Homemade Laundry Soap

laundry soapI have been asked a few times for the homemade laundry soap recipe that I use, so I thought I would share it here on my blog.

I have been using homemade laundry soap for almost a year now, and I find that it cleans our clothes just as well as the store bought detergents. Several of my family members make and use this recipe also, and it is a great way to save money.

If you have a top loading machine use 5/8 of a cup per load.

10 gallons of detergent will give you 256 loads of clean laundry at a cost of $4.91 which comes out to less than $0.02 per load.

If you have a front loading machine use 1/4 cup per load.

10 gallons of detergent will give you 640 loads of clean laundry at a cost of $4.91 which comes out to less than $0.008 per load. (that is less than one cent per load)

Homemade Laundry Soap

This recipe makes 5 gallons of concentrate which equals 10 gallons of ready-to-use laundry detergent.

What you need:

  • 1 five gallon bucket
  • Long handled spoon (a paint stick works great)
  • Empty 1 gallon containers (I use gallon water bottles)
  • Hot tap water
  • 1 Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap Bar ($0.99 at Walmart) or 1 Zote Laundry Soap Bar ($0.59 at .99 Cent Stores)
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1 cup oxy-clean or dirty jobs (optional)

Grate the laundry soap bar (I use the food processor or a cheese grater) and add it to a medium sauce pot along with 4 cups of water.  Heat over medium high heat while stirring occasionally until the soap has melted completely.  While it’s melting, fill your five gallon bucket half full with hot tap water.  Once the bar soap has melted, add it to the bucket along with the baking soda and borax (and oxy-clean or dirty jobs).  Stir well until all ingredients have dissolved.  Add hot tap water to fill the bucket and stir again.  Cover tightly with the lid and let sit overnight to thicken.  Stir well (it will gel and separate a bit).  Now you have concentrate laundry soap.

When you’re ready to use it, stir the detergent well, and then fill your empty detergent container half full with the concentrate.  Fill the other half of the container with water.  Shake before each use.  Use 1/4 cup per load for a front loading machine and 5/8 cup per load for a top loading machine.


If you have enough empty water bottles you do not have to let it sit over night you can fill your bottles immediately, just add half detergent concentrate and half water to each bottle, shake well before using.

*using the Zote Laundry Bar Soaps lowers the cost per load.  I have used both the Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap Bar and the Zote Laundry Bar Soaps and both work equally well.

*You may also use the soap in the concentrated form by using half of the 1/4 cup for front loading machines and half of the 5/8 cup for top loading machines.  (I used the diluted version when I first began making my own laundry soap, but I recently started using the concentrated version).

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