Frugal and Fantastic Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade laundry soap. I remember the first time I made it a dozen or so years ago. I had happened upon a simple Fels Naptha based "recipe" and excitedly purchased the needed ingredients in the cleaning products aisle of our local grocery store. I mixed it up, used it, loved it... and have been making my own laundry soap in varying degrees ever since.

Over the years, I have tweaked and adjusted the ratios of the ingredients to suit my own preferences, and I often add several drops of essential oil to my finished soap. My method makes a bit more than a gallon of thick, concentrated, gel-like laundry soap that I dilute a bit before using.

My best tip, I think, is to let the soap bits rest in the warm water for awhile before melting them. Oh, the time it saves in the melting process! And it makes the melting step so much easier.

This is how I make our laundry soap.


1/2 of a five ounce bar of soap (Fels Naptha)*
3/4 cup powdered borax (I use 20 Mule Team Borax)
3/4 cup washing soda (I use Arm and Hammer Washing Soda)**
1 gallon warm water (divided usage)
essential oil of choice, for scent (optional)

*I have used homemade soap, Dial, and Ivory, too... Fels Naptha is my favorite
**Be sure that you have washing soda and not baking soda! {smile}

Step One:
Finely chop or grate the half bar of soap. Put the soap bits into a large saucepan and cover them with some of the warm water. Cover the pan and set it aside for an hour or so to allow the warm water to soften the soap.

Step Two:
Place the pan with the water and softened soap bits on the stove. Over low heat, stir with a wire whisk until soap bits are completely melted. Add the borax, washing soda, and the remaining water. Stir to completely combine and dissolve all ingredients. Remove from heat.

Optional - After removing the mixture from the heat, carefully process the warm mixture with a stick blender to ensure that all ingredients are completely smooth and blended.

Step Three:
Transfer the blended soap to a 5-quart bucket, or other suitable storage container that has a lid. Put the lid on the bucket and set it aside for 24 hours (or overnight) so the soap can completely cool and gel.

Step Four (optional):
After setting time, add a few drops of whatever essential oil you prefer and stir well to combine.

The laundry soap concentrate is now ready to use.

To Use:
Dilute the laundry soap concentrate 1:1 (equal parts) with water and use right away, or store the diluted mixture in a separate covered container. If stored, shake or stir the diluted laundry soap before use as it tends to separate. I use about 1/4 cup of diluted soap per load in my extra-large capacity washing machine.

This soap smells amazing but it is *not* edible, of course! Be sure to store it in a covered container, safely away from children and pets. Use common sense and be sure that nobody ingests it or gets it in their eyes!

I have a high-efficiency washing machine and we have very hard water where we live. I haven't had any problems using my homemade soap under these circumstances... in fact, we all prefer my own laundry soap to store-bought. {smile} I clean my washing machine monthly, regardless of what type of soap I am using. You are responsible to determine whether this homemade soap is appropriate for your circumstances and your washing machine.

There are several things I love about making my own laundry soap...
it saves us lots of money
homemade laundry soap smells so fresh and clean
the ratios I use clean our laundry well... even our chore clothes!
it is so convenient to keep the ingredients on hand and make soap whenever I need it
making laundry soap is a simple skill that increases our self-sufficiency a wee bit

I hope you like this frugal and fantastic homemade laundry soap as much as I do, friends.

Happy homeMaking!
Please note . . .
I am not an expert of any kind. I am simply a wife, mama, homemaker, and homesteader sharing my thoughts and opinions for informational and entertainment purposes only. This blog is not monetized and does not contain affiliate links, third-party advertising, sponsored posts, or any income generating content. This blog uses cookies from Google to deliver its services and analyze traffic; go here to learn more about cookies. Please visit the policy and disclaimer page to view my privacy policy, cookie policy, disclosure, and full blog disclaimer. Use of this site indicates agreement with all of its terms and conditions.

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