One of my favorite ways to save money around here is to make as many of my own cleaners as possible.
And one of the easiest ones to make is homemade laundry soap.
It takes just a few minutes to put together and costs about ½ penny per load.
Actually, it probably costs less than that because I stock up on soap when it’s on sale.
I love making my own natural and frugal cleaners at home!
It saves money and it’s better for the environment.
I think we can all agree that that’s a win-win!
You can learn how to make your own dishwasher powder here.
This homemade laundry soap can be left in powder form or made into a liquid.
I have used it both ways and it always works great.
I prefer to leave it in a powder simply because it takes less room to store that way and my laundry area is REALLY small.
But I have included instructions for both so y’all have a choice. 🙂
Homemade Laundry Soap
- 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
- 1 cup Washing Soda.
- a bar of soap of your choice (I use Ivory)
- essential oil for fragrance (This is optional. I like to use eucalyptus.)
You can usually find the Borax and the Washing Soda at the grocery store in the aisle with the laundry supplies.
If you can’t find them, I’ve linked the names above to Amazon so you can order it.
Make sure that you get Washing Soda not Baking Soda.
The only brand I can find here is Arm & Hammer.
The soap that you use is completely up to you, but try to find one that is dry if you want to leave the soap in powder form.
You can use one that isn’t dry for powder, but that adds another step which isn’t hard, just takes more time.
The soap I use is sometimes dry and sometimes damp depending on the weather. I like to use soap without dyes or fragrances because I’m sensitive to that stuff.
To make laundry powder:
Here’s what you do.
Measure the Borax and the Washing Soda into a medium-sized bowl.
I like to use a box grater to grate the soap. It’s easier than a handheld grater, and all I use it for is soap.
If the soap is dry it will crumble, if not you will get shreds.
If the soap is dry, just mix it into the other ingredients.
Pour it into a container and continue with your day.
Use 1-2 tablespoons of the powder for a normal load, more for really dirty stuff.
If you want powder and the soap is not dry:
Grate the soap and spread the shreds onto a cookie sheet and put it in the oven (or dehydrator) at 200-250 degrees until it dries out.
I like to put a piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet so nothing sticks.
After that, crunch it into powder and add to the other ingredients.
I put it in baggie and use a rolling pin to crunch it up.
The soap I use gave me 2 cups of powder.
With 4 cups of ingredients I get 32 loads out of each batch.
To make liquid laundry soap:
Measure the Borax and Washing Soda into a medium-sized bowl.
Use a cheese grater to grate the soap.
For the liquid it doesn’t matter how dry the soap is.
Heat 4 quarts of water in a large pan on the stove. Do not let it boil.
Add the grated soap and stir well.
Continue stirring, without boiling, until the soap is melted.
When the soap is completely melted, remove from heat and add the other 2 ingredients and mix well.
Pour 2 quarts of hot water into a clean 5 gallon bucket.
Add the soap mixture and mix well. It is really important that everything is really well mixed to distribute the soap evenly into the water.
Add more water a little at a time and mix well until the bucket is full.
Continue to stir the soap periodically as it cools.
When cool, it will have the consistency of applesauce.
You can store it in the bucket as long as it has a lid, or transfer to leak proof, non-metal containers.
I like to put it in canning jars, cuz, ya know, canning jars. 🙂
Use 1/2 cup for a normal load, more when necessary.
When I want to add fragrance to my laundry soap, I use essential oils.
Add about 20-30 drops.
For the powder, drizzle over the completed mixture and mix in well.
If you make liquid, add it to the hot water in the bucket when you add the soap mixture.
Or, you can just use a scented soap.
Is Borax safe to use in homemade laundry soap?
Now, some of you might be a little concerned about whether or not Borax is safe.
There is so much confusing and conflicting information floating around the interwebs these days about Borax.
I can tell you that I would not be using this laundry soap (and I’ve used it for years!) if I had any questions about it’s safety!
I am, after all, the gal that ditched her microwave over safety concerns!
However, to help set your mind at ease, here is a great article about the safety of Borax that spells everything out better than I could.
I hope that will set your mind at ease!
If you are interested in the math for the powder, here it is:
1 box of Borax costs $3.74 and contains 76oz = .049 cents per oz
1 box of Washing Soda costs $2.89 and contains 55oz = .053 cents per oz
10 bars of soap costs $4.87 = .487 cents per bar
1 cup of Borax = 5.5oz x .049 cents = .2695 cents
1 cup of Soda = 9.5oz x .053 cents = .5035 cents
2 cups of grated soap (1 bar) = .4870 cents
Total cost per batch = 1.2600 cents
There are 4 cups total of dry ingredients. 4 cups = 64 tablespoons = 32 loads
1.26/32 = .04 cents per load
This is the math for the liquid:
The liquid makes 5 gallons. At 1/2 cup per load, you get 40 loads. 1.26/40 = .03 cents per load.
Whew. That’s enough math for today. Now I need to go fold some laundry. 🙂