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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent (s)

Liquid  Laundry Soap 
Concentrate Whipped Soap 
Powdered Laundry Soap

I've been waiting a long time to make this! I couldn't justify not using up my "store bought" detergent before I made this. I loved the smell of my Gain, but hopefully they will come out with the scented laundry crystals for the Original Gain too (maybe they already have?!?? ) Or I could just make my own dryer sheets! (light bulb! idea (•̮̮̃•̃) ) Anyway I finally ran out the other day and was looking forward to making some detergent. (funny huh!?) I never in my life wanted to do laundry so bad! Haha!
 We already had all the ingredients since I used them for other "homemade" things, but I was trying to be  being patient! 
I have used Fels-Naptha for years, but not for laundry... growing up if we got into poison ivy we were told to wash with the Fels-Naptha, and my husband seems to always get into poison ivy or poison sumac a couple times a year, so I have it on hand for that. And I've been using the Borax in my wash for about a year now, and was really impressed with the results of adding it in with my regular detergent, so I knew the homemade version would meet my expectations!

I actually have three recipes to share today, a liquid, a "whipped" version and a powder. I made the liquid formula and when I'm finished with that I would like to make the whipped version. I would also like to try it with the Zote soap, depending on the smell, just to see...I'm pretty sensitive to smells though.  

This is safe for all washers including the HE(High Efficiency), this actually does not make suds at all so don't keep adding detergent looking for suds because there wont be any... you'll just have really, really clean clothes!

**Liquid LaundrySoap

Here is what you need for the Liquid Soap:
I didn't want to make a full batch to make sure I was going to like it so I halved the ones I saw, it still made a bunch!

1/2 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (found in the Laundry Isle) (also its Not Baking Soda)
1/2 Cup of 20 Mule Team Borax
1/2 Bar of Fels- Naptha Laundry Soap grated (also found in the Laundry Isle)
1 Grater ( grated to any coarseness you would like)

This made about 3 gallons (I used a 5 gal bucket to mix it in)

I use about a half cup per wash load (which equals about a cap full on my handy dandy recycled laundry soap container)

Grate up  half of the Fels-Naptha soap add it to a medium size pan of water (about 6 cups of water)
slowly cook the grated soap until all is melted, stirring frequently, don't let it come to a boil.

Once it is melted then add the Borax and the Washing Soda

Stir until all the powder is dissolved, and its thoroughly blended....mix and stir over low heat until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat.

Pour into the bucket or container you will be mixing it in, let it sit over night or until it gels up. Once it gels up break up the soap with a spoon.

 I then added HOT water to the half way point on my 5 gal. bucket, stir, stir, stir... I actually used my hand and broke up (squeezed) any "chunks" when I felt it was broke up enough, My husband helped me pour the soap into my storage containers.
I used a old liquid laundry soap container and two 1 gal. milk jugs and filled them about half way (easier to shake them up)

Reused Laundry Soap Container
Before giving it a shake - separated 
 Do make sure you shake your soap before each load as it will separate.

After giving it a good shake

Idea's for storage containers:
This Beverage Dispenser from Walmart
~ Reuse Liquid Laundry Detergent containers
~ Empty gallon Vinegar Jug
~ Empty Kitty litter Container
~ Gallon Milk Jug

make sure that which ever container you use has a tight sealing lid


** Concentrated Whipped Soap
credit for this recipe goes to- The White Silk Purse   

You only need to use One (1) Tablespoon per wash load! 
256 loads of laundry!!!
Picture from White Silk Purse

2 Bars Fels Naptha
2 cups 20 Mule Team Borax
2 Cups Arm & Hammer Washing Soda 
6 Cups of Hot Water 

Add the grated soap to 6 cups of water over med-low heat until soap is melted. Stir in Borax and Washing Soda stir until dissolved. Don't let this boil over!
Once it is mixed well pour into storage container(s) and add 4 more cups of hot water, stir to blend. Let mixture sit over night. It will separate in 2 layers, one firm one gel, that is normal. Cut up or stir  to break it up a bit. You will have to do this next step a little at a time.  Spoon mixture into blender or mixing bowl and on low speed start mixing and work your way up faster. Using a spatula scrape the sides down  a few times to get it all the way mixed. It will be really thick, like thick cool whip :) 
Spoon your newly whipped soap into the storage container your going to use. Continue blending with the rest of the soap until you've finished blending it all.

Idea's for Storage Containers:
~ A Container like this from Walmart would hold the concentrated mix, the recipe makes 10 cups in total (4 quarts)
~ 1 quart mason jars

make sure that which ever container you use has a tight sealing lid


**Powdered Laundry Soap
1 Tablespoon Per Wash Load 

2 Bars Fels Naptha Soap
2 Cups of 20 Mule Team Borax
2 Cups of Super Washing Soap

To make the bar soap easier to grate(by hand), place your soap in the freezer, it makes a finer grated soap if you use a small grater. The finer you grate it the better it will disintegrate.  Or you can use your food processor to make it more into a "Powder" it will be closer to the store bought texture
After grating up bar soap,pour into your storage container along with the Borax and Washing Soda. Mix thoroughly 
If you have a really dirty load of laundry you might want to use 2 Tablespoons.
If you wash a load in cold water you might want to put the tablespoon in a little bit of hot water to disintegrate it first, then add it to the wash.

* See my updated version of this Here it has scent crystals! smells so MMMMm. I also used Zote, instead of Fels Naptha, so pretty

Idea's for Storage Containers:
~ Kitty Liter Container
~ This Container from Walmart
~ Large Plastic cereal containers
~ 4 Qt. ice cream container (this is what I use)


I would avoid soap with oils, they might leave a residue that could stain your clothes.
Baking Soda and Washing Soda are NOT the same.
You CAN use bleach
You CAN use bluing 


All of these recipes are:
Safe for Septic Tanks- does not contain phosphates 
Safe for HE Washers - low to no suds


If you like these recipes you might want to try my Homemade Dishwasher Detergent &Vinegar Rinsing Aid 

Have Idea's or Tips from your experiences? Please share in the comments section below or email me.


  1. Thanks for using my recipe on your blog. I've tried them all, and the powdered is great for everyday use, but the whipped style is the go-to for any tough stain or really dirty load.

    :) Dana @ The White Silk Purse

  2. I can't wait to try your recipe! I want to try the powder also, but I'll try your "whipped" version first.


  3. I have a cousin that makes the liquid laundry soap all the time. She went to Home Depot or Fleet Farm (or some store like that) and bought a paint mixer for her drill. She mixes all the water in the day she makes it then lets it sit overnight. The next day she uses her drill and mixes it again. She said it doesn't separate as easily.

    1. I used my husbands drill and paint mixer on my whipped version. ;)

      That is a good idea about adding all the liquid at one time, I never really understood why it wasn't added at the same time?


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