DIY Laundry Soap: 1 penny/load

Yes. I made my own laundry soap after much investigation. I wanted to see how difficult it was, and if the effort is worth it. Turns out that's a yes. A big yes. It's super easy to make, kinda fun actually. And the bonus is I have the cost down to 1 penny per load of laundry.
Oh heck yeah-more money for fashion! (Which ironically creates more laundry.)

The recipe comes from this lovely blog: Why Not Sew

1 bar of soap
1 cup Borax
1 cup super washing soda
2 gallons jugs ( I use two Liter jugs since that's all I can find.)
I decorated mine cuz I'm silly. Peace signs of course.

Grab a funnel and a grater also. I use these only for artsy/hazardous stuff, just to be sure I'm not going to give anyone a stomach ache.

Step 1: Grate the bar of soap.
While you are busy doing this put a gallon of water into a large pot and begin to boil. Add the soap and "cook it" until dissolved.

Step 2: Add 1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda. Let it boil for a minutes or two. Turn off the heat.

Step 3: Add another gallon of cold water now, and let it sit a while. It thickens up --so try to get it into the gallon jugs before it gets too thick. I used a funnel and had no issues.

Done. Easy.

Now add 1/4 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle for the softener, if you're a true HippieNo, the clothes don't come out smelling of vinegar. (PEEEE-UUUzis.)

OR soak a half a sponge in Downy and squeeze it out really hard into the softener tray for the rinse cycle. I line dry whenever possible, but if it's rainy out, I throw half a sponge that was pre- soaked in Downy (and squeezed out) into the dryer. It makes SUCH a difference in how much softener I buy, but no difference in the clothing softness.

I keep my materials in a bin out of reach of children:

*These ingredients can be found at grocers or general stores like Walfart/ASDA, Target, etc.... If you have trouble finding it, try Amazon.

As for the bar of soap, I've used Zest, el cheapo off brands, and Dove. I think it's safe to say there is really no difference between them. I now pick up a 6 pack of soap at Tesco for a pound (about $1.65). 

I use about 1/2 cup sometimes only 1/4 cup of my homemade detergent for a load of laundry. I live in a hard water area as well, and my washer is not that big. So, experiment and try it out. I search for coupons for the washing soda and borax and buy it in bulk from the military commissary.

Peace out

Try it!


  1. Son of a gun. I will make my laundry detergent based on this. Wow.

  2. we tried out own with pretty much the exact same recipe. Love it! We'll never go back!

  3. I have made my own laundry soup for years now..I LOVE it! Every thing smells so clean (and soft!) and it doesn't take long to make either...

  4. I LOVE this....and am going to DO it.....
    when i was a kid, my mom made her own bar soap..more like lye soap....
    But this is for laundry...with 2 kids still home going to college and university, they do alot of wash and with working outside of the home, my dh and i do too....so this is going to be on my project list next!

    I like the vinegar for softener idea too, i find the strong smell of the softeners really bothers me (aka scent sensitive me)...so don't really use anything but if vinegar works for hair....it will work on clothes!
    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Davvero una bella idea, economica ed ecologica. Penso che proverò a seguire i tuoi consigli, poi ti farò sapere come è andata.
    Grazie per il consiglio.


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