Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Homemade Laundry Soap

A few months back, a good friend whom I met through blogging sent me a recipe she uses for homemade laundry soap powder. She had found it on another blog and tweaked it a bit -- the original recipe called for soap flakes. She was unable to find soap flakes in her area, so she grated Fels Naptha soap to use instead. I've tweaked the recipe still more to use exactly 1 bar of Fels Naptha. It saves the step of measuring the grated soap. Here's the formula as I use it:


1 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated (I use a hand grater and grate the soap onto waxed paper)
1 and 1/2 cups washing soda
1 and 1/2 cups borax

Combine all ingredients in a large glass or metal bowl.

Place about 1/3 of the mixture in a blender and blend until it becomes a powder. You will see small particles of the Fels Naptha, but in general you want a fairly uniform, dissolvable powder.

Empty soap powder out of blender into a container (which has a cover) to keep in the laundry room. I use recycled quart yogurt containers to keep my soap powder in.

Repeat with remaining mixture.

(After making the soap powder, wash the grater, bowl, blender container, measuring cups and any other utensils well in hot soapy water. Rinse with boiling water. This is just what I do -- it's not a good idea to ingest borax, so I want to make sure I get every trace of it off my utensils. That's also why I use metal or glass utensils and not plastic -- it seems to me that plastic is capable of absorbing substances.)

Use 1/4 cup soap powder for each load of laundry. I like to run a little warm water into the machine first, then add the powder and make sure it's dissolved before adding the clothes and turning the water temperature to cold.

I have been very, very pleased with the effectiveness and the low cost of this laundry soap powder. I passed the recipe on to another friend and she has been thrilled with how well it works, so much so that she is passing it on to others. Perhaps some of my readers would like to try it, too.


  1. I had used this as well, but after about 6 weeks I noticed our clothes were very dingy. How long have you used this?

  2. I've used it for a little over 2 months. So far it is working fine. My local friend who is using it thinks that the dinginess has come *out* of their laundry since using this soap.

    One thing I do -- which may be helping this not to happen -- is to use white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. I've done this for years and figured I would continue with it using the homemade soap.

    Sorry to hear this soap has been less than satisfactory for you.

    Stop in anytime!
    God bless,

  3. Anonymous1:57 AM

    I've used this in the past, but stopped using it because I couldn't buy large quantities of the borax and soap flakes, so the cost became prohibitive. It's odd you should bring this up now, as the same recipe has just been posted on the other main forum I go to! Snap!

  4. That is odd, isn't it Jennie? The bar of Fels Naptha soap is very inexpensive -- just over a dollar, so that is probably a lot cheaper than soap flakes would be. I am still using the first box of borax I bought when I started making this, so that has lasted a long time. I need to replace it soon, though

    Thanks for stopping in!

    God bless,

  5. Hi, Mrs. T!
    I was wondering if this recipe could be used with a front-loading washer? I've seen a very similar recipe to this one
    (4 cups soap flakes, 2 cups borax, and 2 cups washing soda) that calls for 2 Tbs. per load of laundry, but wasn't sure how this recipe would work with my type of washing machine.

    I have been meaning to try that ground beef stew for ever, but I always seem to forget about it whenever I'm making up my menu, and then find the recipe again after I've done my big shopping trip for the month! Thank you again for posting it, though! :o)

  6. Arlene,

    I have heard that one would use 2 tablespoons of this soap with a front-loading machine. It's certainly worth a try. When I first tried this, I only made up half a batch to see how I would like it, so you might want to do that too. Or make a full batch and then, if you're not pleased with the results for your front-loader, you could give away the rest to a friend with a top-loading machine. Just a thought!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    God bless,

  7. Thanks for stopping by and for the link to the laundry recipe. I'll have to give this a try but like you mentioned, not sure if it will work on his work clothes. He's a carpenter, builds houses.

    Thanks again!

  8. It just might work if there is no mud or grease involved. One thing I have done is to use the homemade soap for our regular laundry, and something stronger for the work clothes. Hope it works out for you if you decide to try it!


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