Dirty Clothes Done Dirt Cheap!

soap ingredients soap chunks cooking adding borax whipped soap in jarsI tried something new – homemade laundry soap. Why? I’ve always wanted to try it. Plus, it’s crazy inexpensive (costs a few cents per load), only uses three ingredients (plus water if you make the liquid version) and is very easy to make.

Most laundry soap recipes are for the powdered version. I added an extra step or two and made a liquid soap. I use one heaping tablespoon of soap per load. Don’t be alarmed when it doesn’t get all sudsy like commercial laundry detergent. It’s the soap, not the suds, that cleans your clothes.

To my surprise, I had to hunt for the ingredients. I hoped to find them all in one place but ended up going to two. No big deal. The ingredients will last a long, long time and will make many batches of soap.


(makes approximately 2 quarts)


  • 1 bar Fels Naptha soap
    (substitute Ivory, Zote or any soap you like)
  • 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
    (NOT baking soda… two different things. Washing soda is in the laundry aisle.)
  • 4 cups hot water

Grate soap using a hand grater, blender or food processor.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add soap and stir frequently until soap dissolves (10-15 minutes). Do NOT let the mixture boil. Apparently, it makes a big mess.

After the soap has melted, turn off the heat and add the borax and washing soda. Stir for several minutes.

Pour the liquid into 2 quart size jars.

Screw lids on and let the jars sit for an hour or so. Shake to break up clumps and separation. I did this a few times throughout the day. You can also let it sit overnight, dump the mixture into a bowl, then whip with a mixer until it has the consistency of hand lotion.

Pour it back into the jars and enjoy your homemade laundry soap.

*If you want powdered soap, skip the water. Just mix the soap (be sure to finely grate it), borax and washing soda. You’re done!


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