Homemade Laundry Soap

I made all natural, eco-friendly laundry soap! Actually, I’ve wanted to make it for quite some time. I started off with my all-natural castile soap (but you could substitute Fels Naptha ~ most commonly used ~ Zote, Ivory brands) grated fine.

SOAP serves as a surfactant to help loosen and wash away ‘dirt’.

Then I added all natural borax (a natural occurring mineral salt, sodium borate), also referred to as desert salt. It’s a crystalline powder, mildly alkaline, water-soluble, aides in softening water, loosening dirt & deoderizing ~ also found in the laundry section of your grocery store – look for 20 Mule Team brand.

Another key ingredient, a white powder is washing soda (sodium carbonate or soda ash ~ NOT baking soda which is sodium bicarbonate) to boost the cleaning and stain fighting powers without the damage of bleach. Look for Arm & Hammer brand in the laundry aisle at the grocery store.

Optional: OxiClean may be added to your ‘recipe’ for heavy-duty farm loads!

Best of all, home-made laundry detergent is skin safe, environmentally friendly & inexpensive!


1 bar castile/Fels Naptha soap, grated fine by hand

1 cup borax

1 cup washing soda

Optional: 1/4 cup OxiClean

Mix all ingredients into a granular mixture. Use 1 tablespoon per load; 2 tablespoons for large or dirty load. BTW, you could add essential oil to your laundry mixture. Also, if you have the need for a laundry rinse, use 1/4 cup white vinegar  in the rinse cycle. It will remove any soap residue and reduces static on your clothes…and won’t leave your clothes smelling like vinegar!

6 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Soap

  1. I’m getting ready to do another batch of goat’s milk soap. A friend and I set up at A Wool Gathering this past weekend in Yellow Springs OH. I had all kinds of wooly stuff but my goat milk soap and herbal moth repellant sold really well. I found a woven throw at a thrift store that was woven in Ireland with wool for $2. I’m gonna try the sunflower pin. Soooooooo…. creative!

    • Hi Kristine!

      I have a ‘regular’ old Kenmore washing machine, but from what I’ve read, home-made laundry soap works well in both top-loading and HE machines. Laurie’s comment/advice says she prefers using Fels Naptha (vs Ivory) in her laundry soap…with much better results! 🙂

      I’ll re-post my laundry recipe when I’m back from the fiber festival, but they’re pretty much the same ‘basic’ formula.

  2. @Kristine – yes, it can. I make my own, also, and was just going to say that for a couple of years I have used Ivory, but the last load I made, I switched to a bar of Fels Naptha, and I notice a HUGE difference by using the Fels instead. LOVE home made laundry soap. Mine cost me less than a dollar, per ten gallons of soap. My college age kids love it too, for that reason alone!

    • Hi! Thanks for the re-affirmation! 🙂

      I grew up w/ Fels around the house. My mom always rubbed a bit of Fels Naptha on stubborn stains that ‘us’ 5 kids managed to get into. I also read ‘Zote’ works well if that’s available in your area. I’ll post my soap recipe when I’m back from the weekend fiber festival, but there’s many available on the web.

      Who knew laundry could be so ‘ineresting’?

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