Short answer – yes! I started researching laundry soap recipes shortly after we moved into our new home. There are a lot of laundry soap recipes out there, and I’ve tried several, both liquid and dry, but I have settled on this recipe by One Good Thing by Jillee because it is easy to make, lasts a really long time, and works well on all our clothes. She has several recipes on her blog to choose from, but this is my favorite.
Laundry Soap Recipe
The recipe includes the following ingredients:
- 3 bars Fels Naptha, grated – I prefer 2 bars of Zote instead, which is easy to find at Walmart or online and I find easier to grate. They also sell it online as flakes, which eliminates the grating step.
- 1 (76 oz) box Borax – I use the Ten Mules Brand
- 1 (55 oz) box Washing Soda – I use the Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
- 2 cups of baking soda – I use Arm and Hammer here as well
- 2 (55 oz.) containers of Oxyclean – I only use one box of Oxyclean, it doesn’t appear to change the outcome, but you can try it either way
- 1 – 2 (28 oz.) containers of Purex fabric softener crystals – I don’t put these in the soap, instead I prefer to use these only on non-clothing articles such as towels and sheets, so I use it separately
I have a front load, HE washer, and this recipe is very low suds, so it works great for me, but I would caution you to test a small load first and I am not, in any way, a qualified washer repair person. I’ve been using it for four years, so far so good.
This recipe takes some unusual ingredients, but if you look at the very bottom or very top shelves in your local grocery store, they usually carry them. I have bought them on Amazon, but sometimes they are more expensive than in the local stores.
Grating the soap takes work – I use a food processor to grind it up into teeny, tiny flakes, but you could also just buy the Zote Flakes, sometimes they are available at Walmart or online. They are more expensive than the bar, but it will cut your time to make down to just a few minutes.
I use a big bucket lined with a garbage bag and pour in the ingredients lasagna style so they will be easier to mix up. I also use a basic paper mask when mixing to keep from breathing in the dust. Then, I store most of the soap in airtight Oxyclean containers I have left over from multiple soap making sessions, but you could also use any other airtight container. I use a glass cookie jar to store a smaller amount in the laundry room, which looks nice and cute in my laundry area.
The recipe usually lasts me for about 6 months and costs me about $20 to make each time, which is about the cost of two regular sized commercial laundry soap containers that would last me about 2 months. I do about 8 -10 loads of laundry a week and mostly use Hot/Cold or Warm/Cold because I just think it gets things cleaner. If you use cold water only, you may want to mix this with warm water first, or try it out a few times. I know some people have said it may leave a bit of a residue on cold, but I’ve never had any issues, even when I do delicates in Cold/Cold.
For me, it is worth it to make my own laundry soap. Our new home came with the challenge of a septic system and I wanted to work with more natural cleaners. I also have sensitivities to fragrance, and the “clean and clear” formulas were just not cutting it.
It takes about 20 minutes twice a year and I’m done and I save about 80% on detergent. What about you – have you or would you try making your own? Leave me a comment and if you have a different recipe you use, I would love to hear about it and maybe even give it a try.