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DIY Laundry Soap **updated**

October 19, 2011

I’ve been meaning to whip up a batch of homemade laundry powder for a long while now.  Ever since I started my whole couponing project I’ve been scouting out ways to save money in our house.  I did have other laundry soaps on hand though, so I figured I should wait until those ran out to make mine.  Today that happened, and so began the project.

There are MANY many recipes online for the same basic thing.  You’ll find different ratios of borax to washing soda to bar soap.  You’ll find people saying it’s fine and dandy to use ivory (or other “natural” bar soaps you would use on your body), while others will swear they’re too sudsy.

I had initially tried to find a Sunlight bar as per my good friend Claudia’s instructions, but it was nowhere to be found in my grocery store.  I grabbed a Colgate brand from the laundry aisle (next to the other ingredients) so I assume it’s as good as any.  If I like how this turns out I’ll probably try a homemade laundry bar from one of my natural soap shops on Etsy.

So here’s the recipe I followed:

  1. 1 cup borax
  2. 1 cup washing soda
  3. 1 bar laundry soap grated
  4. mix well – store in airtight container
  5. use 1-2 tablespoons per load (depending on how dirty)

I’ve read a few different sites that all have different measurements on how much of each ingredient you need.  Some call for a 1:1 ratio of each, some say 1/2 cup of borax and soda, some say 2 cups.  I’ll play with it till I get a combo that works well for our needs, and in the meantime meeting in the middle sounded fine ;D

Alexa liked watching me grate the bar and pulled up her step-stool to “help”.  She was rewarded with a bowl of shavings to play with!

I haven’t used the soap yet since my one load of laundry today was what finished off my regular Method Brand detergent.  We’ll have to wait a few more days till we dirty up more clothes!  OOOH I could wash the bedding.  Tomorrow for sure!  You’ll just have to stay tuned for updates.  I’ll try to remember to plug in any edits and comments here so all the info stays on one post.

If any of my friends have done this, or are prompted to try DIY Laundry Soap due to this post, please do comment back and let me know how it goes!

In case you wanted photos, I posted a  Step-by-step set to Flickr.

I’ve been using the soap for a few weeks now and I LOVE it.  There’s no smell, just clean.  My whites are whiter and I’m finding I don’t need to pretreat as much.  I’ve been using 2 scoops no matter how dirty the laundry (and we’re not very dirty to start) so it might be too much but everything feels and looks clean so I’m sticking with it!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2011 2:18 pm

    Ooh! I definitely want to do this as soon as our bought detergent runs out! this is great, I can learn from your trial & error hahaha!

    Or, you know, you can just go ahead & mail me a box that you made. I mean, that’s what sister-wives are for, right? 😉

    • October 19, 2011 2:40 pm

      Ha if I ever learn how to make my own bar soap I’ll totally send you some since it will be special. Until then…get thee to the grocery store once you run out of the regular stuff. Your cloth diapers will thank you (or so I’m told LOL). I’ll definitely post updates to let everyone know how it works out here!

  2. October 21, 2011 3:16 pm

    I’m dying to try this. I’ve also heard that Fels Naptha is a good bar soap to use, but like you said, it’s probably all really similar.

    It’s probably mildly creepy that I’m genuinely curious to know how your laundry turned out with the homemade detergent. Ha!

    • October 22, 2011 10:34 pm

      Psssst, dirty little secret. I STILL haven’t done another load. Weird…I usually do at least one every other day!


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