Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Making Your Own Homemade Laundry Detergent!

OK...first, get a 5 gallon bucket with a lid...I purchased one from Home Depot because I wanted it totally clean to begin with =)

You need to realize this recipe is NOT mine, it is spread all over the net from various sources and it would take 14 pages to link them all ;)  However, this is the way I make MY own batches to fit my OWN personal needs at home.

Next gather your supplies from your favorite grocery store!  You will need for three batches:
1 x 76oz box Borax ($5.39 from Harris Teeter)
1 x 55oz box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) ($3.49 from Harris Teeter)
3 x bars Fels Naptha Soap (enough for 3 batches) ($1.69ea from Harris Teeter)
= $13.95 which will last us about a year +/-  **your needs will vary depending on the #people you have in your household and what type of washer you have.

This is my sister's hint...use a veggie peeler to shred the bar of Fels Naptha soap into thin slivery shreds.  Put this in about 4cups or so of water and melt under medium heat until ALL is melted.

I use a big pot of hot water to dissolve 2 cups each of the Borax and Super Washing Soda on the stove...but not could also fill your bucket up halfway with HOT water and dissolve it there.

Once your soap is completely melted (house smells good doesn't it??!!), pour this into the 5gallon bucket with the Borax, Soda and water mixture...stir well to combine.

Fill the bucket the rest of the way up with HOT tap water and stir again to mix well....put the lid on and seal it up.  Place it in an area where no one will peek!  Leave it sit for AT LEAST 24hrs, preferably 48hrs.

It will look like watery jelly and that is normal....stir it up to combine.

I use an old Tide bottle but you can use about any jug to hold it...fill it up and use it!  I use 2 Tide (regular not HE) cups per TOP-loading washer sister only needs to use ONE for her front loader.  I use THREE for grungy socks and highly soiled clothing. But using more doesn't cost but fractions of cents!

Let me know if you try this!!

♥ Manda


  1. So it's okay for He machines?

    1. Oh doesn't have any of the film provoking ingredients in it :) My sister has been using it in hers for a couple of years now.

  2. I finally made the detergent today! I bought the ingredient over a month ago. I debated whether to make the liquid version or the dry version. I chose the dry version because making the liquid version in the 5 gal bucket would have been too much of a challenge. I'm so happy!

    1. I hope you love it as much as I do....I've never made the dry stuff...let me know how it works for you. Manda

  3. I love the dry recipe because it is so simple. I don't have to melt soap or wait for the soap to gel in 24 hours. I didn't think I would like the dry detergent because I haven't used dry detergent in over 25 years! It just takes 1 tablespoon to clean a load of laundry. For extra soiled laundry, use a total of 2 tablespoons of homemade detergent. I like to add a tablespoon of my detergent to a pint jar, add hot water, and shake hard. If I want to add essential oils, I add about 20 drops to the soap and water mixture in the jar, shake well, then pour over the clothes and rinse out the jar and pour that over the clothes as well! Thanks to you and Mare, I have learned about making homemade laundry detergent. ThanksA

    1. Awesome :) So glad you like it...I have some essential oils for bath salts/skin scrubs that I'm going to add to mine...might even mix up a batch of dry to try one day :)

  4. Manda, please give the dry a try. Yeah; give the dry a try! LOL! I saw a video on You Tube made by a lady who makes a huge amount of dry laundry soap that lasts her family 10 years. She stores the batches in 4 gallon buckets. She said she doesn't like to make a batch at a time because she doesn't want to run out of a box of something and have to stop what she's doing just to run to the store. Another lady makes a dry batch every year. She uses a rectangular size plastic storage bin with a lid (the size for storing sweaters). She said when you buy the ingredients, you have a year's supply right there. She pours her entire boxes of washing soda and Borax into the bin. Then she grates her 3
    bars of soap and sprinkles them into the mix. She mixes everything together, and she's done for the year! She uses 3 bars of Ivory soap in her recipe. She keeps her container on top of her dryer.

    When I make my double batch, I use rubber gloves and rub my hands together. It's like I grind everything to a fine powder! I had no idea that would happen. The mixture becomes more concentrated and takes up less space in my small plastic container that holds about 5 batches worth of soap. I was so excited that the procedure was therapuetic for me. I watched a movie while I made it the first time. I was sort of playing with the stuff; trying to mix it up really well and digging to the bottom to bring everything to the top. That's when I got the idea to rub the stuff in my hands. After 10-15 minutes I looked down and was surprised to see that the stuff had become like a powder with tiny gold flecks of Fels Naptha. I made another bstch and a half about 3 days later. I was inspired! Now, I also make my dishwashing liquid, too! I found a good recipe on You Tube. The original recipe called for 1 T grated soap, I used Dove, gotta keep my smooth hands, 1 T vinegar, for greasy dishes, 1 T washing soda, and 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Stir mixture well and let it sit overnight. Try to stir with a spoon every few hours. Within 6-8 hours, you've got thick dish soap. My soap was much thicker than the video soap. Now, I triple the recipe when I make it. Might as well take advantage of using my time. It's like in cooking; why grill 1 piece of chicken, when you can take advantage of the charcoal and grill 8 pieces!

    My next goal is to make my own deodorant. I've already found the recipe that I want to use! Again, I found the video on You Tube. The woman shows how to make a stick of deodorant as well as a spray deodorant. I'm so happy that I'm learning all this stuff. I'm interested in homemade bath soap now. I want to look around first to see what other people are making. I will become a customer first and buy different soaps to enjoy. I'm not comfortable about using lye, but I have been reading that soap must contain lye and fat - vegetable or meat fat. If I never make soap, I'll be okay with that. My curiousity can still be nurtured if I can enjoy the fragrant homemade soaps that other people in my community are successful at making!

    1. Very cool :) I've been considering the dry for about a year now...but since my husband has his tool that mixes the stuff we laid our ceramic tile with and grout, my liquid stuff got even I've just put it off LOL.

      My sister makes dishwasher detergent which is my next goal to tinker with!
      Good luck with the deodorants...that one I'm curious about...but I sure am reluctant to give up my Dawn, but its not hard to get that for free still.

  5. I make my own liquid dish soap. I use a moisturizing soap that's good for the hands, like Dove. The recipe I use requires 1 tablespoon if everything. I make 6 times the amount. Why go through the steps for such a small amount. I don't use lye. My recipe calls for white distilled vinegar, Arm and Hammer Washing Soda. I grate the soap and store into a small plastic container with lid. Into a large bowl, spoon in 6 T grated soap, add 6 T washing soda, and 6 T white vinegar. Add 8 1/2 cups boiling water and stir well until soap melts. Add essential oil if desired. Cover bowl with plastic if you have no cover, use plastic wrap. Allow to set for 6-8 hours. Prepare a clean gallon container. Stir soap after 6-8 hours. Using a measuring and funnel, fill gallon jug with dish soap. Adding water might make too thin. Fill recycled dish bottle and secure top. Refill as needed from the gallon jug.