Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe

Avoid chemical-laden household cleaners by trying this homemade laundry soap recipe.

  • Make your own laundry soap and line dry your clothes for naturally clean, fresh laundry.
    Photo by Fotolia/Sandra Cunningham

After learning more about the chemicals in commercial cleaners and the harm they can do long after they go down the drain, I decided to start making my own household cleaners.

During some online research, I found a great homemade laundry soap recipe. It has only three ingredients: 2 cups borax, 2 cups washing soda and 4 cups grated homemade bar soap (or Ivory or Fels Naptha). Mix these ingredients together and store them in a container, and use one-fourth to one-third cup of the homemade laundry soap per load.

It costs pennies to make and works fine for my family’s laundry. There are no harsh chemicals in this recipe, and no need to use laundry softener. You can add an essential oil for fragrance if your soap bar isn’t scented.

At first, I had a hard time finding the washing soda that the recipe calls for, but after a little more research, I discovered it’s the same thing as “pH PLUS” (sodium carbonate), a swimming pool compound found in the pool section of stores during summer. Some stores carry it in the laundry section, too. Happy greener cleaning!

Lisa Ifland
Williamsburg, Kansas

12/4/2019 11:12:44 PM


9/21/2018 12:28:36 PM

Anyone had problems with a terrible odor - I made and used the home made laundry soap but had a terrible odor (strong sour smell) out of the dryer. The clothes smelled fresh and clean from the washer, but the dryer was terrible. A friend hung her clothes on the line and they also had a very sour smell. I thought it was the bar soap (if using animal fats) but the soap smelled fresh. I used bleach and other cleaners to wash the washer thinking that was it ( I read Octavien's article, but I have a top loader), but the clothes still had the same odor. Has anyone had the this problem or have any advice - I have used essentials oils but it doesn't help. Thank you

5/21/2016 8:01:34 AM

We use baking soda, too, and Dr Bronner's bar soap. A box of each of the washing soda and borax, a like amount of Baking soda, and three bars in whatever scents strike my fancy at the store. Two tablespoons per load plus plain old white vinegar in the softener and bleach dispensers. Works great, goes out into our gray water area where it apparently does no harm to bugs, frogs, or our chickens who make it an early pit stop every day. They slop around in the water when it's there, hunting for whatever. Our clothes come out clean and fresh smelling, stains are dealt with by wetting the spot, rubbing a little extra of the recipe, and washing as normal. We've been using this for a few years with great results.



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