Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Frugal Challenge - Making Your Own Laundry Soap

frugal living, homemade laundry soap

I thought I would re-do this post about making your own laundry soap. I do a ton of laundry and we are all looking for ways to save on household supplies so here is how I spend very little every year on laundry soap.

One of my kids has very sensitive skin so I had to start buying the more expensive fragrance freedetergents for our laundry. And why, if they are leaving something out do you have to pay more for it? Anyway. I decided to try and make my own detergent to save money over the expensive store bought bottles. We have now been using my home-made recipe for two years and my daughter has had no problems with it and it is so inexpensive and does a great job. I figure I have spent less than $12 a year to make our laundry soap.  Below is the recipe.
1/2 grated bar of Fels Naptha or Zote laundry bar soap (Zote is only .59 at the 99cents store)
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing soda (I found mine at Walmart)
1/2 cup of Borax

Mix together. And store in a cute jar or container. I keep mine in an old crock.

lint can, laundry room organization

I use only about a half scoop. The little scoop is from a container of Oxy Clean but it is roughly two tablespoons. I may add a little more for a really dirty load. Remember, I am married to a lineman and he can get pretty dirty some days. If you are doing a cold load and you find the grated soap does not dissolve all the way just mix in a cup of hot water first and add to the load. 
** Because this soap is not scented you can add a drop or two off essential oils to the powder mix if you'd like and I like to add a splash of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to deodorize the washer and laundry. See how I make sure we have no more smelly laundry.


  1. I've made the home-made laundry soap before. It is a good thing to know how to do, and I keep the ingredients for it in my food storage. I have had to go back to using commercial laundry soap though. We have such hard water, and the home-made stuff didn't get the whites as white as I would have liked. Thanks for re-visiting this and helping remind us of ways to live frugally :)

  2. Thanks for sharing your recipe. It looks so easy!

  3. Thanks for the recipe. I do soooo much laundry, I'll have to give this a try.

  4. I would love to start making this! Thanks for the post!!

  5. Thanks for sharing again! I'll definitely be putting this to use :)

  6. I've been using homemade laundry soap for some time now (along with my felted dryer balls) and love it. The only difference with my version is that I use equal parts borax/washing soda and I use my homemade soap...can vary the fragrance depending on what I have made up. It is truly wonderful stuff! not to mention, I personally think it cleans better and you get the added benefit of it being good for your washer especially since I only use vinegar instead of fabric softener in the washer.

  7. What a wonderful idea....I usually buy my detergent at Sam's and the last time I was there to make the purchase, I could believe how much it has gone up...
    this is a seriously good idea...
    thanks for sharing..

  8. Don't you just love making your own laundry detergent?! I just made a big batch this weekend! Ahhh, the smell is heavenly!

  9. In the photo w/ this post, what are the pink things in w/ the detergent ... rose petals???

    Thanks for sharing your idea & "recipe" - I am off to purchase the "ingredients."

  10. I have been looking long and hard for Pink Zote Soap with no success yet :(

  11. Very clever! Who would have thought? Also, don't forget, email me your address so I can send you a bar of my homemade soap especially for you! I am going to start using my new name on my next batch!

  12. Hi Elaine,
    I made my own soap too, with a very similar recipe, maybe even the same, but it made tons and tons of it. I love it.

  13. I have been making my laundry soap for several years and love it! I also keep a bar of felsnaptha in the laundry room it is great for pretreating stains.

  14. I have tried several recipes for this. We live in the Texas panhandle and the water is awful so our clothes get dingy using homemade laundry soap and I invariably go back to Tide.

    Your recipe has more of the actual soap (for cleansing, right? LOL) in it so I may give it a try and see if it works better than the others I have used with mostly washing soda and borax and much less soap.