Homemade Laundry Soap
Updated: Aug 5
About a Nickel per load!
I've been using this homemade laundry soap for over 10 years and I have no complaints. We live on a farm and Zach is a blacksmith and it gets our very dirty clothes clean every time. I still occasionally use a commercial stain spray for tough spots, but I did that when we bought detergent.
I make this soap in our Food Processor. I use the shredding blade to shed the bars of soap, and the mix/chopping blade to incorporate the mixture and grind the soap flakes to a powder.
You Will Need:
1 3 lb. box Super Washing Soda
1 4lb. box Borax
1 16oz. box Baking Soda
2 14 oz. bars Zote soap
You can add essential oils too, but this drives the price up and I feel like I can't really smell that much of a difference once the load is dry. I feel like essential oils might be better used in the dryer or perhaps a fabric softener step if you line dry. I've also used 2 bars of Fels Naptha soap in this recipe. Sometimes the store is sold out of Zote. I prefer the scent and constancy/texture of Zote when I'm making the detergent, but both work fine for cleaning.
Zote comes in pink and white. Both work equally well, but I like the pink because I can tell if the soap flakes are evenly distributed throughout the detergent. But again, this is just a preference.
I use our large roasting pan and the canning pot to mix everything. You need two large vessels to mix everything.
I start by shredding the soap so it's in a grated cheese consistency.
I dump this in the pot and add all the other ingredients.
I use a large spoon to stir all the soap flakes evenly through the powdered ingredients.
Then, working in batches, I grind the soap flakes with the powder. Each batch gets dumped in the roasting pan.
When all the detergent is ground to powder, I give it a final stir to make sure everything is incorporated. (You'll get some batches that seem to be pinker than others.) This final step mixes it well.
When it's all done I fill a 1 gallon glass jar, plus a half gallon Mason jar. I have a bunch of these large glass jars and absolutely love them. You can get your own here (affiliate link): Gallon Glass Jars
I use 2 level tablespoons per load and all my load are large loads. (I rarely wash small loads)
I usually get my ingredients at Wal-Mart, it's our closest grocery store.
Here's the price breakdown as of 2022:
Washing Soda $4.76
Baking Soda $0.72
Zote ($0.97 x 2 bars) $1.62
There are 256 tbsp in a gallon
The recipe makes 1.5 gallons so that's 384 tbsps
divided by 2 because I use 2 Tbsp per load, equals 192 loads
$12.57 divided by 192 loads equals $.065 per load
So about a nickel per load!
I recommend that you read the owners manual on your washing machine before using this soap recipe. Or contact the manufacturer to see if powdered soap is OK for your machine. We have an old top load washer and I haven't had any problems.