Tips and Tricks – Make Your Own Laundry Soap

  • 1 bar of soap (whatever kind you like)
  • 1 box of washing soda (Contains enough for six batches of this stuff)
  • 1 box of borax (One box of borax will contain more than enough for tons of batches)
  • A five gallon bucket with a lid
  • Three gallons of tap water
  • A big spoon to stir the mixture with
  • A measuring cup
  • A knife
Step One:
Put about four cups of water into a pan and heat it up. While you’re waiting, start shaving strips off of the bar of soap into the water, whittling it down. Keep the heat below a boil and keep shaving the soap. Stir the hot water until the soap is dissolved and you have soapy water.

Step Two: Put three gallons of hot water into the five gallon bucket. Then mix in the hot soapy water from step one, stir it for a while, then add a cup of the washing soda. Keep stirring it for another minute or two, then add a half cup of borax if you are using borax. Stir for another couple of minutes, then let the stuff sit overnight to cool.

When you wake up in the morning, your soap will be that’s a paler shade of the soap that you used. One measuring cup full of this will be roughly what you need to do a load of laundry and the ingredients are basically the same as laundry detergent. Out of three gallons, you’ll get about 48 loads of laundry.


  1. If you use Fels Naptha soap, you really only need 1/2 for top load washer and about 1/4 c for front loaders.

    Comes out to about 3 cents per load. 🙂

  2. amy in tennessee says:

    COOL! I have to buy free & clear laundry detergent because of my daughter's sensitive skin. Do you know if this would be the same as using free & clear (if I used hypo-allergenic soap)? Thanks Clair!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    what is washing soda?

  4. lubslady says:

    What is washing soda?

  5. Washing soda is a highly alkaline chemical compound which can be used to remove stubborn stains from laundry. It also has numerous uses around the house, and it is used in a range of industrial applications as well. Washing soda should not be confused with washing powder, which is a powdered soap used as a detergent; it is also not the same thing as baking soda, although the two compounds are closely related.
    It can be found down the laundry detergent aisle.
    AMY – Not sure on that one but it does seem to stand to reason. Not sure though! Sorry!

  6. I make my own soap(veggie, coconut, and olive blend for laundry) then grate about 4 ounces mix with 2 cups Super Washing Soda, 2cups Borax and then put into food processor for a few seconds. Use 2 Tablespoons per load, I have a front loader, and use vinegar in the rinse cycle. If you are doing whites add a bit of hydrogen proxide to the “bleach” container and tada!

  7. Amy, it all depends on the soap you use. I make my own so I know there are no “nasty” ingredients in it. Fels Naptha has nasties….. You will want an all natural soap…. The rest of the ingredients will be no problem although you may need to adjust the amount of Borax as it can be irritating so some people, for my family it is fine and we do have sensitive skin. But everyone is different.

  8. does anyone know if this will work in a front loader?

  9. Napthelene was removed from fels naptha in the 90’s. It no longer contains petrochemicals.

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