Homemade Laundry Soap: Liquid Detergent Recipe

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Homemade Laundry Soap: Liquid Detergent Recipe

homemade laundry soap

Out of all the things I’m talking about this week in regards to laundry, this homemade laundry soap recipe is by far my favorite. It’s super easy to make, and is the cheapest out of all the laundry detergent recipes I’ve been sharing.

If you’ve got these ingredients and twenty minutes, then you can make your own laundry detergent, be more eco-friendly, and start saving a lot of money. Here’s what you’re going to need…

Ingredients and Supplies

  • 1 Bar Soap (I use this castile soap)
  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Borax
  • Hot Water
  • Measuring Cup
  • Cheese Grater
  • 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Big Metal Cooking Pot
  • Long Wooden Spoon
  • Optional: 35-40 drops of essential oil (tea tree, lavender etc…) I chose tea tree oil.

Directions for Homemade Laundry Soap

Step One: Grate your soap with a cheese grater. This is probably the most work you will do in the entire process. But afterwards your cheese grater will be really clean!

Step Two: Bring big pot of water (about half full) to a boil, and then slowly stir in your grated soap.

Step Three: Once the soap is melted, reduce heat and slowly add in the Washing Soda while stirring with the wooden spoon. At this point a small reaction will occur, and your mixture will try to bubble over a little in your pot. This is where the wooden spoon comes in handy. Lay the wooden spoon across your pot, and then your mixture won’t boil over and make a mess.

Step Four: Add in your Borax to the pot while stirring. Once everything is blended and melted, remove from heat.

Step Five: Fill your five gallon bucket half-way with hot water. Add your soap mixture from the pot to your bucket of water.

Step Six: At this point you can add in your optional essential oil, and stir the mixture really well with your wooden spoon.

Step Seven: Once everything is well-blended, fill the bucket the rest of the way with water and then put the lid on. Allow to cool and sit overnight.

Step Eight: After sitting overnight, your mixture will become a gel-like goop, and that means it’s ready to use! At this point you can transfer some of the soap to clean and empty smaller bottles (old laundry detergent bottles or milk jugs), so that it’s easy to use every day. Shake/stir the mixture before using in your washing machine. Use one cup or less of “gel-like goop” per load.

 

A lot of people come out with a really thick gloopy mixture. This makes it harder to use, so I recommend this specific recipe, as it is a little less gloopy and easier to use (mainly because of the soap brand I used). If it gets too gloopy, just add more hot water.

While these ingredients are non-toxic and eco-friendly, I recommend that you still keep them out of reach of children and they should not be consumed. Handle with care just like you would any  laundry detergent.

Cost of Homemade Laundry Soap (Liquid)

  • 1 bar soap = $3.49
  • 1 box Washing Soda (55oz) $3.19 – Cost Per Cup = .46 cents
  • 1 box Borax (76oz) $4.49 – Cost Per Cup = .47 cents
  • Optional Essential Oil: Tea Tree Oil (1oz) $8.99 – Cost for 40 Drops = .72 cents

Total Cost for 5 Gallons or 80+ loads of Laundry Detergent = $5.17
Total Cost Per Load: Approximately .06 cents

*Note that prices are common retail. Watch for a sale or deal at an outlet for even cheaper cost per load!

lavender
Love essential oils? I’m a self-proclaimed oil-junkie! Read up on the brand of essential oils I absolutely love and currently use for everything from warding off strep, to eliminating my daughter’s asthma.


And there you have it! You’ve got your own homemade laundry soap that costs you mere pennies to use, and it’s eco-friendly! This is by far my favorite way to make homemade laundry detergent. It’s super cheap, and it washes all of my laundry really well.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a recap of all the laundry recipes I shared this week, and have a video response to answer your questions. So if you’ve got some questions, let’s hear ’em!

 

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By | 2014-11-18T13:53:52+00:00 August 30th, 2012|Frugal Living, Organic and Green Living|128 Comments

About the Author:

I'm a former sweet-tooth turned health-nut. After a difficult loss of a first pregnancy and having a second child with a heart condition, I became obsessed with health and wellness. I revamped our entire family's lifestyle, dropped seven pant sizes, and created a website where I could share our story and help support people wanting to make small changes day by day in order to live well. I also support my family by the work that I do here through advertising content, affiliates, and partnership/consultant links within content. When you click and/or order, it puts food on our table. Thanks for all your support, and may you live well and thrive!

128 Comments

  1. annie @ montanasolarcreations August 30, 2012 at 10:48 am - Reply

    I’ve been wanting to make homemade laundry soap, I’m so excited you shared this post! I’ve seen a lot of recipes for powder soap but it doesn’t dissolve well in our cold well water so this is perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Catherine August 30, 2012 at 11:33 am - Reply

    I make a very similar recipe (I skip the oil & only use 1/2 cup of borax). It stores great in the kitty litter containers that I got from freecycle. Also, I use whatever soap is on sale that we are not allergic to (ivory works great).

  3. dot mcintye August 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    I saw your directions for making homemade laundry soap and was wondering can you use this in high effiency washers. They only use a small amount . Any feedback will help.

    • Christa August 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm - Reply

      Yes, you can use in HE machines. It is actually the best for them because of the low to no suds this detergent creates. Been using this recipe (only change, I only use 1/2 cup borax) since Jan in my High efficiency machine. Love it!!

      • Christa August 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm - Reply

        You can still use 1 cup per load in HE washer

      • Cari September 13, 2012 at 11:49 pm - Reply

        Hi Christa – I just want to be sure before I make this… for HE washers, I should decrease borax to 1/2 cup but keep all other measurements same as listed in your recipe. Is this correct?
        Thanks!

  4. Rebecca August 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    This is a great recipe! Have you tried it with liquid castile soap instead of bar to eliminate the need to grate it?

    • Butterfly January 26, 2014 at 3:27 am - Reply

      That’s what I was going to ask. If so how much? Also I was wondering if vegetable soap was ok to use. Thanks!

      • Crystal Collins January 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm - Reply

        I haven’t tried either of those. If you go for it, let me know how it turns out!

  5. Shannon August 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    As a note, the cost is not actually 0.06 cents per load (i.e., less than a 10th of a cent per load), but rather $0.06, or 6 cents per load. I was getting a little over-excited about the cost until I pulled out my calculator! 🙂

    I use a dry laundry detergent recipe almost identical to the one you recently posted, and have been very happy with it! Still haven’t tried a liquid recipe yet…

    Sincerely,
    Shannon

    • Wenda Coburn August 16, 2016 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      But you still need to pay over $19 to make this. How many batches can u make with all the original ingredients?

      • Brandon February 24, 2017 at 11:53 am - Reply

        19 dollars? I purchased all of the ingredients for a tad over 11, minus the bar of soap which I already had. If you buy a 6 pack of cheap soap, it’s like 35 cents a bar. I paid a total of about 11 dollars for everything, and one box of borax (65oz not 76) will make like 5 cups of this stuff, same with the washing detergent. So that means for 11 or 12 dollars, you can make about 25 gallons of detergent.

  6. Karen August 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    I read somewhere that a Borax, a component in many homemade detergents, causes fading. True?

    • TrulyJulie September 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Karen,

      I have no idea if borax causes fading, but I do know that I color set all my darks and brights before I wash them the first time, and they hold their original color for dozens of washings after that. I just soak them in straight white vinegar for 24 hours before washing. This doesn’t work well with items that might rust, like clothes with exposed grommets or enameled zippers, but it works with everything else.

    • Sandra January 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm - Reply

      Unfortunately, it does fade some clothes depending on what type of material it is. I had bought a black sweater from walmart about a month ago, which I just threw in the garbage last night because it was faded so badly. I’m too lazy to dye it.

  7. Karen August 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Also, what are soap nuts, where do they come from and do they work?

  8. Erin August 30, 2012 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    I’ve been making my own for a year and LOVE it! Even my teenage daughter has started using it. I make the powder and let the water run before I add clothes and have never had a problem.

  9. Laurie August 30, 2012 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    Why does mine always come out solid? I can never pour it.

    • Crystal Collins January 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      You might nee to add more water Laurie

    • Cyndie Jenkins January 18, 2016 at 12:18 pm - Reply

      The top of mine always comes out solid. I have one of those drill attachments you use for mixing spackel (sp?) or paint. After mine cools, I just mix it together with that attachment on a drill. It stays mixed and thick after that.

      • Rosalie Centeno January 14, 2017 at 12:08 pm - Reply

        That would be somewhat simpler…but if you don’t have one, I put in blender in batches

  10. Kristin August 30, 2012 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    I heard even though borax is natural it still doesn’t break down or get removed from the water supply (this is a few years ago so I’m not clear on the details)… true or false or does it really not matter all that much since we’ll be taking scrappy petroleum products out of the waste water stream?

  11. Alicia August 31, 2012 at 12:01 am - Reply

    I have been making my own liquid detergent for several months now and have MANY friends and family hooked on it! The recipe I use only takes a half cup of the Borax and I use Fels-Naptha soap which is only 97c at WalMart. I dilute the 5 gallon bucket 1 part water/1 part soap and only use 1/4 cup per HE load or 5/8 cup per standard load. Works excellent.

    • syndee March 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      I make mine the same as you and I love it! I have used it for over a year now with no problems.

    • Billie Dinkler April 20, 2013 at 10:52 am - Reply

      Alicia, I use my home made lye soap in this recipe, it works great also!! But I have also used Fels-Naptha..Love that soap also!

  12. Lynda August 31, 2012 at 6:58 am - Reply

    I’m wondering about fading colors with homemade soap. I’ve bought some cheaper detergents before & they were fading my clothes. Will this recipe fade colors?

  13. Karen August 31, 2012 at 7:30 am - Reply

    I’m wondering why my liquid detergent segments. It looks like the water sinks to the bottom & everything else floats to the top. I have to shake it up each time before I use it. Any ideas? Thank you!

    • Cindy December 18, 2012 at 7:13 am - Reply

      I have the same situation. The soap comes to the top and is like water..didn’t gel at all. Any suggestions out there???

      • Crystal Collins December 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm - Reply

        Stir in some more equal parts of borax and washing soda. Dissolve them in hot water on the stove before adding in. This is what I did.

    • Peggy August 16, 2015 at 11:57 pm - Reply

      It separates because it doesn’t have the stabilizing agent that store bought brands do just shake before each load.

  14. Diana August 31, 2012 at 10:36 am - Reply

    I add Mint in the summer to help deter mosquitos

  15. Betsy August 31, 2012 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Wow, this is great! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Diana August 31, 2012 at 10:38 am - Reply

    You always have to shake up homemade laundry soap before use and I have never had an issue with homemade fading our cloths

  17. Shannon August 31, 2012 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    In using powdered homemade detergent (same basic ingredients), I haven’t noticed any fading — however, all clothes fade over time. It’s just that chemical detergents contain optical brighteners that make clothes *look* less faded.

    That said, our clothes seem to do just fine!

    Blessings,
    Shannon

  18. Crystal Collins September 4, 2012 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Here’s the post with all the homemade laundry detergent recipes, plus FAQ. http://www.thethriftymama.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-recipes.html

  19. Jackie W September 26, 2012 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    I’m not sure what I did wrong. I tried the recipe twice, but just ended up with cloudy water both times. I used Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Soap, Super Washing Soda and Borax. Can anybody help?

    • Karen October 3, 2012 at 10:49 am - Reply

      Jackie W-
      I used the same soap and have had the same issue, so maybe that is the problem, but I’m not sure how Dr. Bonner is different? I am going to try to use it on a load anyway. Some people have suggested adding another dose of the Borax and Washing Soda, not sure if that will help.

      • Sandra January 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm - Reply

        Adding extra borax and washing soda won’t work. It really is the soap that causes is to gel up.

        • Crystal Collins January 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm - Reply

          I was able to get it to gel up by adding in more borax and washing soda.

          • Charleen Hall January 23, 2013 at 7:11 am

            I am having the same problem, I used 1 bar of kirks castile soap, 1 cup soda, and 1/2 cup borax. Now after letting sit for 3 days its as runny as it was as when i first made it..I got this recipe somewhere else..I don’t want to waste the ingredients and start over…how much more of borax and soda should i add..and should i add them to a little bit of hot water to dissolve first…Help..thanks..

          • Crystal Collins January 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm

            When this happens to me, I add 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup washing soda to a little bit of hot water on the stove and let it dissolve. Then I pour it into the mixture, stir and let sit again. It usually fixes the issue. If not, repeat until you don’t have the runny issue.

  20. Jackie W October 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Thank you Karen. I will try both ideas and see. I really appreciate it!

    Jackie

  21. z October 13, 2012 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    I wish you would post the entire recipe in a text box first THEN do the picto-graphic play by play. I will have to transcribe this to use it.

  22. Shelly November 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Does this work well in the HE washers???

    • Cari November 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Shelly,
      I made this about a month ago and have been using it daily in my HE machine for our family of 11. It has worked GREAT! My detergent holder has a ‘max’ level that is less than 1 cup so I just fill it to just below the ‘max’ line. The one thing you should know is that you need to shake the detergent before putting it into the holder or the ‘goopiness’ will be an issue for the machine. Good luck!
      Cari

  23. Jeanie December 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    What is washing soda, and I have never heard of Castille soap. Does any bar soap work?

    • Sandra January 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      You can use any soap you want. I use Ivory soap. I melt it in the microwave a bit first … this makes it easier to grate it.

      • Marlene March 4, 2013 at 6:58 am - Reply

        I unwrap the Fels Naptha and place on a paper plate. I microwave it for 2 minutes. It puffs up and easy to grate or chunk it up and put in food processor for a few seconds, Too easy!!!!!!!!!

    • Jen August 7, 2014 at 11:44 am - Reply

      Walmart right next to the borax, and Dr. Bonners Castile soap is just a natural soap with no unhealthy additives in it, so ideally its better for you too. wholefoods market has that, but I believe my mom told me that Walmart does too.

  24. Michelle January 6, 2013 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    Just made my first batch, massive foaming, wooden spoon trick worketh not – I had soap suds everywhere! Anyone else have a this problem? Proceeding on, mixture cooling now. Hope I didn’t lose all my soap, mix from when I added in the soda.

  25. kelly January 6, 2013 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    I made a batch of homemade laundry soap today but my recipe is 1/4 cup dr.Bronners liquid castle soap 2 cup borax 2 cup washing soda
    makes 5 gal

    • kevin March 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      Did this gel up?

    • Katie January 25, 2015 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      Thank you!! This is exactly what I wanted to know. On to making a batch now 🙂

    • maryanne hutchison Hutchison December 11, 2016 at 2:55 pm - Reply

      did you do this recipie on the stove ?

  26. Sandra January 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    I make mine this way but I use Ivory soap and in the end, I add Downy unstoppables to make it smell really good.

    • Katie January 25, 2015 at 12:04 pm - Reply

      So much for all natural. Might as well buy Downey.

      • Alisha April 8, 2015 at 6:52 am - Reply

        Use essential oils to scent it that’s what I use.

  27. Ramya January 18, 2013 at 4:45 am - Reply

    I made this yesterday and let it sit overnight. This morning I had a beautiful (but not what I wanted) white cloud floating in colourless liquid. I mixed the whole thing. And it’s not separated or anything but it’s not what I would call gel-like. Can I use it anyway or should I grate some more soap and melt and add??
    I used this soap for dish-wash detergent and that gelled… so I know the soap has it in ‘her’ ;o)

    • Lila February 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm - Reply

      Ramya – I had the same result. I’ve blended it with a paint mixer attachment on my power drill and it seems to have blended well, but no gel. I’m trying it in my washer as I type. I’m hoping that the mixture of ingredients is the same whether it gels or not.

      Anyone have any ideas why this might have happened and how to fix it?

      • Peggy August 17, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

        I get this result if I use cold water instead of hot when mixing in the soap mixture.

  28. Charleen Hall January 23, 2013 at 7:04 am - Reply

    Help, I made the recipe, but mine never gelled its as runny as the day I made it and its now 3 days later….? Help…the only difference I used castile soap, and I only put 1/2 a cup borax…do you think I can go back and add the other 1/2 cup of borax and this will help it gel..dissolve it in a little hot water and add it..i dont want to waste all that i made? I used one bar of castile soap grated, then 1 cup soda, and 1/s cup of borax..please any suggestions would be appreciated…

    Thanks..

  29. Skip January 24, 2013 at 9:13 am - Reply

    I’ve been fascinated to read all the recipes and comments about home-made washing powder & ‘gel’. I’ve seen similar recipes from UK blogs – they tend to buy soap flakes – just thought it would be easier than grating bars of soap and maybe get better result with the ‘gel’? Maybe you don’t have soap flakes in USA?

    Thanks for the inspiration to make my own ‘detergent’!!

  30. Gwen February 15, 2013 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    What size bar of soap do you use? The only Castille Soap I have found in my area comes in 3 small bars packaged together. I just want to make certain I mix up the recipe correctly so that I get the best results right from the start. Thank you.

    • Cari February 17, 2013 at 7:47 pm - Reply

      From her link it looks like she used a 5 oz bar. So, I think as long as you shoot for something near 5 oz total, it should be fine.

  31. Rebecca February 17, 2013 at 4:58 am - Reply

    Just wondering if anyone has used this recipe in front loader? My friend uses soap flakes instead of grated soap and since buying a front loader cannot use soap flakes – does anyone have any info on this thanks 🙂

    • Cari February 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      Hi Rebecca,
      I have been using this recipe in my front loader for about 3 months and have had no issues. The only change I make is that instead of using 1 cup, which would go above my ‘max’ line in the detergent holder, I just fill it up to the ‘max’ line. Oh, one more thing…. I keep it in a gallon water jug container so that I can shake it right before putting it in… otherwise, it clogs up the dispenser.

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  37. Casey March 4, 2013 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    I was wondering what size metal pot you used? I used a really big pot and mine turned out really watered down so I’m thinking my pot was to big and I used to much water.

    • Crystal Collins January 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      I use a medium pot for this recipe. If it’s too watery, you can remedy that with more equal parts of washing soda and borax.

  38. Farzana Nazli March 26, 2013 at 7:31 am - Reply

    Hi,
    I have been thinking to make this detergent and after reading all your comments I made up my mind and feel confident to go ahead. I am so excite., cannot wait to buy the ingriedients!
    Later I will share if something funny happen:-)

  39. BJ April 22, 2013 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know or has anyone added a product like oxi clean to this recipe for a brighter wash?

  40. MomOf4 May 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Does it have to be gloppy? Why won’t it work as a liquid if you make sure it’s mixed? I, too, used the Kirk’s Coco bar. I, too, tried to thicken it up, twice! There’s almost 2 and a half cups of Borax and Washing Soda and it’s still cloudy water when you stir it. I don’t want to waste it! I also have a HE machine if that helps!

    • Crystal Collins May 30, 2013 at 11:06 am - Reply

      I don’t think it needs to be gloppy. I use it more runny and it works well! 🙂

    • JW May 30, 2013 at 2:58 pm - Reply

      I didn’t want to waste it either, so I just shook it up each time and used it anyway. My clothes were fine. I just ran out and am going to try again with a different bar soap, though.

      • Crystal Collins May 30, 2013 at 3:36 pm - Reply

        Nice! Let me know how that goes JW!

        • JW July 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm - Reply

          I tried this again, with the Fels Naptha soap this time and put cold water in at the end (last time I used hot water) and it worked!!! It’s gel-like instead of cloudy liquid–Yay!!

          • Julie Campbell August 7, 2013 at 11:38 pm

            LOVE Fels Naptha!! My lifesaver for daughters softball uniforms – she plays competitive travel ball and we are always on the go. I keep a bar of it in our travel bag so that I always have a bar when we travel out of state. It’s the ONLY thing that really gets the sweat and sunscreen stains out of her neck area 100% lol

  41. Jenn July 18, 2013 at 8:20 am - Reply

    I made this and was thoroughly impressed!! It’s cleans the clothes really well and is a huge money saver. There is some natural separation after you make it only about an inch at the bottom of a gallon jug, so I give it a quick shake before using it.

  42. Margaret Bellamy July 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    Made my first bucket. Love it. I have always been a Tide woman, no more.I used Fels-Naptha soap this time I’m using feels again but adding 1/2 bar of zote it does get thick but you just stir and use.never used anything that didn’t require pretreating on blood. None with this please try you won’t regret it

  43. Melissa Baker August 6, 2013 at 11:42 am - Reply

    How much water would I use for a 12 ounce stock pot? It doesn’t say what size pot you used. Also do I need to change anything for a HE machine?

    • Melissa Baker August 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm - Reply

      12 quart not 12 ounce

      • Crystal Collins August 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm - Reply

        Basically you just use enough water to get everything to dissolve well. Good luck! let me know how it goes 🙂

  44. Julie Campbell August 7, 2013 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Does this also work for HE washers as well? I have to be very careful what I use – if I use regular detergent it goops up in the detergent bin in the washer and I have to totally rinse out the cup in the washer. It makes a mess and doesn’t even use all the detergent I put in there. Only found out the hard way – ran out of HE detergent and used regular and made a mess lol

  45. rosie September 7, 2013 at 10:49 am - Reply

    can’t wait to use this! i made it and it seems perfect in my giant bucket. lots of jelly stuff on the top. i’m transferring it to gallon bottles. i mixed it up and i’m getting some of the gel and some of the water and putting that in. once i finish off the gel later there will be a lot of water left in the bottom. do i use that? or is that just less concentrated and i should toss it??

  46. Sonia Watkins January 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    I have just started making my own laundry soap. And I just love it! My daughter is making hers now too. I will never go back to store bought laundry detergent. The recipe I use is so easy and no guessing on the water amount. You will need a blender or a food processor & 2 mason or ball canning jars with lids. It hasn’t failed yet and gets all the stains out and doesn’t need a 5 gallon bucket to mix it in. Everyone I have given some to loves it and wants the recipe. I even have people wanting to buy it! Mine does 128 loads of laundry at a cost of $1.67 fot 128 loads. It a super concentrated laundry soap and only requires 1 TBs per load. Recipe is 4 cups hot water in medium kettle , 1 bar grated felsnaptha soap. 1 cup 20 muleteam borax & 1 cup of arm & hammer super washing soda. You want to mix the washing soda & borax together in a container. Be careful not to inhale the powders when stirring them together. Bring your 4 cups of water to a boil. Add grated Felsnaptha. Cook at a temperature that will let the soap melt a very slow boil storing constantly for 10 to 15 min. All soap should be melted by then do NOT let this come to a rolling boil! But it must be a simmering boil hot enough to melt the soap. When soap is melted remove from heat and add borax & washing soda mixture. Stir for 5 min. Until no mote grittiness is felt on bottom of pan make sure to stir it long enough to dissolve all grit. If you don’t your soap could wind up gritty this is really easy to make and is wonderful. You will need your 2 canning jars now pour half of the mixture to each canning jar then fill the jars to the shoulders with hot tap water leaving at least 1 inch from rim of jar.wipe tops and put your lids on tight enough no liquid will spill out. Turn jars upside down and let set for 4 to 5 hours. When time is up turn jars right side up and remove lid take your blender parts from your blender pitcher and screw them onto your quart jar yes they will fit.who would have ever thought! Be sure to tighten good. Place on your blender and blend mixture together blend for 1 min. Remove from blender and shake jar to help mix all contents that might not have mixed good. Place back on blender always keep a hand on tip of jar as some blenders vibrate blend 1 more min. Remove from blender you should havr a creamy mixture that looks like mayonnaise. Wash blender pieces and place on other jar and complete the same process. I am a picky person so to make sure I have even mixture I remove from jars and blend both quarts together for uniform strength. It also will let you know if you have any that didn’t blend smooth. You can place it back in jars and blend again if needed. Mine has worked every time. I store mine in peanut butter jars and wide mouth mayonnaise jars. Freeing my jars to make more and to give for gifts. You use literally 1 TBs. Per load just spoon it up and hold under running water right onto laundry. This is not a Sunday soap. For high efficiency washers do not place in soap dispenser place directly in washer on clothes or dissolve in warm cup of eater and add to washer. You will have the cleanest freshest smelling clothes. It removes all odors if you have a tough stain you can pretreatment with this or with shout. It will not dull your clothes. If it does you ate using too much! My husband was sceptical laughed because I eas making my own laundry soap. But now he loves it and it takes the transmission oil right out of his clothes. It is called Moms Super Laundry Soap. You can find it on Pinterest. I have it pinned to my laundry board. No more stirring or adding more water because it gets hard on the bottom. This stuff is amazing! Hope you check it out And please read all the directions before starting.

  47. janna January 25, 2014 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    What is washing soda?

    • Crystal Collins January 26, 2014 at 3:27 pm - Reply

      It’s a laundry product that can be found on the detergent aisle. 🙂

  48. Leslie February 4, 2014 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Hey question. You stated just over $3. for the Bronners bar soap yet your link leads to Bronners bar soap of over $20! Am I doing something wrong or what?

    • Crystal Collins February 4, 2014 at 3:35 pm - Reply

      Hey Leslie, that’s how much it cost me in the store. I just gave the links as an example of the product so you could find it. 🙂

  49. Loren February 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Do you know if it’s safe to half these homemade detergent recipes? It’s only my boyfriend and I here plus we’d have nowhere to store 5 gallons of laundry detergent in our small apartment. Has anyone made this soap in small batches? If so, please pass on any tips you may have. Thank you all!

    • Crystal Collins February 8, 2014 at 4:28 pm - Reply

      Halfing it should be fine. Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  50. Kathleen Backhus May 21, 2014 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    Crystal, i just read the post from Sonia watkins on Jan. 2014 about her new soap recipe. I am brand new to your site and pretty new to this internet thing, but I have to applaud you !! Most other people probably would never let someone take up soooo much space . I think you are super and I am elderly and disabled and am on a FIXED income, i also live in a tiny apt. i was looking for something to save money and not a lot of work and would be easier to take to the laundra mat that wouldn’t be soo heavy. this seems like a terrific possibility. I hope it works. she didn’t say how long it lasts i only wash 1 time a month so i too was wondering about cutting the recipe in half. and is there a easy way to grate the soap? my hands can’t handle all that grating. any way here’s a hug for you and your sweetness to help us all out. oh —where do I get your answer and when? could you please tell me in my e-mail, because i won’t know how to find your post thing or is this a blog or what? please tell me how to find you from scratch. I don’t remember what I did , I was just punching keys Hee-Hee us old people can get away with that ,Don’t ya know !!thanks alot.

    • Crystal Collins May 22, 2014 at 9:56 am - Reply

      I emailed you but I also wanted to reply to your comment. 🙂 You could definitely half the recipe. Unfortunately I don’t know of any way to grate the soap other than by hand unless you have an automatic grater.

    • Bennie Rhoden December 22, 2015 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      You can buy the Zote laundry flake soap already grated at Walmart! I just made my first batch of liquid laundry soap tonight, and that’s what I used. After reading all these comments, I am so hoping mind turns out okay. I will know tomorrow:-)

  51. Jen August 7, 2014 at 11:47 am - Reply

    could you not use liquid castile soap instead of bar?

  52. Kathleen Backhus August 12, 2014 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Crystal, Hey this is me remember. It was last MAY 21ST. that I wrote you that note above, then I got real sick and am just now getting on my feet again. I have been trying to find you and I finally did. I started to read my note not knowing it was me, I giggled saying boy this lady sounds just like me, and I looked back and what do you know there it was. (ME) ! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR KEEPING THIS SO I COULD SEE IT. I WAS WONDERING ABOUT THIS HOME MADE SOAP RECIPE FROM SONIA WATKINS. MADE ON MAY 21ST. SHE TALKS ABOUT USING A BLENDER. I DON’T HAVE ONE. COULD I USE A FOOD PROCESSOR INSTEAD ? PLEASE SEND THIS TO MY E-MAIL .I WANT TO DO THIS WHILE I AM HEALTHY. ALSO WHAT IS THE SHELF LIFE OF THIS JAR OF SOAP, AND IS IT QUART JARS ? i’LL BE WATCHING MY E-MAIL i WANT TO DO THIS RIGHT AWAY. THANKS SO MUCH !!!YOU ARE AN AWESOME BLESSING TO ALL OF US SENIORS.

  53. Meagan January 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Hey I know this post is older but is there a recipe for a smaller batch? If I just divide it and use 1/5 of a cup (to be totally honest, I would just measure a little less than a 1/4 cup) and only one gallon of water? I understand I would have to make it more often, but I so don’t want to spend the money on a 5 gal bucket, and there are none available to me, and then I also would not have to worry about storing 5 gals.
    Could I also use Fels Naptha in place of bar soap and the Downy/Gain/Bounce scent crystal things in place of essential oils like in other recipes?

    • Crystal Collins January 13, 2015 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure about the scent things, but you could use Fels Naptha and definitely reduce the recipe by half! Let me know how it turns out. 🙂

      • Sandy November 1, 2016 at 12:56 pm - Reply

        I have been using the Fels Naptha plus 1/2 c baking soda and 1/2 c borax, and lavender oil, works very good, but I am going to try this castile soap one instead since it’s less chemical in the castile.

        Also for anyone is having trouble to mix after overnight, the electric drill with the paint mixer tip works very well.

    • Alisha April 11, 2015 at 3:37 am - Reply

      I’ve used the scented things like unstoppables. They do work but there are a lot of chemicals in them.

  54. Joy January 25, 2015 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    I was wondering how this works on cloth diapers? Maybe just without the essential oil? (Although I really like lemon and sage oil!)

  55. Jonathan February 17, 2015 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Just made my first batch and when the first load was done there were clothes still covered with soap. Switched to warm wash cold rinse, still soap on clothes. Currently washing warm wash warm rinse and will see what happens but I really don’t want to have to use so much hot water with every load. Could my mixture be too concentrated? My only deviation from the recipe was using 2- 3oz bars of ivory but I’m not sure that 1 extra ounce would cause this?

    • Crystal Collins February 19, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

      Yeah way too much soap! I’d definitely recommend using less, and dilute that.

  56. Jessica Outlaw April 22, 2015 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Mrs. Crystal , I’m A mother of two girls who love playing dress up. I am also newly married and my husband loves to work on cars I found your recipe and I love it the only two altercations I made are a .97 cents. bar of zote soap its easier to grate and I used the glade plug in oils (snuggle sent) as an essentcial oil not only is it cheaper but uses less drops and last longer. I also used a gumbo pot to make the mixure. after I brought the water to a boil i turned the heat from high to medium then I stired in a half of a hand full of soap at a time until it was completely melted after that I poured in my borax , followed by the washing soda if you stir extreamely slow it should not bubble over. thus I also realized I did not have a wooden spoon so I just used plastic. the Zote soap did not clump at all I love it it looks and feels just like the liquid soap I bought at the store only smells better and since using your recipe my daughter hasn’t had another allergic reaction to the laundry soap.

    • Crystal Collins April 23, 2015 at 10:24 pm - Reply

      That’s awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your modifications!

      • Jenni Arevalo May 22, 2015 at 9:40 am - Reply

        Glade plug-in oils are not pure essential oil, though, and could have toxic fumes.

  57. Jennifer May 12, 2015 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Hi there, I tried this recipe and it didn’t gel… it’s still liquid. I’m going to use it still I think because it still seems soapy. But do you have any thoughts on what I did wrong? Did I not heat long enough maybe? I’m not really sure. Thanks!

    • Crystal Collins May 12, 2015 at 6:36 pm - Reply

      You may have used too much water. Usually it doesn’t gel because there isn’t enough of the borax, baking soda, and soap. It should still clean, though! 🙂

  58. Gina June 26, 2015 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for this laundry detergent recipe! Before I found this, the only detergent that would get mine and my boyfriend’s welding clothes semi clean was Tide, which is ungodly expensive. I decided to try this since it was so much cheaper, and it works 10x better than Tide! Our welding jeans look brand new with no metal dust stains on them, and the detergent smells amazing (no chemical overload scent like with Tide; I put eucalyptus essential oil in it because we have a lot of animals and it keeps the fleas off of us and out of our bedding). So thank you so much for a great natural, super cheap effective alternative! ^.^

  59. Christine April 10, 2016 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    Hi! Thank you for this recipe. I’ve made it before 6 months ago. It was great. I made a mistake this time. I put all the ingredients in my pot and filled it with water. I heated it up till all melted. Then I left it till the morning and now it has an inch or two of hard soap with a huge pot of yellow water. I was wondering if I reheated it and added borax again if that would fix it? Or should I scrap this batch and just start over?

  60. Nancy November 4, 2016 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Grated bar of Fels Nepha.
    4 cups hot water
    Put water and grated soap in pan on Med. heat.
    Heat 10 minutes until melted.
    Fill 5 gallon bucket half full of hot water.
    Add water/soap mixture and stir
    Add one cup each of Borax and Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda.
    Stir, cover, set 24 hours.
    It will be gelled. Use immersion blender to make it smooth fi desired. (Yes, an immersion blender really does the job.)

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