Homemade Dry Laundry Soap

Now this is the very first thing that I decided to start making. It just so happens to be my favorite and it is the biggest money saver. It is so quick and easy, I just want to kick myself for wasting soooo much money buying commercial laundry soap. This is a very basic recipe and just about everyone I know uses this or something very similar. The site that I snagged the recipe from does a great job at a cost breakdown so if you want all the details I’ll let you check it out for yourself but to sum it up: it costs about $0.21 per load with a commercial product. This stuff? $0.05. That is a savings that really adds up. Plus, I think that mine is even greater because I can find the ingredients cheaper than what they have them listed for.

I’m going to address a couple of things people have said to me when I told them I make my own laundry soap.

I have to use “free and clear” products because of sensitive skin.

I have super sensitive skin and eczema. My breakouts have cleared up significantly since making the switch. In-fact, I don’t think I’ve had any since switching… Interesting… I was using ALL free & clear liquid laundry soap, Downy free & clear liquid and dryer sheets. FYI, “free & clear” only means that it doesn’t have any dyes or perfumes. Which is what people are most commonly allergic to. It still contains a long list of unknown chemicals. Also, people commonly use this (or slight variations of this) to wash cloth diapers. Frankly, if it can go onto a newborns extra sensitive tender skin, it is certainly gentle enough for the average public. Just sayin’.

I have an HE washer.

-Me too. The only reason that you need special laundry soap is because you need “low sudsing” soap and this is. So no worries.

I would also like to point out that I have a 2-year-old boy and a husband that works outside. Clothes in my house are freaking dirty and this stuff does the job.

So what do you need?

  • 1 C. 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1 C. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT BAKING SODA!)
  • 1 bar Fels-Napha (I’m making a double batch so I have 2)

Now this whole process took me 15 min with the “help” of my 2-year-old, and taking (crappy) pictures to show you folks. Again. So quick.

In the original recipe they hand grate the soap. I’m lazy, we have talked about this. So I busted out my food processor. Do what works best for you. I use both the grater blade and my regular blade, you’ll see why. Now I’m sure it says in the manual to NOT do this. But it just works so well! So yes, I “stack” my blades so I don’t have to empty the container to then put the second one in. I just slip the grater off and I’m ready to move on.

Lets get started. Grate the soap. How ever you would like to.

The lazy way

It will look a little like this.

Now I like smaller pieces because I’m OCD but the soap will not have a problem dissolving if left like this, so I will then hit the chop button to get them a little smaller.

My food processor wont grate the last little bit of soap as it just gets stuck and spins around on top. If yours does too you can certainly use a hand grater or whatever but I actually like to hang on to these to use them as a pre-treat on tough stains. It takes grease out like you wouldn’t believe. It will also dry up poison ivy on your skin if you happen to be so unlucky to get it.

Measure it out. (again, I’m making a double batch so I’m using 2 cups of each.)

Pour it in.

and your done!

Pour it into any container that you would like. Use 1 -2 TBLS per load depending on the size of the load and how soiled they are.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you have tried it, how you like it!

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4 thoughts on “Homemade Dry Laundry Soap

  1. I’ve never seen Fels-Napha before. We tried making a detergent ourselves with washing soda, borax and grated ivory but the clothes didn’t ever get “really” clean enough for me. Kwim?

    • I have seen it with the ivory before but I grew up using the fels as a stain remover so it was the obvious choice for me. I also put in a 1/2 c of oxy too but I’m not sure if I’ve put that on the list or not…

      • So, the clothes smell fresh when they’re clean? (sorry, dumb question, but ours didn’t!) and do you use the dryer or hang to dry? *Forgive me if you shared that already – there were a lot of comments, and I get a little mixed up at times. 😉

        • Not a dumb question! Yes, ours do have the clean laundry smell. The fels has a very clean, “laundry” smell to it. Something that you can certainly smell before you buy it so you can double check that your ok with that smell. I have eczema and couldn’t use anything but free and clear stuff but this works great with my skin and my skin has even gotten much better with it. I only get very few and far more mild patches on my skin now days. I use my homemade fabric soften which has a grapefruit essential oils in it and that is a very light clean sent and completely covers the vinegar smell also. I dry my clothes in the dryer and I do use fabric sheets for static. The vinegar is great for softening and deodorizing but doesn’t do much for static. Making it yourself isn’t for everyone but I love it. I’ll never go back!

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