Homemade Laundry Soap

Happy Monday everyone!  Since Monday is laundry day at my house, I thought it appropriate to tell you all about the laundry soap that I make at home.  It takes just a few minutes to put together and costs me about ½ penny per load.  Actually, it probably costs less than that because I stock up on soap when it’s on sale.   🙂

This can be left in powder form or made into a liquid.  I have used it both ways and it always works great.  I prefer to leave it in a powder simply because it takes less room to store that way and my laundry area is REALLY small.

Homemade Laundry Soap

1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax

1 cup Washing Soda

1 bar soap of your choice

The Borax and the Washing Soda are in the aisle with the laundry supplies.  Make sure that you get Washing Soda not Baking Soda.  The only brand I can find here is Arm & Hammer.  The soap that you use is completely up to you, but try to find one that is dry if you want to leave the soap in powder form.  You can use one that isn’t dry for powder, but that adds another step which isn’t hard, just takes more time.  The soap I use is sometimes dry and sometimes damp depending on the weather.  I like to use soap without dyes or fragrances.

For laundry powder:

Here’s what you do.  Measure the Borax and the Washing Soda into a medium sized bowl.  Use a cheese grater to grate the soap.  If the soap is dry it will crumble, if not you will get shreds.  If the soap is dry, just mix it into the other ingredients.  Voila!  Laundry powder!  Pour it into a container and continue with your day.  Use 2 tablespoons of the powder for a normal load, more for really dirty stuff.

If you want powder and the soap is not dry, spread the shreds onto a cookie sheet and put it in the oven at 200-250 degrees until it dries out.  I like to put a piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet so nothing sticks.  After that, crunch it into powder and add to the other ingredients.  I put it in baggie and use a rolling pin to crunch it up.  The soap I use gave me 2 cups of powder.  With 4 cups of ingredients I get 32 loads out of each batch.

For liquid laundry soap:

Measure the Borax and Washing Soda into a medium sized bowl.  Use a cheese grater to grate the soap.  For the liquid it doesn’t matter how dry the soap is.  Heat 4 quarts of water in a large pan on the stove.  Do not let it boil.  Add the grated soap and stir well.   Continue stirring, without boiling, until the soap is melted.  When the soap is completely melted, remove from heat and add the other 2 ingredients and mix well.  Pour 2 quarts of hot water into a clean 5 gallon bucket.  Add the soap mixture and mix well.  It is really important that everything is really well mixed to distribute the soap evenly into the water.  Add more water a little at a time and mix well until the bucket is full.  Continue to stir the soap periodically as it cools.  When cool, it will have the consistency of applesauce.  You can store it in the bucket as long as it has a lid, or transfer to leak proof, non metal containers.  My sister puts it in canning jars.  Use 1/2 cup for a normal load, more when necessary.

If you want to add fragrance to your laundry soap, make sure that it is for soap making.  Add a total of .5oz of fragrance.  For the powder, drizzle over the completed mixture and mix in well.  For the liquid, add it to the hot water in the bucket when you add the soap mixture.  Or, you can just use a scented soap.

If you are interested in the math, here it is.

1 box of Borax costs $3.74 and contains 76oz = .049 cents per oz

1 box of Washing Soda costs $2.89 and contains 55oz = .053 cents per oz

10 bars of soap costs $4.87 = .487 cents per bar

1 cup of Borax = 5.5oz x .049 cents = .2695 cents

1 cup of Soda = 9.5oz x .053 cents =   .5035 cents

2 cups of grated soap (1 bar) =             .4870 cents

Total cost per batch =                           1.2600 cents

There are 4 cups total of dry ingredients.  4 cups = 64 tablespoons = 32 loads

1.26/32 = .04 cents per load

This is the math for the powder.  The liquid makes 5 gallons.  At 1/2 cup per load, you get 40 loads.  1.26/40 = .03 cents per load.

If you would like to see more money saving tips for the home on my blog, please let me know.  And now I need to go fold some laundry. 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Soap

  1. Pingback: Homemade Dishwasher Powder « Life at Bear Creek Farm

  2. I’ve tried this before and didn’t like how it came out. Now I’m thinking maybe I just did something wrong? I made the liquid kind, but I still have all the ingredients, so I thought about trying the powder. Do you know if you can use it in a high-efficiency front loading washer? That would save me a TON of money from having to buy the HE detergent. Also, what type of bar soap do you recommend? Which ones seem to be more dry? Thanks!!!

  3. April,
    I’ve never had a front loader so I can’t help you there, sorry. I usually use a homemade laundry bar soap. When I am out of that, I use Ivory. I have to unwrap the bar and let it dry for a few days. Sometimes it’s drier than other times. I’m not sure why. 🙂 Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  4. Just wanted to let you know I made the powder version and have been using it in my HE washer. I LOVE it!! It’s so inexpensive and I love knowing it’s safe for my family, especially Miss A.

    Thanks for sharing this again…I tried it again (after my last liquid soap failure) and I’m so glad I did!!

    • April,
      I’m so glad this works in your HE washer. I’ve had several people ask about that. I don’t have one so I couldn’t give them an answer. Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

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