Experimenting With Homemade Laundry Soap, Part One

I have a ridiculous addiction to buying laundry products.

It’s really pathetic, really. I have, just going off of memory, three types of stain removers, two oxi-type cleaners, two types of bleach, two types of lanolin-based wool wash, a huge box of powdered detergent, two containers of fragrance crystals, several “booster” products, and seven bottles of liquid detergent.

And that’s just from memory–there might be more down there. (I’m too lazy to go downstairs for an accurate count. Sue me.)

I know that I need to stop buying so many products because it really costs me a lot of money, and when you’re trying to get out of debt and to live a more provident, self-reliant lifestyle, having a full arsenal of laundry care products seems a bit…contradictory?

I’ve been interested in trying homemade laundry detergent for a while now, but I have been hesitant. We do use cloth diapers, and the ONLY detergent that gets them truly clean (for us, anyway) is mainstream powdered detergents like you would find in the grocery store. And I’ve thought to myself, if I have to keep that on hand for the diapers anyway, is there really much point in MAKING detergent, too?

Probably as much point as there is in having seven types of liquid detergent “just because.”

So, tonight, I went to my fellow bloggers at the Homestead Bloggers Network and asked them for recipes, as I knew they would be reliable, tried and true. I received a few, which I will share with you at the bottom of this post, but, due to the ease of production, and the fact that the one I chose included a pricing breakdown for a 5 gallon bucket’s worth (you had me at the words “many batches”), I went with the recipe provided by the lovely Linda Loosli with Food Storage Moms, and you can find the original recipe by clicking this link.

Their recipe consists of:

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 (grated) bar of Fels Naptha soap
  • 1 cup of washing soda (Arm and Hammer Super WASHING Soda…please note that baking soda is NOT THE SAME THING AT ALL!)
  • I added a decent sized scoop of scent crystals to add some fragrance to the detergent (you can find these at the grocery store). Other similar recipes allowed for this, OR, for the addition of essential or fragrance oils. This is optional, of course.

Add all of the items into a blender or a food processor, then pulse to turn them into a powder which will resemble the consistency of the brand-name detergent you would buy in a store. Store in an airtight container.

The materials used….

Gather all the ingredients....

Gather all the ingredients….

Not gonna lie…grating the soap isn’t the most fun job in the world…it’s not awful, but it’s a bit annoying.

Perfect curls of soap....

Perfect curls of soap….

Add the Borax, the washing soda, the grated soap, and any scent additives (if you choose), into a blender or processor, and pulse away.



The finished product, stored in a Tupperware container specifically reserved for cleaning products.


Now, I have yet to try this on clothes yet (hence why this entry is a “part one”), but I was itching to document a Sunday evening’s kitchen experimentation. You’ll have to wait a bit for “part two.” It will be worth it. 😉 Thanks again to Linda at Food Storage Moms for the recipe!!

More recipes from trusted bloggers:

DIY Laundry Soap from 104 Homestead

Homestead Lady’s Homemade Laundry Soap and Dryer Sheets

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