Homemade Laundry Soap

I have been making this laundry soap for 3 or more years now and wouldn’t ever go back. I came across a recipe that seemed simple enough and only used 3 ingredients. Many homemade laundry soaps seem to take several ingredients and a lot of time. I love this soap for so many reasons.

1. No over-powering scent. Unless you purchase unscented laundry soaps, most are so strong that you can smell them through several washings. I am really sensitive to fragrances, so this is a HUGE plus in my book.

2. Effective! I have 3 kids (ages 5, 3, and 6 months) so I know a thing or two about weird stains. Ketchup? Grass? Carrots/Sweet Potatoes? Coffee (on my clothes – I have 3 kids, I need caffeine)? Mystery stain? This stuff has taken it all out!
Plus, my husband is an ultra-marathoner. He runs. A lot! With all that running comes a heck of a lot of stink! (Sorry hunny, but it’s true). This soap takes care of it, without masking the odor.

My husband after finishing his most-recent 50 MILE race!

My husband after finishing his most-recent 50 MILE race!

3. It is inexpensive. Traditional laundry soap is SO expensive. This laundry soap, not so much.

4. It is easy to make. Some homemade soap recipes have you boil water, grate soap, etc. All things that take TOO much time in my book. I’ve said it before, I’m not lazy, I’m efficient. If there is a better way to do something for the same result, I’m all in.

The magic 3 ingredients you need are:
Fels Naptha (you can use any bar soap you want, but I really like this. It seems to be the best at stain-removing).

Washing Soda (not baking soda) and Borax

You can find all three ingredients in your laundry aisle.

To make, you take the Fels Naptha soap, unwrap it and place it on a microwave-safe plate. -This is where this recipe differs from most. Place the soap in the microwave and cook until it puffs up like a marshmallow. Take this slowly, you don’t want to scorch your soap. For 1 bar, in my microwave, I start out cooking for 90 seconds and cook additional 30 seconds as needed. For 2-3 bars, start out cooking for 3 minutes, then 30 seconds added on. Once it is all puffy, take the plate out of the microwave and let cool completely. **Note, the soap and plate will be hot. Also, if you are sensitive to fragrances like me, you will want to have a little ventilation as the smell of the hot soap can be strong. I solve this problem by opening a nearby window and letting the soap cool outside.

Soap all puffy in the microwave after cooking. Look at how huge it is!

Soap all puffy in the microwave after cooking. Look at how huge it is!

Soap from above. Note, I made 3 bars.

Soap from above. Note, I made 3 bars.

The next part is fun. Once the soap has cooled, put it into a resealable plastic bag and crush up into a powder.

Then add your washing soda and borax to the bag. I use a ratio of 1 part Fels Naptha to 2 parts washing soda and 2 parts borax.

For example: 1 bar Fels Naptha, crushed is about 1 cup. So I would use 1 cup crushed Fels Naptha, 2 cups washing soda and 2 cups borax. The recipe really isn’t scientific, so if you aren’t exact, it doesn’t really matter.
Once you get everything all mixed up you are ready to use in your machine. This can be used in energy efficient machines or traditional machines. All it takes is 2 tablespoons per load. I use an 1/8th cup coffee scoop (typically found next to the coffee in your grocery aisle).

I’d love to know what you think about this soap once you’ve given it a try!


About thisRDeats

A mix of realism, humor, tips and delicious recipes. I am a mother, wife, passionate sewer and registered dietitian. I want to show people that food is medicine and getting back in the kitchen is the key to health. I love everything about food: gardening, shopping, cooking and most of all, EATING! Notice that "dishes" isn't on that list.... Food isn't perfect. It nourishes our minds, bodies and souls! As a blogger, journalist, speaker and broadcast professional, I enjoy talking about food and nutrition for websites, television, radio, magazines, and newspapers. I also work with companies to provide customized nutrition education and recipe development.
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4 Responses to Homemade Laundry Soap

  1. Rachel Breneman says:

    Hi April! Have you ever tried adding essential oils? Would that work do you think? After spending $7 on a “free” detergent, I’m done with that noise. Happy to find this 🙂


  2. Pingback: DIY Beach Salt Texturizing Hair Spray | This RD Eats!

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