Make your own Homemade Laundry Soap

Have you ever considered making your own  homemade laundry soap?

homemade laundry soap

Find any frugal or homesteading blog online and chances are you’ll discover a homemade laundry soap recipe. It’s nothing new. People have been making laundry soap for years and years.

Actually, I hesitated actually putting a laundry soap recipe on my site for this very reason. You don’t have to look very far online and you’ll find a recipe.

Of course, maybe you are new to frugal living and haven’t realized that you can make your own laundry soap.

So, I was making a batch up the other day and figured, β€œwhy not post a recipe?” Because it’s just not a frugal living or homesteading blog until there’s a laundry soap recipe on it.

First of all, can I just say, if there’s one chore that is the least favorite among moms, it’s laundry. I mean, where the heck does it all come from?

Whenever I finish the mountain of laundry I have about 2.5 seconds before there’s a pile waiting for me there again. I swear everyone in this house does 3 wardrobe changes a day.

Well, some days that is true for my kids.

Anyways, it’s a never ending battle and I know many of you out there can relate.


If there is anywhere you want to start saving money or living frugally, laundry is an excellent place to start. Not just by making to soap, which we will get into in a minute, but there are a few other ways you can save money in the laundry department as well.

Hanging your clothes to dry is a great way to save money. The dryer is one of the biggest energy wasters in the home. Since moving to our homestead a year and a half ago we have not had a dryer to use.

Correction – we DO have a dryer, but we discovered when moving in that there was no vent for it. While we can do some work to make proper venting happen, there’s also a long list of other projects we need to do that are taking priority.

Plus, I like not being able to use my dryer. It forces me to take the frugal way out and hang my clothes. Also, the sun bleaches and sanitizes your laundry naturally when you hang it outside, which is a pretty cool side effect of hanging your clothes to dry.

And – they smell so amazing. Nothing like clothes smelling like fresh air.

You know, as long as you don’t hang them out when the farm next to you is fertilizing their field. πŸ˜‰

When it’s winter we hang them indoors near our wood stove. For some, hanging indoors consistently can be a problem because of the moisture, but our wood stove takes care of that issue in our home.

Depending on where you live sometimes there are certain times during the day that it costs less to use electricity. I know many people who do their laundry only during these times to save some money. So that’s another way you can save a bit of money.

And, of course, you can make your own laundry soap. With this recipe it literally costs you just a few cents per load. It’s also not overly time consuming to make.

I have been making this soap for years and have always been satisfied with it.  This is a liquid laundry soap.  I prefer the liquid over the powdered laundry soap because I always found there would be powder residue on my clothes with those types of laundry soap.  Some people love the powdered soaps, but for us the liquid works better.

So, let’s get started!


First you will need your ingredients:


essential oils (optional)

1 5.5 oz Laundry soap bar

1 cup Borax

1.5 cup Washing Soda 

And supplies:

5 gallon bucket with lid

big spoon to stir


measuring cup

cheese grater

A laundry soap bar can be found in the laundry aisle of the grocery store. In the US the most commonly used bar of soap is Fels Naptha, but I haven’t been able to find that brand here in Canada. I have used whatever I can find in the laundry aisle, or you can also use your own homemade soap.

I use a 5.5 oz bar of soap but if yours is a little bigger or smaller that’s okay too.  You just want it close to the same weight.

Okay, so the first thing you want to do is grate your bar of soap. Just use a cheese grater for this. Some people use a food processor but I find it doesn’t take long with a cheese grater. Either way works.

Put the grated soap into a pot with 4 cups of water and heat on medium until the soap is dissolved.

Sometimes near the end I take an immersion blender to the soap and water when I find it isn’t dissolving like I want it to.  You don’t have to do this, but you can if you need to give the soap a little help!

Once the soap is dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and add the borax and stir, and then add the washing soda and stir. It will be thick and a little harder to stir at this point.

Pour the mixture into the 5 gallon bucket and then fill the rest of the bucket with WARM water. 

making laundry soap

The key is to fill it with warm, not cold water as you want the water to continue to dissolve the borax and washing soda. I don’t fill the bucket to the top. I fill it 3/4 of the way full.

Give it a good stir, put the lid on and let it sit overnight.

In the morning you will take the lid off and stir it up. It most likely will be gelatinous at this point. However, sometimes I find mind isn’t as gelatinous as other batches, and that’s fine too. It still does the same job.

At this point I like to pour a bunch of the laundry soap into a smaller container so I don’t have to deal with the bucket for every load. This is where I will add my essential oils. I used tea tree oil and orange for this batch.  Tea tree oil is antibacterial so that is why I like to add it to my laundry. I used 10 drops of each. Other really nice essential oils to add to the laundry are lavender and lemon.

I stir them into the smaller container than the 5 gallon bucket making it easier to use.

essential oils in homemade laundry soap


When I am ready to make my laundry soap I just put in about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of soap in each load.

And that is it. As you can see this makes a HUGE batch. When it comes to homemade laundry soap there are people who swear by it and other people who haven’t had as much luck with it. I do know some people who have spouses who work as mechanics or other jobs where they get a lot of grease on their work clothes they sometimes soak them beforehand. However, other people don’t find it necessary.

I love being able to make so much laundry soap for such a cheap price.  You might find that once you make one cleaning product around your house that you want to make more.

You can also always try to make your own:

Bar Soap

All-natural all purpose cleaner

Making your own cleaning products not only becomes something that saves you money, but you’ll discover the more you do it that there is a lot of benefits to using products around your house that are non-toxic.

Learning how to make homemade laundry soap is just one more thing you can do to become more self-sufficient.

Homemade Laundry Soap

Make your own laundry soap that is frugal and eco-friendly!
Keyword laundry soap
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Cheese grater
  • Measuring cup
  • 5 gallon bucket with lid
  • Large wooden spoon
  • Stove pot


  • 5.5 Oz Fels Naptha Laundry Bar
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1.5 cup Washing Soda
  • 4 Gallons Water
  • 20 drops Essential Oils (Optional)


  • Grate the bar of soap with a cheese grater.
  • Add the grated soap to 4 cups of water in a pot on the stove.
  • Heat on medium until dissolved. You can use an immersion blender at the end to help it along if you like.
  • Once the soap is dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and add the borax and stir.
  • Add the washing soda and stir. It will be thick and a little harder to stir at this point.
  • Pour the mixture into the 5 gallon bucket and then fill the bucket 3/4 of the way with WARM water.Β  Make sure it is warm or on the hotter side to help dissolve the ingredients.
  • Give it a good stir, put the lid on and let it sit overnight.
  • In the morning take the lid off and stir it.
  • Pour some into smaller jars and add your essential oils to those smaller jars.
  • Use 1/2 to 3/4 cup of laundry soap in each load of laundry.
Make your own Homemade Laundry Soap
Article Name
Make your own Homemade Laundry Soap
Save money with this all natural homemade laundry soap that is easy and cheap to make.

4 thoughts on “Make your own Homemade Laundry Soap”

    1. I use it in my HE washer just fine but I do know others have found homemade laundry soap not the best for theirs. The best thing might be to research for your own personal model as I’d hate to say it would be just fine and then it would cause problems for your washer.

  1. I also make my own using a similar recipe – I found if I use a plastic coffee container of about 28 oz. I boil about 2 cups of water and cut the soap up into little pieces (not hard but I’m always afraid of grating my knuckles) and put soap in the the container. Add the boiling water and let it sit while I do something else. In a pan on the stove I boil a larger amount of water. After the sopa β€œmelts” in the hot water I blend it with an immersion blender until smooth. Add 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda and additional boiling water – do not fill container! – and continue mixing with the immersion blender. Add more boiling water until almost full. When it cools it will be a thick paste and use about 2-3 TBS per load.

  2. You can purchase Fels Naptha on line or snailmail, from Vermont Country Store. If you have never seen that site or the print catalog, you will be amazed at the number of “old fashioned” stuff. So much of it, I remember my grandmothers and my mom using.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating