome, thanks for sharing the recipe! I have been meaning to try making my own for forever, but I still have some of the store-bought left, and I can’t let that go to waste :-) Thanks for linking this up to The Fun In Functional!

  3. says

    I’m soooo going to try this!!!!! Where did you get the Laundry Bar Soap?

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  4. Jo Ann says

    Questions: Does the grated Fels Naptha soap melt in the wash? I’m concerned it will leave little yellow clumps on everything. Also, have you used this in COLD water?
    I am really anxious to try this–bought a 5 gallon bucket yesterday to mix and store everything.

    • says

      It does dissolve, I haven’t found anything in or on my clothes that isn’t supposed to be there after washing them. I haven’t tried it on a cold wash cycle yet (that I can think of) but I have one to do tonight and will report back as soon as I do!

      • Dana says

        I have found that many times, it doesn’t completely dissolve. To remedy that, I have added a second step. Once I grate the soap, I whir it in my food processor for several seconds. Since I found little pieces of undissolved soap on regular cycle, I didn’t even try it for cold water cycles. Now that I chop up the soap into even finer pieces, I am going to try it in cold water

  5. says

    I’ve been wanting to try homemade laundry soap for a while, but felt the same way about the boiling water and such… I’m headed out today to buy my ingredients to try your version! Wish me luck!

  6. sheryl says

    I make this same detergent, and have no plans of going back. Even my OH-so-picky youngest son LOVES how this makes his clothes smell. Because it does not foam or make suds, it is absolutely safe for HE machines.

    When I grate the bars, I use my food processor. Afer it’s grated, I change to the chopping blade, and put it back in about a bar’s worth at a time, with about 1/4 cup of the baking soda. this makes it much less “cheese” like, and it dissolves even better!

  7. Kellie says

    I made this soap last week, but I only used 2 bars of the soap and so far, I absolutely love love love it! I have an HE washer and it has been working fine. Don’t think I will ever use store bought detergent again. Thanks for posting this recipe. Next time I will use 4 bars.

  8. Shannon Comer says

    I make my own .. Pretty much the exact same recipe.. except I use Zote instead . I don’t like the lemon scent of the Fels Naptha. And the Zote comes in white or pink :)

  9. Katie says

    Hi there! Thanks for sharing im so excited to try and make it. What do you do with all the extra that you make, what do you store it in? Thank, Katie

    • says

      Hey Katie! I have a 5 gallon bucket I picked up at Lowes. I lined in with a tall kitchen bag and mixed everything inside there. So far so good and everything still smells wonderful!

  10. Ann-Marie says

    To keep things as natural as possible I use 100% pure Essential Oils in place of the scented crystals. My recipe is liquid based with vinegar which is also a natural fabric softener and removes any residual buildup that may have accumulated on your clothes while using commercial products, the vinegar smell is gone when clothes are dry leaving the fresh scent of only the oils behing

    • says

      I would say anywhere from 8-12 months. We just finished off the batch I used in this post this week. We are a family of 3 but our daughter still uses Dreft for now.


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