Sunday, March 21, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Somebody asked me for this recipe, so here it is. You can save a TON of money by making your own laundry detergent... and it's pretty darn easy to make. Courtesy of the Duggar Family, and you know they know how to save some money! (You can find additional laundry detergent and fabric softener recipes on their site.)

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap
(front or top load machine)

4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of 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. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!


  1. So I have wanted to ask you about this for awhile now. I made this but when I got to the step:
    -Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

    Mine never did re-gel. Any ideas on what I might have done wrong?

  2. Hmmmm.... I'm not sure. Sometimes mine will actually be a little more "chunky" than gel-ish. Do you remember if you filled halfway with hot water? I did, although it doesn't say to do so...

  3. must. make. my. own. laundry soap. It is right here! Cheap. but somehow I always BUY it when we are BROKE! GEESH! Thank you!

  4. I was making it on a bad day, Charles was tearing up flooring and we were moving over to my parents' house while they were on vacation so we wouldn't have to be around the fumes over here. So I started it with the 1/2 a 5 gal bucket with hot water but then I got taken away from the project before being able to add the rest of the water. When I came back it had congealed into a solid mass and when I added the rest of the way up water I tried to squish it through my hands to break it up. Then when I transferred it to the container adding in the next half & half soap/water ratio it never thickened and is only a very soapy watery type substance. It has cleaned my clothes but I do put in a bit extra than store bought detergent. I'm almost out of my first batch so I will be trying it again soon and hope I can actually pay attention to it and we'll see how it turns out then. :)