Recipe: Laundry Soap!

Recipe: Laundry Soap!
Recipe: Laundry Soap!

For several years now, I’ve made my own laundry soap.  I got sick of spending a minimum of $5 a month on store-bought soap, so I decided to give making my own soap a go.  At first I used the recipe out of the Duggar family’s book – the usual recipe that it seems everyone starts with.  One bar of Fels Naptha, some washing soda (NOT baking soda!), some Borax, and a 5-gallon bucket, some leftover “regular” laundry soap containers if you want to store in them, and you’re in business.  About $2 of materials and a little time made about 6 months’ worth of laundry soap for the two of us.  I ran out of soap in my last bucket a couple weeks ago, and have been using sample packs of Tide and those Purex all-in-one sheets while I’ve been recovering from my broadcast engineering exam.  Now, I’ve got the time to make some more laundry soap, and thought I’d try a different recipe.

This new recipe is a super-concentrated “for dummies” one that I have no clue how I stumbled across it, but here it goes.  From Budget 101, Super Laundry Sauce For Dummies!  For this recipe, you need a bar of Fels Naptha soap, one cup of washing soda, one cup of borax, two 1-quart jars with lids, and some water.


First jobs first – get your bar soap ready.  Unwrap a bar of Fels Naptha, cut it in half, and cut each half up separately into little bitty pieces.  Keep the halves separated – one cut-up half goes into each jar!  I used my old serrated chef’s knife – it gave me tiny shreds that should melt easier.

That’s not shredded cheddar cheese, kids!

Half a bar of soap goes in each jar. Use a funnel to keep the pieces from going everywhere!

After putting the pieces in each jar, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Have a measuring cup and funnel handy!  You’ll put 1-1/2 cups of boiling water in each jar.


A cup and a half of boiling water goes in each jar

Once you’ve poured the boiling water in each jar, cap the jars and let them sit overnight.

The soap is melting in its own little greenhouse!

It didn’t take long for the soap/water mix to gel up.  Let this sit overnight, but don’t worry if you get distracted and forget – this will wait for you!

The soap and water have gelled up!

Uncap the jars and run through the mixture with a butter knife to loosen it up and break it into smaller pieces.  Add 1/2 cup each of washing soda and borax to each jar.

Soap mixture is chopped up and joined by borax and washing soda

Add hot water to each jar – enough to get to the shoulder of the jar (where the sides start to curve).

Now the hot water

Next, I emptied the contents of a jar into my blender.  The recipe I linked to above says that you can put the blade part of your blender right on the jar and turn your jar into a blender pitcher, basically, but since my blender is a cheapo and the parts wouldn’t fit, I dumped everything into the for-real blender pitcher and mixed it up.

Everybody in the pool!

It’s doesn’t take long on whip or liquefy or whatever setting you use – just blend it up until it looks like mayonnaise or frosting.

Blended up

Do the blending one jar at a time.  Once it’s blended up, return the contents of the pitcher to the jar from whence it came, then cap the jar and label it.

Back in the jars for storage

Since this looks like something yummy (even if it tastes gross), be sure to clearly label the jars and keep it out of reach of little ones looking for a treat.


The original recipe says to use a tablespoon per load.  This is super-concentrated, so you don’t need much at all.  I used a plastic spoon, scooped up a bit, and added it to the washer.  Clothes turned out great!

Ready to wash