Family, Uncategorized

Saving Money- Homemade Laundry Soap


Homemade Laundry Soap


I feel like I am a little late on this. Not to the making laundry soap scene, but talking about it. If you google it or look for a recipe on Pinterest- there are a gazillion recipes. Since I started making our laundry soap over 6 years ago, I cannot source it, and my recipe has changed several times.


Why make laundry soap yourself?


It’s cheap. It’s easy. And there are only as many ingredients in it as you allow. You can even “scent” it with essential oils. Between the ingredients for this homemade laundry soap and my all-purpose cleaner, I don’t need any other cleaning products. These do it all.


I first started making laundry soap when my oldest was just a wee baby. We weren’t broke or down on our luck, I just had this feeling I needed to protect this little baby from all these un-natural chemicals. A few years later, we did go through some really, really rough financial times & it certainly helped to save pennies wherever we could.


Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


A large container. I use a large, round plastic container with a lid. It might have been given to us with Christmas cookies inside. It’s what I had. No need to go buy a fancy container- recycle & reuse what you’ve got laying around! A lid is handy to have too.

A cheese grater that grates “fine”. Like the one in your kitchen. Again, just use what you have. Don’t go out an buy a designated laundry-soap-makin’ cheese grater. Remember, it’s gonna have soap on it- it’ll wash 😉


Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe


 Homemade Laundry Soap


3 cups of Borax. I use this kind.

3 cups of Washing Soda. Like this.

2 cups of Baking Soda (we have hard water & I really think this helps get them cleaner)

2 cups of Fels-Naptha or plain Ivory bar soap, finely grated. (I bounce back between the two, depending on what my local store has when I need it- both work equally well though!)

Mix all of the ingredients well & store in your laundry room in that container I was talking about. It is kind of a pain to clean up if it spills, so I store mine out of the way where I’m unlikely to knock it over. Not that I would know about that or anything.

This is the great part- when washing your clothes with this homemade laundry soap, I only use 1/4 a cup of the mix. This is seriously all it needs. Unless it’s a super soiled or heavy load, then I might add a scoop or two more. You won’t see the signature suds of commercial laundry detergent. That’s just another chemical added to commercial cleaners to give you a sense of “clean”.


Homemade Laundry SoapHomemade Laundry SoapHomemade Laundry Soap


Really? Only 1/4 a cup per load? 

Yes. Trust me. This will clean your clothes. I have 2 small kids that are super messy & this works on their clothes too!


So how much money does this save?


Well first off, it depends on the commercial laundry soap you were previously buying. We were using a brand that rhymes will “mall” and despite it’s so-called “stain lifters”, we found ourselves using more and more in each load to get our clothes clean. It seemed like all we were getting was a glorified bottle of bubble bath. So our pre-homemade price was $5 a week, $4.50 if we found a coupon- keep in mind that $5 bottle was supposed to last 30 loads. I was absolutely NOT washing 30 loads per week. I might wash 30 loads in a whole month.


Let’s break down the cost of the homemade laundry soap:

1 box Borax – $3.29 (divided by 2- the # of batches this should make)

1 box Washing Soda – $3.29 (divided by 2- the # of batches this should make)

1 large box of Baking Soda – $2.12 (divided by 2- the # of batches this should make)

2 bars of Fels-Naptha $.97 x2  OR  1 (3 pack) Ivory Soap $1.29

Total per batch of laundry soap: $6.29

40 loads of laundry per batch = $.15 per load

Saved the Elston household: $.48 per load or about $15 a month


Homemade Laundry Soap -


 Disclaimer: There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.



Hooked on making your own products & need more recipes? Check out these posts:


Good Girl Gone Green

The Prairie Homestead

Thank Your Body

The Prairie Homestead



15 thoughts on “Saving Money- Homemade Laundry Soap”

    1. Hi Emily,
      Great question. I personally think ivory is a better choice than fels naptha based on what I’ve been able to research online. I used it for cloth diapers and didn’t ever have a problem- with any cloth diapers you need to strip them now and then, but I don’t think this soap had much influence in that. Let me know how it turns out if you make it 🙂


  1. This is the recipe I use and I love it, it works great and I love the smell of Fels Naptha soap, it smells like old times. LOL
    I have never put the regular Baking Soda in mine but will try it the next batch I make. I always use 1/3 as much as this recipe says to make mine because it makes enough in one third to fill an Era container and that is a lot for only two people to wash clothes for a few months.
    I really do save a lot of money making my own detergent and we always like the smell of the clothes after they are done.
    I make mine in liquid form, but it is still the same recipe. Great recipe!!!


      1. I have an HE washer and this is fine to use. The fillers in normal detergents are what creates a film in the washer, making an odor over time and causing a build up of gunk. Since I switched to using this recipe, I have no issues with the smell in the washer (which eventually transfers to the clothes). And now, I “clean” my washer with vinegar instead of the washing machine cleaners. No problems!


    1. It works well with HE washers, especially because it doesn’t produce the massive amount of suds that commercial detergents do. Some will say that it clogs up the soap dispenser in front-loading machines, although I don’t see how that’s at all possible, but if it is a concern for you, just scoop it right on top of your clothes once they’re loaded into the drum. I also use white vinegar in the rinse cycle, it’s a great fabric softener.


  2. Perfect timing! I’m just about out of my usual commercial laundry detergent and one of my new year’s goals is making my own so I’ve started researching recipes. Is this one safe for an HE washer?


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