Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe

A few years ago I Googled directions for making laundry detergent, made up a batch and HATED it. We didn’t like how it cleaned ( or rather didn’t clean) our clothes and so I scrapped the idea.

Several months ago, the economic climate being what it is and the fact that I had run out of our mega bucket of Charlie’s Laundry Powder, I decided to rethink the whole homemade laundry soap idea.

I wanted something that would be effective, inexpensive, and easy to make. I preferred to not have to buy specialized ingredients because with 9 children shopping at several different shops is unappealing and that can also drive up the cost.

There are many recipes for laundry soap out there and most are quite similar using soap, soda, and sometimes borax.

This is the recipe that works best for us because 1)it’s cheap, 2) it’s easy, 3) I always have the ingredients on hand and 4) we love how well it works.

Laundry Soap Recipe

2 gal. hot water

1 bar of soap, grated

2 c. baking soda (not washing soda)


This recipe just calls for a bar of soap. We use the same soap that we use in the shower. I’ve read that Fels-Naptha is great for stain fighting, but we use what we have on hand and have not had any problems.

Grate the soap. If your grater is in the dishwasher, like mine was, wash it first, unless you want cheese scented clothing.

If your children come running whenever you head to the kitchen, just dare them to try a pinch of this. It does look good enough to eat, but I’ve never had any takers.


Put the grated soap in a saucepan, cover with water and cook on low until the soap melts. Be patient, it takes a while. I don’t think that I’ve ever gotten every little bit melted completely, but take some time and get most of it melted into the water.

Now add 2 gallons of hot water into large bucket. Add the dissolved, melted soap and stir well.

Add the baking soda and stir again.


Use a half a cup on regular loads and a full cup on heavily soiled loads. That’s it!

After sitting your soap will be lumpy and gloppy, that’s normal, just stir well before use.

It is nice to have some old washed out liquid laundry containers to store your homemade laundry soap, then you can just shake and pour in to the handy measuring cup cap, but if you are cheap frugal like us, then just store in a lidded container and use a regular measuring up to stir and scoop.

Making my own laundry soap “Works for Me.” Check out all the other WFMW posts at “We are THAT Family“.For several other laundry soap and some laundry detergent recipes check out Tipnut’s list.

Be sure to read my other laundry or money saving posts or how to create a workable schedule or ideas onΒ  Bible reading for kids. Check the categories listed just under the picture at the top of the page for more practical ideas.

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176 Responses to Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe
  1. ~*Michelle*~
    March 11, 2009 | 11:16 am

    Great tip~! I am slowly trying to break out of my ONLY brand name snob addiction, TIDE. This might do the trick!

    Have a great day!

    Peace
    *~Michelle~*

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  2. Fairion
    March 11, 2009 | 12:18 pm

    We make our own laundry soap too. I love it. It works better for me than the stuff we had been buying and is so much cheaper.

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  3. Dave @ Home School Dad
    March 11, 2009 | 1:34 pm

    Sounds grate! (Pun intended) Looking forward to trying it out.

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  4. Jamie
    March 11, 2009 | 2:32 pm

    Awesome, thanks for posting. I have been wanting to make my own laundry soap for a while but could not find washing soda anywhere except online and then it wasn’t so frugal. I will try this recipe!

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  5. Condo Blues
    March 11, 2009 | 2:49 pm

    I make the powdered version. It’s the same recipe without the water.

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  6. Heather
    March 11, 2009 | 3:28 pm

    I have been making my own laundry detergent for over a year now and I love it! I make the powdered version of this recipe though, because I don’t have enough room to store the liquid version!

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  7. Heather
    March 11, 2009 | 9:36 pm

    This is my exact recipe. I have tried the felz naptha one and don’t like it as much.

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  8. Christy@MercyEveryMorning
    March 11, 2009 | 9:50 pm

    Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to try it, but am interested in the comments about the dry recipe. Wondering how much of the dry you would add to a washload?

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  9. Raising Olives
    March 12, 2009 | 2:44 am

    The dry recipes that I have seen call for about 2T. of detergent per full load.

    Check out the link in my post for some recipes for laundry powder.

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

    [Reply]

  10. sawin
    March 14, 2009 | 11:58 am

    Great tip,I’d like to make the dry, but is this ok to use in HE washers???

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  11. Raising Olives
    March 14, 2009 | 1:11 pm

    sawin,

    This should recipe should be fine in an HE washer. Actually according to one of the articles I read it should be ideal because it produces a low amount of suds.

    It is recommended, however, that you make a liquid version of the soap in order to be sure of everything dissolving completely. The premise of the HE is to use minimal water, so this ensures that their is enough water to wash effectively.

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

    [Reply]

  12. Tabitha
    March 21, 2009 | 10:48 am

    This is great. Check out the worth of earth and help us add to our discussion! Thanks!

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  13. Gretchen
    April 2, 2009 | 11:01 pm

    So I make mine with the washing soda and the Fels Naptha – do you find the baking soda works as well? Just wondering if I should try the baking soda instead of the washing soda (Oh and I put Borax in mine as well.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    I have not made the soap with washing soda, so can’t be of help to you there. I’m thinking about putting some Borax in, how much do you use?

    Oh, I’m glad you like reading my blog!

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

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  14. Julie
    April 5, 2009 | 10:12 pm

    You told me in your comment on my blog that you had a recipe for laundry soap and I found it. Thanks for the tip. This recipe sounds very simple – I very much like the idea of using bath soap rather than having to run out and find that other stuff.

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  15. Lesli
    April 17, 2009 | 12:48 pm

    Kimberly,
    Did you try adding the borax? How much did you add to this recipe? I made my own detergent and am on my 2nd recipe. I particularly do NOT like the one I am using. I am interested in trying this one. I obviously have ALOT of dirt at my house and need something that will really work. Do you think this will do the job?
    Thanks a Million!
    Lesli

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    Kimberly Reply:

    I haven’t added the borax and I haven’t had any problems with stain removal so far and we have some dirt kids. However, I think that adding it may be a good idea. Let me know if this works for you, I’m curious to hear what others think.

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  16. Lisa
    April 20, 2009 | 4:04 pm

    I did it! I made my laundry soap!!! Thanks for the inspiration! I used a different recipe but I really like how it is working. I would have never thought of making my own soap for the laundry, though I make cold process soap for our bodies. This is right up my alley. I love the “unscent” that it leaves on our clothes and sheets. Everything is clean and it costs about 1/10th as much…Oh joy!
    I found washing soda and borax as well as Felz Naptha at my local Fred Meyer(Kroeger).

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  17. Angela
    April 20, 2009 | 10:54 pm

    I love the idea of using home made laundry soap, but have a question. Our youngest son, Joey, has very sencative skin. For years we have only used ALL detergent for this reason. For bath soap he has to have moisturizing body wash.(like dove or oil of olay generic) His skin will get very ashy and crack if you use anything else. (we proved this on the camp trip when we used Axe bath soap for all 4 guys) Can you use moisturizing body soap instead of a ground up bar? Would the moisturizer mess up the clothing? Or should we just suck it up and stick with the ALL??

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    My husband has sensitive skin and my two kids do also but I have not had any problems with making home made laundry soap out of another mild soap. Perhaps you can try a bar of ivory or a bar laundry soap called zote. I find Zote at Big Lots and Kmart for right under $1 a bar (14.1oz). It’s cheap enough to try and if your son doesn’t break out you’ll save a ton, too!

    [Reply]

    Jenny Reply:

    We have allegy problems in our family too and we get a dove sensitvie skin hyoallergenic bar and it works great. We where using the all too. THis saves us alot of money I am sure any hypoallergenic soap will work

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  18. Kim
    May 12, 2009 | 10:03 am

    Hey! Great post! I know I am behind just reading this…anyway…I have made the laundry soap….with the Fels-Naptha, borax, washing soda….etc…I think the main reason to add Borax is for the sudsing…It might boost the cleaning power a bit, but you don’t really need suds to get clothes clean (or your body for that matter)though most of us have been conditioned to think so.
    I also make out soap… and it doesn’t sud well because I don’t often add glycerin (which costs more). It does clean, but guests at my house get regular soap and for that matter, Daddy prefers the suds as well :). Guess you can’t please everybody!

    Kimbery- You should have done this a long time ago…..and boy have you added a tn of posts already!
    I don’t even have enough time to add as many comments to your posts as I would like these days….But, our site (er, Jon and Allan’s site is up and ready to go!) Check it out here http://www.ShiftGoNowConference.com .(Get people to give your name as a referal and get a 50% commission! No, that is not a typo!)

    Gotta get back to the littles…who seem to need me to be in the room to keep them focused….unless there is a t.v. of course, like at my parent’s. For that matter, some of my older kids have the problem, too! πŸ™‚

    Love you to pieces!
    Kim

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  19. Angela
    May 13, 2009 | 5:04 pm

    Hey. I made up our first batch today. The clothes came out even cleaner than with my regular deturgent. It even got the “little boy funk” out of the boys clothes, as well as brightened a few things. Not to mention using the dove bath soap we always use on Joey made it smell soooooo yummy! The real test will be the whites (in the washer now), and if it actually does well with Joey’s skin. Next question would be…. can you make your own fabric softener too? (not that dryer sheets are THAT expencive, just currious)
    Oh and a question to Kim… you make your own bath soap right? Can you make moisturizing bath soap for kids with sencative skin? I know how to make regular bar soap, even the smelly good stuff. How to make the moisturizing stuff tho has me stumped. ANy clue??
    Thanks gurls!! I’ll let you know how it comes out!
    –Angela

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  20. Kim E
    May 13, 2009 | 6:18 pm

    Hey ANGELA!

    As for the moisturizing soap, you will likely need to experiment a little to figure out what you like.

    It is also more expensive to make a more moisturizing soap, but you may think it’s worth it.
    You need a balance of hard oils and softer oils….like 50/50. Your harder oils are more solid at room temp. while others like olive are not. To make a more moisturizing soap, I would include at least 25% oilive oil and then try jojoba or coconut oils and even shea butter and palm oil for\ moisturizing…You can look up the qualities of each oil I am sure somewhere on the net…
    Hint: Castor oil (like 4-5%) adds lather to your soap, but you don’t want too much!)
    If you don’t have enough hard oils, you likely won’t have a hard enough soap (don’t ask me how I know!).
    You can use a lye calculator (google one) and find out how much lye you need.

    Esp. with you experience at soap making, you should be able to make a great moisturizing batch of soap.
    HTH!
    Kim

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  21. Angela
    May 13, 2009 | 6:44 pm

    EEEEK! Sounds complex. Let me rephrase. I know how to get the kits in the craft section and add flavoring/ scents to it. LOL I just might be in over my head on this one. Hmm. I have olive oil, veggie oil, and grape seed oil. Those are all I have. I do not even know where to get lye (other than DollyWood hehe). Me thinks I might have bitten off more than I can chew with this one. Maybe I am better off letting Dove make it for $4 a bottle. I can just see myself making a wonderfully moisturizing bottle of sludge, and insisting my hubby and children bathe in it. I will be sure to let you know when I get the ingredients and try my hand at this experiment. Pray that I do not break the whole household out in a rash from head to toe. Yikes! Thanks Kim E! Say a prayer and wish me luck!!
    –Angela

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  22. Angela
    May 13, 2009 | 6:55 pm

    Oh! On another note though! My laundry soap experiment was a complete success. My clothes are even brighter than with ALL. They smell realllly good. It even got the little boy foot funk out. (and that can be a toughie in this house… their socks walk themselves to the laundry!) Even my whites came pretty clean.. tho they are slightly discolored on the bottoms still (always) from them wearing their socks in the yard. So the moisturizing body wash does work. I used 1/2 a bottle of the Almond scented Dove (cherry almond I think), 1 cup of baking soda, and 1 tbsp of white vinager. I mixed it with the blender, adding water slowly and just poured it in my empty large ALL bottle, filled it with water and shook it up. I use the same measuring cup that came with it, and use a full cap every load (cause I am always doing large loads… I imagine if I did a small load I would cut that down.) So if any of you have kids with sencative skin that can only use a certain body wash… you can use that body wash to make the laundry soap, and it works fine. πŸ™‚
    —Angela

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  23. Sandy Chastain
    May 15, 2009 | 11:23 pm

    I make my own detergent also – and I got the recipe from a dear friend who got it off a tv show on the Discovery channel. It is great. But I must say, I use Fels-Naptha and it is great but my little boy did eat some and he enjoyed it so I have to keep it put away while making detergent – Be careful πŸ™‚
    **I use Fels-Naptha, borax, washing soda and water – it is great – I forgot to wash our swimwear after a ‘late-in-the-year’ swim party and the clothes sat in our beach bag for 6 months. I washed them through twice and the mold, smell and nastiness was gone!! Regular detergent never could have done that!!(no softner either)

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  24. Angela
    May 16, 2009 | 10:36 pm

    Umm… what is Fels-Naptha, and where do you get it?? I have never heard of such a critter. Is it expencive?

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Sandy,
    I may have to experiment with some of your ingredients. I don’t think that my soap would have done as good a job on wet swimsuits! Thanks for joining in the conversation.

    Angela,
    Fels-Naptha is a pure, heavy-duty soap. I have heard rumors that you can find it in grocery stores but I haven’t seen it at Food City where we shop. So ladies, which grocery stores carry Fels-Naptha? I do know that you can order it online.

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

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  25. Angela
    May 18, 2009 | 11:30 am

    Ahh! Okies, kewl. I am going to look for it at Kroger and Walmart next time I go then. I will let you know if I find it. Okies? Blessings gurl!
    –Angela

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  26. Beth
    May 18, 2009 | 7:42 pm

    Hi! New here but I have made the deterent above using Fels Naptha. I have been using Fels Naptha for 10 years as a stain treatment for clothes. I have yet to find anything it will not get out and a bar lasts about a year. It is avail in lot os grocery stores and is found in the laundry aisle usually on the very top row or very bottom. You can go to http://www.dialcorp.com/storelocator/storeloc2.cfm and find a store near you. I have bought it at Raley’s in N. Cali nad Publix on the East Coast and Florida. LOVE it!!

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  27. Nicki
    June 25, 2009 | 10:09 pm

    I’ve been making my own laundry soap for about a year, too! I use the washing soda/borax version. I figured up that we spend $48 per year on laundry soap. I love saying that!

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  28. Cardamoms Pod
    July 8, 2009 | 7:28 am

    I’ve made the Fels Naptha/washing soda/borax version before, too, but wasn’t happy with it because we had hard water at the time, and I had to use SO MUCH! Now we have a water softener, and an HE washer, and reaching the end of the $15 bottle of HE detergent has me thinking of our own soap again. I have nearly a whole bar of Fels Naptha (I’ve found it at Publix and Winn-Dixie here in Florida, or you can order a case of it online) and I always have a big bag of baking soda on hand, so I could do this today. I can get washing soda and Borax, but they are just not at my usual stores.

    There’s a great blog at http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/ with lots of do-it-yourself recipes for everything. Recently I stumbled across her recipe for laundry soap – and at the end of that post is a link for making your own, all-natural, DISHWASHER detergent! πŸ™‚ She also has an article on why she’s chosen to avoid borax. I can get Dr. Bronner’s castile soap through my co-op.

    http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2009/05/homemade-laundry-detergent-charlies-soap-nuts.html

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    Thank you for the comment about the hard water and having to use more. I definitely have hard water and thought it was just me using too much. Now I know I’m not the only one. If I ever have soft water I will have to retrain myself into using a bit less. =0)

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  29. Melanie
    July 16, 2009 | 5:16 pm

    I am not sure if any of you have checked out the Duggar Family Website but they have a recipe requiring bar soap, borax and washing soda that should cost our family of 11 approximately $5 or less for the entire year!!! I just bought the ingredients to make it, haven’t tried it so if any of you have it would be great to know your results! Thanks for the post!

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  30. David Sweeney
    August 8, 2009 | 9:27 am

    Very cool! We tried this today and it works pretty well! We mentioned the recipe on our podcast, the Catholic Family Podcast on SQPN http://sqpn.com/ . Thanks for the cool tip! You have a great website.

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  31. Mara
    August 8, 2009 | 9:38 am

    I’ve been wanting to try this and finally ran out of our huge container of powdered laundry soap. I used Fels-Naptha and washing powder. (Both I found at our local Schnucks!!) It works great and my husband likes it better. I figured is cost me about $3 for a little over 2 gallons. We’ll just see how long this lasts.

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  32. Sarah
    August 17, 2009 | 10:26 pm

    I have a question for Angela. I am very interested in the body wash detergent recipe that you have. Would you be willing to give me the full recipe? I would need measurements especially on the body wash part. I am thinking of using baby wash as my kids have sensitive skin as well. Thanks so much for your ideas and tips. I am inspired to try this and see how it will work with my kids. Thanks.

    [Reply]

  33. Natalie
    August 18, 2009 | 9:29 am

    Ok I made my soap and it is all lumpy. Is that because I didn’t melt the soap long enough? Please help. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Natalie,

    My soap tends to be a little lumpy also. I just stir (or shake if it’s in a lidded container) before each use. I don’t think that it is an issue of not melting the soap long enough.

    [Reply]

  34. Carrie
    August 18, 2009 | 10:52 am

    We have been making our soap for a while now too…I think I will try your recipe, because mine is the recipe with washing soda, so I would like to do something easier…and if it works better, hey, extra bonus…
    Just a couple of comments:
    1) Fels Naptha may be good for stain fighting, but IT STINKS…I could not stand the smell of it…it smells overly perfumed…another tip for those making this for a while…white bars are better…colored bars of soap eventually end up leaving a dingy look to clothes
    2) While it is kind of pricey, I do add Oxy-clean to certain loads…diapers, whites, heavily soiled items, etc
    3) I mix equal parts vinegar and water and add this to my rinse cycle with a few drops essential oil…smells good and I forget actually why this is good for the laundry, so sorry, no help there…I am thinking maybe softener, but I cannot say that with confidence. I do know that white vinegar does set dyes, so if you are worried about new clothes bleeding, some white vinegar in the wash helps that…
    4) and for any cloth diaper users…I have been told that when you wash them, wash them first in cold…so stains don’t set I guess, then in hot for sanitary purposes…I know this sounds like a pain and when your sanitary load is 2 hours long, it can be a pain if you have no more diapers left, but it has helped with staining!
    5) I have a laundry prep day on the first of the month whether I need laundry soap or not and if I do not need more, that is when I grate my bars of soap…it makes soap making day run so much more smoothly and then I have a better attitude…sorry, the grating of the soap is not my favorite part!
    6) One of my nerdy friends figured out that the recipe calling for borax and waashing soda made in a 5 gallon pail costs about 1 cent per load…using 1 cup of soap per load…I have one of those HE machines, so I use 1/2 a cup per load…and it costs me 1/2 cent per load…the dry version I made did not last anywhere near as long as the liquid.
    so just my rambly two cents…
    C~

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  35. Angela
    August 21, 2009 | 10:21 pm

    I was making my soap today. My son has sencative skin, so I just simply use his body wash, bakingsoda, then fill with water, shake and you are done. It works great! Way better than ALL at getting out the stains, and it smells good. Not to mention it is a fraction of the cost.
    Well… today I am at DRS (a discounted retail store..) getting some baking soda ($1.25 for a 4lb box) they have Oxyclean on sale. I have used it before, so thought I would grab a tub. Not thinking… I descide to just save a step and go ahead and mix the oxyclean in with my other ingredients. Let me tell you … if you are making a volcano.. AWESOME idea.. if not… well.. you will be anyhow.. LOL I think that thing continued a slow spew for a good few hours. I did a huge load in the bath tub, just to not waste alllll the spillage. Then left it on a towel, with the lid off, so that it could continue it’s slow and steady volcanic flow. Sigh.
    So… moral here… if you are going to use oxyclean with the bakingsoda and bathsoap, kewl. Just do not mix it all together in one bottle. It explodes… trust me on this one. Ohh but on the up side… the clothes (from the bathtub cycle) where MEGA clean, and it even got out some stains that I had been fighting for some time. πŸ˜€

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  36. Angela
    August 21, 2009 | 10:33 pm

    Sara,
    Sorry it took me so long to get to you. I use 1/2-3/4 of a bottle of whichever moisturizing bath soap is on sale, as long as it has shea butter in it. Today it was a raspberry and shea butter offbrand. I use 1 1/2-2 cups of baking soda, fill with water and shake. I generally use clean (one gallon) milk jugs, and just write LAUNDRY SOAP on it with a black marker. (Just in case.) If you have real hard stains, oxyclean makes a “free” that is free of scents and dyes, and has never bothered Joey’s skin. Just do not make my mistake and try to “pre-add” it to your mix. Wait til the washer. (giggles) We live and we learn I guess. Hope that helps! Blessings!
    –A

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  37. Amanda
    September 4, 2009 | 12:14 pm

    I have been wanting to try this for a long time. I haven’t found fels-naptha or washing soda anywhere I shop. I have used borax and oxi-clean for years. Oxi-clean can’t be mixed with a few things. (lol) We’ve also experienced with it! I bought baking soda and borax yesterday on our weekly shopping and I’m very excited to try this. I have a cpl. questions and now I’m undecided about the soap I have right now.

    Do you have a certain soap pot ?
    Has anyone tried in Aveeno soap?

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Amanda,

    I don’t have a certain soap pot, I just use my midsized saucepan.

    [Reply]

  38. Abbie
    September 10, 2009 | 2:37 pm

    Well I make my own soap also. I use fels Naptha, borax and washing soda. Our Fred Meyer carries all three. I use mine in a front loading HE machine and it works great. I also have a daughter wich eczema and it doesn’t bother her at all.

    [Reply]

  39. Tamara
    September 10, 2009 | 4:41 pm

    I use the recipe with washing soda and borax. What is the difference with using the washing soda and regular baking soda. I’ve been making soap for about 8 months now and find it to be every bit as good as store bought and in some cases better. I also use it as a laundry pretreater.

    [Reply]

  40. Heather
    September 12, 2009 | 2:03 pm

    I am sooo super excited to try this!!! WooHoo! Praise the LORD I found your site!

    [Reply]

  41. Donna
    September 22, 2009 | 12:35 pm

    I came upon your website from another site and LOVE it. We’re also a Christian, homeschooling family with 5 kids. I love all your tips, and look foward to reading more. I made the detergent, a double batch actually. The soap is very watery, with a bunch of gloppy soap on top that kinda makes a surface (it’s easily broken with a spoon). Is this normal? I assumed it might thicken up after a while, but it’s not.
    Thank you,
    Donna

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Donna – My first batch turned out like you described, I just stirred it before each use and it worked fine, but ever since that I’ve ended up with a nice gel. I think it may be that I didn’t melt the soap enough.

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  42. Suzanne
    September 25, 2009 | 9:52 pm

    Thank you ladies for all the great ideas. I am a homeschooling mom of 5 as well. I never even considered making my own soap due to mine and my children’s sensitive skin. That, and I didn’t imagine it only took 4 readily available ingredients. I will have to try this!
    Thanks!
    Suzanne

    [Reply]

  43. Michelle
    October 2, 2009 | 1:06 pm

    Kimberly~
    We absolutely LOVE this laundry soap recipe! My whites have never been so clean and it is pennies on the dollar. One question though, how much do you use when washing cloth diapers? I know I’m only supposed to use a small amount of commercial detergent when washing diapers, how about the homemade stuff? We live on a farm (read lots of dirt) and have VERY hard water so using a full cup of the homemade detergent seems to work for us on regular loads.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Michelle – I’m glad that this is working well for you. We’ve also been quite pleased! I don’t use the homemade soap on our cloth diapers. I purchase Tide and just use it on our diapers. I think that using soap can cause problems with your diapers, but it also may just depend on the type of cloth diapers that you use. You may want to ask the question in my forum so that more readers will see it. I know that we have a lot of cloth diaper-ers out there.

    [Reply]

  44. Brandie
    October 2, 2009 | 9:55 pm

    I am so excited about trying this! My only concern (as foolish as it sounds) is that my clothes won’t smell as “fresh” as they would with Tide. Does the smell from the bar of soap make them smell good? I do plan to try it though. Do any of you use vinegar for fabric softener? Some people have mentioned that you can use essential oils for fragrance. Any thoughts on that?

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Brandie – Your concern is valid. Our clothes don’t have that delicious Tide scent that they do when we washed them in tide. They don’t smell bad, just don’t have any scent. It’s kinda sad.

    I don’t use vinegar or essential oils, so am not sure about those.

    Christina – Thanks for your input about cloth diapers. As I mentioned we just wash our in Tide, so see Brandie, you don’t have to completely give up that nice Tide smell.

    [Reply]

    Brandie Reply:

    I made my soap today! πŸ™‚ I used the same recipe you posted here with oil of olay soap. I still used my downey and dryer sheet and they came out smelling fresh. I have hard well water so even with tide you don’t smell it as much as you would with city water. I still have half of a 150oz bottle of tide left but am planning to completely switch to the homemade stuff once it is gone. Thank you for all of you tips! πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    I hope that you like it!

    [Reply]

  45. christina Yeager
    October 3, 2009 | 2:20 am

    We’ve been making our own laundry soap and dishwashing det. for almost a year and LOVE it.
    We started out with liquid and then switched over to powdered. The liqiid was making our cloth diapers stink really bad:( We use Fels Naptha or Castel bar soap. I have not seen any or experenced any problems with our cloth diapers and our laundry soap.
    We use Baking Soda, Borax, washing soda and 1 bar of grated soap. As a rinse agent, we use White Vineager.
    If it helps anyone out, when we wash the cloth diapers, we pre-rinse with a small amout of Baking Soda or Borax(which ever is closest at the time)and vineager then a HOT wash followed by a cold rinse. We then rinse until ALL the soap residue is removed.Usually after 2 rinses unless Dawn Dish Soap is used to strip the diapers.We mainly use the “pocket style” diapers and a few prefolds.

    [Reply]

  46. Carrie
    October 3, 2009 | 12:41 pm

    I do not like the Fels, so we use other soaps…I think Fels has a stinky perfumey smell…It has been recommended to use white soaps though, otherwise, over time your clothes can be dingy…I do not know if this is true or not…just what I have heard…

    We use White vinegar in our rinse…a 50% vinegar/50% water…blend and fill the rinse cup with that…then I add about 20 drops or so of essential oils into the vinegar…I use a mix of lavendar and orange oils…I like that alot…leaves a little scent on our clothes, which is nice…another alternative is to use dryer sheets…I found a natural one I like…Meyers Clean Day…Geranium scent..and I cut these to about 1/6 the size…and that works fine too…I know I heard, but cannot remember…dryer sheets can be cut REALLY SMALL AND STILL DO THEIR JOB…I started cutting them YEARS ago because my husband liked the smell and softness, etc, but was allergic to something in them…if they are small, he does not react…now I am not using them at all…

    as for diapers, I have started washing them in a cold cycle first ( I guess that helps get staining out) and then a very hot cycle….i use OxyClean when I have it, but I am out now and cannot afford it, so I think I will add some extra borax and add vinegar to my soap cycle….

    [Reply]

  47. Charlotte
    October 3, 2009 | 1:04 pm

    Why not making your own soap, then you can get no fragrance og whatever fragrance you want. It’s better for your skin too. Making soap is easy, if you can make custard, you can make soap.
    Love to hear from you all. Mother of six and long-time soaper

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Carrie – Thanks for your input, I’m still fairly new at this whole thing and haven’t experimented much. My husband would like for me to add a scent because he really misses that nice Tide smell.

    Charlotte – Would you mind sharing some links for good instructions to get started with soap making? My husband loves homemade soap and I love the idea of knowing what is going into it. I’m currently reviewing some homemade soaps and they are delightful, but I know the children would enjoy learning how to do it themselves.

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  48. Donna
    October 13, 2009 | 10:23 am

    I’ve made one batch of your laundry detergent, and it’s working fine. We’ve ordered a new washer/dryer and they are the HE type. Can I still use the homemade detergent!?! Please tell me I can!
    Donna πŸ™‚
    http://www.handsful.com

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Donna – I don’t have an HE so am not positive, but I’ve read that homemade soap can still be used in that type of washer.

    [Reply]

  49. Kim E
    October 14, 2009 | 11:05 am

    I have used this (and similar recipes)in my HE machine. These homemade versions do not create a lot of suds,therefore making them perfect for HE machines. πŸ™‚
    Kim
    still waiting on number 9!

    [Reply]

  50. Charlotte
    October 14, 2009 | 4:50 pm

    My favourite soaping links are those three in English

    Happy soaping

    Charlotte

    http://www.thesage.com/index.html
    http://www.millersoap.com/
    http://www.snowdriftfarm.com/soapsafely.html

    [Reply]

  51. April E.
    October 17, 2009 | 4:54 pm

    What disappointed you about your attempts to make laundry soap the first time? Is this recipe really that much better, or are you being less picky now? LOL!! I’m only asking because I’m trying to decide whether to use your recipe or the other one we used to use. πŸ™‚

    I just attempted to make it with your recipe. I’m waiting to see if it gels up. So far it isn’t and I used Dial like your picture shows. I can still use it as a watery liquid, but I wish it would cool and gel. I’m wondering if it’s because I didn’t include borax … or used too much water when I melted the soap? Not sure what I did wrong.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Great question April. This recipe is better. The last one was a powder and left our clothes noticeably dingy and didn’t remove the smells, *yuck* I only washed one load with it and needed to rewash that with regular detergent. The main reason that I like this particular recipe is that I always have all of the ingredients on hand and I know that baking soda is safe. I’ve read some things that bring the safety of Borax and/or washing soda into question, so I like that this has baking soda as an alternative. If you have a recipe that you like, go with that one. πŸ™‚

    My laundry soap ends up the consistency of liquid hand soap or liquid Tide. It certainly isn’t as solid as the VSS laundry soap, but it has more a more gel-like texture than water. I would assume that you could use less water and the same amount of other ingredients if you wanted it thicker. If you experiment and find something you like better let me know.

    [Reply]

    Rebecca Christians Reply:

    I LOVE this recipe and use it exclusively now! It’s so inexpensive, easy and so far, works really well. I make 5 gallons at a time and it lasts and lasts! Far longer than the million dollar store bought stuff. Thanks for sharing this!

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this recipe. I’m glad that you like it. πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Foster Mamalion Reply:

    Oooh, I am now curious as to the Questions about Borax and Washing Soda. That is what I use, but I certainly want to be educated. I have used both powder and liquid. I am trying your recipe because of the simplicity of it and the questions of the other products. I am flexible and love to learn! Thanks for sharing. I make household cleaners, but am not happy with my all purpose one so I would love to hear about yours and if you are happy!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’m not going to be much help on this. I read somewhere, sometime ago an article that brought up some questions about the safety of Borax. I don’t remember when and where and I don’t even remember the specific concerns. Sorry.

    I use a mix of homemade and store bought household cleaners. We use a white vinegar and water mix for all sanitizing and for daily kitchen and bathroom cleaning, but for deeper weekly cleaning I use store bought products.

    [Reply]

    Susan Reply:

    i must challenge you a little bit how is vinegar different from any other household cleaner when it comes to safety? We’ve been using it to do millions of house hold things over the years but it is still a strong acid like store bought cleaners. Vinegar can do damage to clothes, skin, eyes and lungs if it’s not treated with respect as well as diluted significantly.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Vinegar has been used for centuries for culinary and medicinal purposes, both topically and internally. I’m sure that vinegar can cause some irritation in certain circumstances, but simply coming into contact (or even ingesting) a 10:1 water to vinegar solution that we use in our cleaning has caused no such problems for us.

    I can not say that for typical store bought disinfectants. If my child ingested one of those cleaners, I would call poison control immediately.

  52. Jenn
    October 20, 2009 | 12:43 pm

    Thanks for the recipe — I’ve tried and was disappointed with a homemade laundry detergent recipe too. I’ll have to give this one a try! = )

    [Reply]

  53. michelle
    October 21, 2009 | 1:35 am

    So excited to try this!

    We are a family of seven living in Jinja, Uganda. We moved here 8 months ago after trying four years to bring a Ugandan orphan into our family. The courts continued to give us problems as did the US embassy and so with no other way to bring Sterling into our family we moved here and brought our family to him.

    The laundry detergent is SO expensive here. I have been searching for a home made laundry detergent but all included items that are not available to me here. I have all the things I need for this recipe!

    Love from across the ocean,

    michelle

    [Reply]

  54. pam p
    October 27, 2009 | 10:35 pm

    I have been making my own laundry soap for several months and i love it. but my question is why do u use baking soda instead of washing soda. we have also been making dishwasher soap for about a month and it is going wonderful. we also made hand soap that everyone loves. i say we because every time i come up with trying something new my husband jumps right in and helps.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    I’ve not seen any difference with using baking soda as opposed to washing soda and I always have baking soda on hand since I use it for lots of cleaning tasks. So it really boils down to the fact that it is one less thing that I have to purchase.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    The search feature on your blog is great! The soap is grated, but I wanted to review the how-to. Thanks for the step-by-step instructions. I’m making the whole batch for the first time, last time was the sample pack from VSS.

    [Reply]

    Jenny B Reply:

    PAM P
    What is your recipe for diswasher soap and hand soap I would love to try them too. Thanks

    [Reply]

    pam p Reply:

    for dishwasher i use
    1 cup washing soda, 1 cup borax, a dash of salt (if u have hard water) and 4 packages of unsweetened lemonade. i will not use the lemonade next time to see how it works. because that adds to the cost. i use 2 TBSP per load. i also use vinegar in the rinse cycle.
    I forgot the recipe for handsoap on my blog but will post it later.

    [Reply]

    Susan Reply:

    Instead of lemonade use lemon peel or lemon oil.

    [Reply]

  55. Kelly
    October 31, 2009 | 6:30 pm

    Hi I’m really looking forward to trying these out. There has just GOT to a better way to live. This economy is so bad, but for me – I’ve decided to see it as a golden opportunity to get back to basics and simplify my life. These soap recipes are going to be the start. Thank you! I found you by following you on Twitter (not sure how I did that – you just appeared!). God Bless and thank you!
    * Custombooks

    [Reply]

  56. Jill
    November 21, 2009 | 12:18 am

    I am SO gonna try this! πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  57. Danielle
    November 21, 2009 | 12:36 pm

    I’m a young wife dabbling in Eco-friendly household cleaning products and came across your recipe. i love that it’s very simplistic and doesn’t require me to go to a specialty store to purchase ingredients. i was wondering if i use scented soap (to make the clothes smell fresher) would they still be as clean? or do you recommend using unscented? if so, is there anything i can add to the recipe to give a nice fragrance? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I don’t really notice a difference between using scented or unscented soap. If you’d like a nice scent you can try adding a few drops of essential oil after you’ve mixed everything up.

    [Reply]

  58. Savanna
    November 22, 2009 | 8:09 pm

    If you are out of Oxiclean, I found a good recipe for some CHEAP homemade (it even takes oilfield grime out of hubby’s socks!)

    1/2 c. hydrogen peroxide
    1/2 c. baking soda
    1 c. hot water
    Mix together and apply to stains, or add to machine and wash as usual.

    Also, I have a fabric softener recipe that I’m going to try. I don’t have any essential oils, so that will have to wait until next batch, but I’m making a batch tonight.

    2 c. white vinegar
    2 c. baking soda
    (The baking soda and vinegar will fizz) Pour into a plastic bottle, label as Fabric Softener, carefully shake to mix before use. Use 1/4 c. in last rinse cycle of washer.

    [Reply]

    Savanna Reply:

    Note: Don’t mix the oxiclean until right before you use it.

    ALSO: Do NOT mix the fabric softener in the plastic bottle (or at least wait until all the bubbles are gone and it is the consistency of 1% milk to put the lid on) or it will explode. This formula would also be great for science fair volcanos. Haha! πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks for the warning! πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Susan Reply:

    The fizzing you see when adding vinegar and baking soda together is the same reaction that is used for a child’s volcano. After the chemical reaction you end up with three worthless by-products for cleaning

    1. Salt (sodium acetate)
    2. Water
    3. Carbon dioxide

    This reaction is doing nothing for you then waste money. Instead just add 1/2 to 1 cup vinegar straight to your washer during the rinse cycle.

    [Reply]

  59. Hannah
    November 24, 2009 | 7:59 am

    I’ll have to mention this to my mom. We’ve been wanting to try and make our own, but we heard that the washing soda, Borax, Fels-Naptha, and water recipe wasn’t good on whites.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hope this works well for you all.

    [Reply]

    Anne Steele Reply:

    We’ve been using the borax, washing soda, fels naptha recipe for about 6 months and it seems okay on our whites – but we don’t usually have a bunch of grime (as we are older with no small children to get dirty!) We DO have dogs and keep old quilts on the furniture to protect it and found that we sometimes need to add more of the soap, or make sure we don’t do a really full load (just the one blanket by itself) to get the doggy grime out. I, too, use essential oil for fragrance – I like lemongrass. Smells so clean!

    [Reply]

  60. Yuliya
    December 4, 2009 | 5:09 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful tip on homemade laundry soap, I have been using it for 3 months now and like it. Today I made another batch and for stirring my husband suggested using his cordless drill with a mixer attachment it was extremely fast and my soap was well mixed. It worked very well in a five gallon bucket. The mixer attachment is less than $10 at Home Depot. Requires a little muscle to operate.
    Blessings on you and you household.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    What a great tip. I’m glad that you like the laundry soap.

    I am praying daily for you and your family.

    [Reply]

  61. Dawn
    December 24, 2009 | 5:10 pm

    I made this laundry soap recipe two days ago and WOW! I absolutely love it!! It works wonderfully and I don’t know that I will ever buy laundry soap again! Thank you so much for posting this – I look forward to trying the rest of the recipes and activities you have on here.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’m so glad you like this. I made my last batch with Ivory soap and am not sure if I didn’t melt the soap enough or if it’s the Ivory itself, but we were less than pleased with it’s washing ability and it left some white soap residue on our clothes. Everything else that we’ve used has worked wonderfully for us.

    [Reply]

  62. Tim
    December 26, 2009 | 5:08 pm

    Hi Kimberly,

    Just made our second batch today and we love it. The only difference is that I use 1 cup borax and 1 cup baking soda. I don’t know if it makes much difference since I haven’t tried it with only baking soda, but it has worked great so far.

    Tim

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’ve heard borax is good on stains. Which is great for BOYS! I need to make some more today. We’ve had a stomach bug and have been doing lots of laundry.

    [Reply]

  63. Jill
    January 8, 2010 | 10:20 am

    Help Kimberly! I must have done something wrong because when I went to use the soap this morning (after making it yesterday) all the soap had separated from the water and risen to the top to form a skin about an inch thick! I stirred it up but it just broke into large chunks. Any thoughts?

    [Reply]

    Jill Reply:

    BTW, I used Dial soap, a white bar that looked exactly like the one you used. It’s called Dial White, antibacterial, deoderant soap.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Our current batch is acting like that. I’m not sure if it’s the cold weather or if we didn’t stir it up enough as it was cooling. Most of the time it’s gel-like, but not this time.

    It still works all right. I’m just stirring it up before each use.

    [Reply]

  64. Jenn
    January 18, 2010 | 5:46 pm

    I am almost out of my Charlie’s bucket and am thinking of trying this recipe. I am wondering how it did on your diapers? I only question the bar of soap as I am wondering if it will leave residue (soap scum) on my diapers that will cause build-up stink over time. Have you noticed that being a problem? The new Dove commercials out say it doesn’t leave any residue so maybe that would work? I switched to Charlie’s specifically for my cloth diapers b/c it cleans SO well and doesn’t leave any residue. I would love to find something cheaper that works just as well.

    [Reply]

    Diana Reply:

    I am also curious about this….I have been using the 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup borax , 1 bar fels naptha recipe for about a year, and am fairly pleased with it. I also use it on my cloth diapers, and have to regularly sun them or they eventually stink. I don’t think it is a build up issue though. Just general info…I remember reading somewhere that when making soap using a ‘true soap’ such as Ivory or Pure and Natural will give better results because of it’s formula, rather than a more modern blend with moisturizers etc. which may not do as good when needing to cut grease. Don’t remember where I came across that, but I stick with Fels Naptha, or Ivory, and have been pleased.

    [Reply]

    Jenn Reply:

    I bet that is true for clothing and such but cloth diapering manufacturers actually say true soap should not be used to launder cloth diapers because of the residue it leaves. They recommend using only detergents. That is why I questioned the homemade stuff. Looks like I will have to stick with my Charlies’s Soap (although it is not really a soap -it was just named before the difference was a big deal) while I am in the diaper years.

    [Reply]

    Michelle Reply:

    While I absolutely LOVE this laundry detergent for my everyday washing, I found that it did not do a very good job at either cloth diapers or farm chore clothes–both kinds of clothes ended up smelling very bad using the homemade soap. In the interest of fairness, we have really, really hard water. Someone with softer water might get different results; but for our family, I use the homemade soap on our regular clothes and save the store-bought soap for my diaper and work clothes loads.

    [Reply]

    Jenn Reply:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences! DO you have experience with what I asked Kimberly below?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I don’t use this soap on diapers. I’ve read that it will leave a build up. πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Jenn Reply:

    Thanks! Have you noticed build up in your washer (from using homemade on your clothes) causing a problem for your diapers even though you use a different detergent on them? This is something Charlie’s warns against(using different detergents for different things) so I wonder if anyone has experienced it?

    [Reply]

    Michelle Reply:

    I’ve never had a problem with any kind of buildup in my washer. Using the two different kinds of soap works just fine for me.

    [Reply]

  65. valerie
    January 22, 2010 | 6:37 pm

    just a quick question……does your laundry bucket have a firm, air tight lid,or a loose fitting one?

    [Reply]

  66. Amys blah, blah, blogging
    February 8, 2010 | 10:59 pm

    Going to have to give that a whirl!

    [Reply]

  67. Yvonne
    February 17, 2010 | 1:27 pm

    I used caress bath bar it smells GREAT.
    Also I have found that if you use the small side of the grater It all melts.
    This time I bought a bar of felsNaptha gonna give it a try
    LOVE This Recipe

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I love it when I find a nice scent. So glad that you like the recipe as much as we do.

    Let me know how the Fels Naptha works. I’ve heard it’s better on stains, if you find that to be true I may have to give it a try.

    [Reply]

    Yvonne Reply:

    so wierd My batch with felsNaptha acted just like
    Jills from 1/8 all floated to the top must be the cold?

    [Reply]

  68. Cheryl
    February 19, 2010 | 11:33 am

    I am very interested in trying this due to trying to cut costs where ever I can. I am curious though, where can essential oil be purchased and since it’s oil, won’t it leave an oily residue or spots on the clothes? On a side note, Fels-naptha soap is very diffucult to find where I live but I do have a bar that I purchased years ago and I use it if I’ve come in contact with poison ivy. Just lather it up and apply to affected area and let dry. The poison ivy will be dried up in no time. Thanks for your great recipes and for helping me stay within my budget.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Cheryl,

    I don’t use essential oils in our laundry soap, but have friends that do and they say it works fine, no spots on clothes etc.

    I think that some health food stores carry essential oils. I would check on-line and maybe call around to some of your local shops.

    Thanks for the tip about the Fels-naptha. We have poison ivy all through the woods in the back yard, so that will be helpful when warm weather rolls around again.

    [Reply]

  69. Debbie
    February 27, 2010 | 3:42 pm

    I LOVE baking soda, and am going to try this recipe today – I’m due to make a new batch of detergent!!! I’ll stick to my Fels Naptha soap with the baking soda –

    Sidenote: I LOVE homemade detergent. I’ve been using the borax, washing soda, soap & water recipe. I did find that using the Fels Naptha did a better job with stains and overall cleaning than the “Ivory” type bar from my first batch. I also found that I had to use my hand blender in the bucket after stirring all of the ingredients together – this really made the gel smoother and easier to measure over a long period of time.

    [Reply]

  70. Rachel
    March 3, 2010 | 11:22 am

    Love this recipe! Thanks I was looking for one that used baking soda instead of washing soda! I’ll have to try this next time.

    P.S. anyone try mixing washing soda with baking soda?

    [Reply]

  71. Melissa
    March 7, 2010 | 10:33 am

    The last time I made laundry soap, I tried a recipe for the powder. It did turn my white uniform shirts very dingy. I am going back to making the liquid one again. I can’t find the fels napth soap, but use a Sunlight bar. I also use a vinegar and water rinse and it seems to stop the build up in the machine. I just put half vinegar and half water into the rinse holder in my machine.

    [Reply]

  72. […] bars – tortillas (recipe at the bottom of this post) hamburgerΒ  and/or hot dog buns –Β  Laundry soap – While this isn’t food, it does get cooked. […]

  73. Britt
    April 29, 2010 | 3:22 pm

    I am new to cloth diapering and am wondering what you use to wash your cloth diapers with. Do you use Charlie’s Soap for them or another detergent?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Don’t use Charlie’s Soap for cloth diapers. We did for a while, but then baby got a HORRIBLE rash. After some online research I found out that CS can react with urine and BURN baby’s skin.

    I actually use store bought Tide to wash diapers. There are others that will work, but that is what we use.

    [Reply]

    Jenn Reply:

    Very interesting, we were using store bought detergent for our cloth diapers (purex) and my kids had horrible rashes after a few months of it leaving residue is my guess. I kept having to switch to disposables to clear it up and then it would come right back when I put cloth on them again. I couldn’t get rid of the rash until… we started using Charlie’s Soap to wash my diapers and clothes! We’ve been using it now for 1.5yrs and are rash & stink free! Yay!
    I think it has more to do with what kind of water you have as to which kind of detergent is best. Different “kinds” of water will make different detergents work, well, differently. πŸ™‚ I also think babies urine changes as well, my younger babes can tolerate more in the cloth diaper realm than my toddlers.
    I’ve been wanting to try homemade detergent for a while but after having such a bad reaction with other detergents and seeing such a huge switch with Charlie’s I’m afraid…

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks for the input Jenn. You’re probably right about the water and the urine. The interesting thing about the CS was that it worked fine for a long time (more than a year) and then all of a sudden…. That is why I didn’t suspect it. I wonder if something else changed.

    Anyway, it wasn’t until I was doing the research that I saw that others had the same problem. I would certainly stick with what is working, don’t mess with a good thing.

    [Reply]

  74. Britt
    April 29, 2010 | 3:44 pm

    Thank you for responding so quickly. I have been so overwhelmed with choosing a laundry detergent. Do you use just normal Tide or Tide free?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We use the normal Tide. The Tide Free may be a better option, but old habits die hard. πŸ˜‰

    [Reply]

  75. Kelly
    April 29, 2010 | 4:49 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try the powder homemade laundry soap. the liquid will make way to much for me, i’m single so i do not need that much. All the other sites seem to have good things to say about the powder. it’s the soap, borax and washing soada. with laundry soap being so exensive I wanted a cheaper way. if it doesn’t work well i guess i’ll still use Purex and just use much less. I just read an article on planet green that we use way to much laundry soap.

    [Reply]

  76. Barbara
    May 4, 2010 | 10:09 am

    Thank fo putting this reciepe on here. I made this and it did’t take much time to make it. It got baby food out of my daughter’s bib. I am dune buying over price laurndy soap.

    [Reply]

  77. Lynnet Hardwick
    May 4, 2010 | 3:33 pm

    We’ve been making our laundry detergent for almost 2 years now and love it. I make the powder because we don’t have a ton of room for the liquid, but it takes just a 1/8 c. for us per load! I like to keep track of how often I make it and write the date on the side of the tub after each new batch. We do use Fels and I also make some using Ivory for delicates. Another money saver is to use white distilled vinegar for our fabric softener. Great tutorial!

    [Reply]

  78. HOPE
    June 1, 2010 | 7:28 pm

    i’m so pleased to have found this wonderful site and im excited to make my very first batch this week. thanxs so much and bless u all

    [Reply]

  79. zeemaid
    July 27, 2010 | 10:15 pm

    I never thought of making my own laundry soap. We were recently going to switch to soap nuts because it’s more green but I’m thinking this would be more economical.

    [Reply]

  80. Tiffany
    August 17, 2010 | 11:20 am

    This may be a really stupid question, and the whole HE thing is probably another gimmick to get people to spend more, but does this homemade soap work in HE washers??? Thanks! πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Tiffany – see previous comments on this post for info on using this in HE washers.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I have the same question but don’t see any previous comments that discusses HE washers. Has anyone used this recipe with their HE washer?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Laura,

    You’ll have to visit the first page of comments. Here is a link.

    I don’t have any personal experience with HE washers, but several of the other commentors said that it works fine.

    [Reply]

    peaches Reply:

    check out tipnut’s list. there are comments on there about it

    [Reply]

  81. MaryAnn
    August 28, 2010 | 11:49 am

    Love, Love, Love your site & this recipe! I’m gonna try it tonight!
    You got me inspired & I started thinking about homemade liquid dishwasher detergent. In my research I found they oftern recommend citric acid & I seen in your stain post about Dawn that someone used lemon juice & I started wondering. If you put citric acid in the laundry detergent would it work as a color safe bleach? I always bought the tide with color safe bleach.
    Also learned that kool aid lemonade packets is basicly pure citric acis & can be substituded as it is usually alot cheeper. Sometimes 10 for a $1 at the dollar store.
    What do you think?
    Also, do you or anyone have a good homemade liquid dishwashing detergent recipe? Best I found was 1/2 tsp citric acid, 1 tsp castile soap, 1 drop essential oil (tea tree is antiseptic/disinfectant)per load. They said it came out to $0.09 per load but not so sure, citric acid is high here. Even using the kool-aid not so sure its cheaper than the finish I use. My dishwasher isn’t great so I have to use liquid. Also, I have been told white vinagar works just as well as jet dry.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi MaryAnn. I’m not going to be able to answer your questions, I simply don’t know, but if you find out I’d love to know if I can use citric acid as a color safe bleach. That would be GREAT.

    I haven’t found a dish washing recipe that I’m happy with, yet.

    [Reply]

  82. Melanie:::Adorkable
    September 9, 2010 | 10:18 am

    I’m so excited about this!! I’m such a frugal shopper and this is easy and right up my alley!

    [Reply]

  83. Mary Ann Winkler
    September 9, 2010 | 12:12 pm

    I have been uing this for a week or two & it cleans great but it is fading out my clothes. Has anyone else experenced this? I may be using to much but it doesn’t suds up so I add extra cause I’m not sure if its enough. I do medium to large loads & use about 1 1/4 cup.
    I would love any advice about the fading clothes too.

    [Reply]

    peaches Reply:

    These receipes are not supposed to make alot of suds. The suds are fluff(extra money, just for looks), that’s what my boyfriend calls stuff like that. lol. You are probably using to much.

    [Reply]

  84. Elizabeth
    September 9, 2010 | 12:35 pm

    About how many loads does this do?

    [Reply]

  85. Resourcefulness « My Big Green House
    October 5, 2010 | 11:38 am

    […] Kim’s recipe link:Β  http://raisingolives.com/2009/03/homemade-laundry-soap/   Leave a […]

  86. […] first one is from Raising Olives […]

  87. Tricia @Hodgepodge
    January 11, 2011 | 2:47 pm

    We made it today and it turned out great! I’d made it back in July with another recipe. It made about twice this and lasted until now! I love how simple your recipe is – with ingredients I have on hand and the Fels Naptha I found on the top shelf of my Kroger! Thank you.

    [Reply]

  88. Tina
    February 8, 2011 | 3:55 pm

    I love using natural cleaning products and this sounds great I am going to make some and give it a try. Another tip you may like is that instead of using harsh chemicals like bleach I add about 1-2 tbs of peroxide to the bleach dispenser. Works great for whites and colors! Also instead of fabric softner use white vinegar. It’s cheap and works great. I have noticed since I started using the peroxide in the bleach compartment my clothes are super soft!! Never again will I buy or use toxic bleach in my home!

    [Reply]

  89. Olivia
    February 19, 2011 | 1:20 am

    Has anyone used the recipe for an HE washer?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    See my response to Tara below.

    [Reply]

  90. Tara
    March 12, 2011 | 8:35 pm

    My question is the same as Olivia’s! I have a HE front loader and am wary of using this unless it’s been tested πŸ™‚ I use the soda/borax combo in the dishwasher and LOVE it.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Tara,

    I don’t have an HE washer, but if you scroll through the comments on this post, you’ll get info from many who have. πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  91. Nikki
    May 8, 2011 | 2:48 am

    Kimberly,

    I tried to read through all these comments to see if someone else addressed my questions, but phew, my eyes are tired! lol

    Do you have a top-loader or a front-loader washer? Is there a difference in the amount to use?

    Also, have you figured out how much it comes out to per load?

    [Reply]

    Nikki Reply:

    Oh my. lol I just read the comment above mine about the HE washer. haha! So ignore that question. πŸ˜›

    [Reply]

  92. Raven
    May 29, 2011 | 2:33 am

    I love this recipe I had worries about the typical borax and washing soda recipe so I am beyond thrilled to try this. I was wondering if anyone had used zote laundry bar soap?

    [Reply]

  93. jeng
    December 19, 2011 | 12:41 am

    i have question. how many cups of water did you put in the pan with grated soap. beside of a 2 gallon of water. thank you for this laundry soap recipe. i will try this one.

    how can i follow you at facebook for more homemade recipe? i dont have twitter.

    [Reply]

  94. mc
    January 27, 2012 | 9:47 pm

    Does this recipe work for “He” washers? Sorry if this is a repeat question, but I tried to look through the questions and didn’t see it. Thank you! mc:)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I don’t have an HE washer, but other commentors on this post have said that it works fine.

    [Reply]

  95. Sally K.
    January 31, 2012 | 11:37 pm

    I just made my first batch using the same bar soap shown in the pictures. I’m totally excited but the more I get into this type of ‘stuff’ I’m wondering…I buy handmade all natural/herbal soaps online. I love their scent and lack of processed chemicals. They contain olive, palm, coconut and castor oils as well as beeswax, grapefruit seed extract, essential oils and herbs and sometimes raw oatmeal. Does anyone have experience using a bar of this soap for this recipe? I would like to go all natural as well as budget/earth friendly and this would be the ideal way to do it. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    mc Reply:

    I am interested to know this as well:)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’m not positive on this, but my assumption would be that natural soaps would work fine. Perhaps you can ask the soap maker or do some research on Google.

    We use mostly all natural home-made soaps, but haven’t switched to those for laundry soap yet. We hope to begin making our own soap and then using that for laundry as well.

    Let us know what you find out.

    [Reply]

  96. A States
    February 7, 2012 | 5:05 pm

    Has anyone had problems with your dark clothes fading when using homemade laundry soap? My kids uniforms include dark colors, so I’m curious. Currently I use generic/store brand baby shampoo for cold water wash when doing their uniforms. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I haven’t had any trouble with dark clothes fading.

    [Reply]

  97. Amy Miller
    February 28, 2012 | 9:27 pm

    I just saw your laundry soap recipe. You commented about the soap getting lumpy. I have a suggestion: you can buy a paint stirrer that attaches to your power drill (we got ours at our local hardware store for around $10). It works great! (I make laundry soap in a 5 gal. pail.)

    [Reply]

  98. Preston Bartlett
    May 22, 2012 | 11:11 am

    What kind of Dial soap are you using in the pictures?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’m not certain, but most regular soap should work.

    [Reply]

  99. Krystal D
    August 11, 2012 | 4:27 am

    I just went and bought the soap and baking soda and am going to be making the laundry soap tomorrow… Wish me luck… I am really hoping that this works and I can stop buying overpriced laundry soap…. one question though… do you have hard or soft water? We have really soft water and so am wondering if mine might come out differently than yours based on the water….

    [Reply]

  100. Krystal D
    August 11, 2012 | 7:10 pm

    It looks the same as yours from the top but once you stir the gloopy stuff on the top then it is just waterish… Is it normal to be just watery once I stir the gloop on top back into it?….

    [Reply]

  101. Kellie
    August 30, 2012 | 12:17 am

    if you put your bar of soap in a microwave safe bowel you can microwave it 30 seconds at a time till the whole thing swells like a marshmallow. Take it out allow it to cool and then you can easily just crumble it with your fingers or pop it in you blender/food processor.

    [Reply]

    Angela Reply:

    thanks Kellie! This was an awesome idea and worked wonderfully!

    [Reply]

  102. blessedmamagill
    November 2, 2012 | 9:21 pm

    Hi!:) does this work for HE washers?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I don’t have an HE washer, but I’ve seen several comments where people have said that it does.

    [Reply]

    Stacy Child Reply:

    I have been making my own for over a year now and use it in my HE washer all the time. I was actually told by a service repair man that homemade is a lot better for washer’s these days because it’s more natural. I haven’t had any problems at all.

    [Reply]

  103. blessedmamagill
    November 7, 2012 | 6:23 am

    Great! Thanks:) I really love your site, and glean a lot of information and inspiration from your wisdom! Thanks for being so willing to share!

    [Reply]

  104. Malika
    March 1, 2013 | 1:31 pm

    I have used a couple of other recipes and my husband complained that the clothes were not clean enough. This time he did not complain and I noticed that even heavily soiled clothes were clean. I would recommend that you add the baking soda very slowly. I doubled the recipe and when adding the baking soda, I ended up having a major eruption and losing half of the product. With boiling water it was scary at first (nobody was hurt), but the kids had fun gathering all the dirty laundry and spreading it on the kitchen floor to wipe it up. This made me feel a little better about losing half my product. I used zote laundry soap, so somehow it reacted with the baking soda.

    [Reply]

  105. A. States
    April 21, 2013 | 10:42 pm

    I make my own bar soap and it doesn’t always get cut into even size bars. What size of bar (ounces) do you use with this recipe? Thanks.

    [Reply]

  106. Tara
    May 4, 2013 | 2:15 am

    What about front loaders? Would there be too many suds/bubbles? I’m tempeted to give this a try but aren’t game enough just in case it’s a disaster!

    [Reply]

  107. Michele
    March 23, 2014 | 3:56 pm

    Do you think it would work with liquid soap instead of grating bar soap? If so, how much would you suggest using?

    [Reply]

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