Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe

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

| February/March 2014

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

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.

5/20/2016 4:05:32 PM

What about using this in a septic system? It is ok to use with one?

5/20/2016 2:17:23 PM

I have one concern: I am a laundry machine technician and what strikes me here is that you should be careful if you have a front loading washer. When these came out, there were a lot of odor problems and tumbler bearing failures (very expensive). The odor is from bacteria that grows in pores in the supports of the spin basket. Bearing failures came from the common soaps that everyone used back then. They ate away at critical rubber seals that allowed soap to get into the main bearing in the back. The result was catastrophic. The solution has been the HE (high efficiency) laundry soaps. I would suggest that anybody making their own laundry soap check with the manufacturer. This was only a problem in front loaders. I hope this helps you folks out there. Making your own soap is a great idea, but replacing a 5 year old front loader is not a good idea... yes, that's how much damage it can cause. Best wishes always,Octavien

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