Thursday, March 10, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I love, love, love making homemade laundry detergent!  I've been making it for about 2 years now.  It saves so much money and I love using products that I know exactly what is in them.   Here is a list of the ingredients you will need.

4 cups - hot tap water
1 Bar - Fels Naptha soap (you can use Ivory)
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
1/2 Cup - Borax
1/2 Cup - Oxi Clean *optional*
The first thing I do is grate my soap.  When I first started making homemade laundry detergent I used Ivory soap.  Now I use Fels-Naptha and let me tell you, it really does make a difference.  If at all possible try to find some Fels-Naptha it is a laundry soap so it is made to do what we are using it for and it smells so good!
Bethany loves to help with the grating!
I try to grate my soap and put it in a jar so it is all ready when I need it.  Instead of having to take the time to grate it, I can just start the process!

Put your grated soap and 4 cups of water in a saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until all the soap dissolves and is melted.  Be sure that it all melts!!

Next, fill a 5 gallon bucket half full with hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax.
Stir well until all powder is dissolved.
Fill bucket to top with more hot water.
If you like you can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons after soap is cooled.  I've only added the oil myself, one time.  Essential oil is not cheap and I did not see a huge difference.  The Fels-Naptha gives it a nice smell anyway!  Now, cover it and let it sit over night.

The next morning it will be a very thick gel!  Fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with your homemade laundry soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use.

Use 1/2 cup per load - It is a low sudsing soap. If you do not see soap suds, it's okay. It's not the suds that do the cleaning, it's the ingredients in the soap.

If you break down the expense - to make 2 gallons averages to be less than 1 cent a load. Who can beat that?!?

Be sure to use washing soda not baking soda. You can find it and the Fels-Naptha in the laundry aisle. Schnucks and  Shop n Save are two places that carry it around my neck of the woods.


  1. Good Morning Sheila , I usually make the dry powdered kind and let me tell you Fels-Naptha truly does make the difference ( I think because it is actually castile soap and I don't think Ivory is made that way any more ) ....I will fill the extra large wide mouth Mason Jars with the detergent and pretty the lid up and give it away as gifts at Christmas time.....This detergent really does a nice job on dirty clothes and it is a lot cheaper than the stuff on the shelf at the market .

  2. Summer, I've never tried the powder, I need to do that. ;) I absolutely LOVE the idea of giving it for Christmas! I love homemade gifts so this is perfect for me! Thanks for the idea!!!