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Make your own laundry soap

By on June 1, 2012
homemade laundry soap

I’ve shared numerous homemade cleaner recipes through the years. It’s a very popular topic on my community forums (www.frugalvillage.com/forums). Here are the two all-time favorite laundry soap recipes from the forums:

 

Powdered Laundry Soap

2 cups finely shredded Fels-Naptha or Zote soap
1 cup washing soda
1 cup Borax

Combine ingredients and store in an airtight plastic container. Use two tablespoons per laundry load. Use vinegar as a fabric softener, and hang-dry clothing at least part of the time. Keep in mind that sunshine bleaches naturally. And most clothing and towels don’t have to be washed after a single use.

Liquid Laundry Soap

1/3 bar of Fels-Naptha soap
1/2 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax
water

Grate 1/3 bar of soap. In a large pan (reserve this pan for soap-making only), mix 6 cups of very hot water and grated soap. Stir in washing soda and Borax. Using a wooden spoon, stir until it comes to a boil. Lower heat and stir until it thickens (about 15 minutes). Watch closely to prevent it from boiling over. Remove from heat. In large bucket, pour 1 quart of hot water and stir in the soap mix. Add another 5 1/2 quarts of water. Mix to combine. Set aside for 24 hours to form a thick gel. For ease of use, pour into a container with a lid (you can reuse an old laundry-soap container or milk jug), and shake before using. Use 1/2 cup of soap per machine-load of clothes.

I’m only including one reader tip this week. H.G. shares her laundry soap recipes, and they’re definitely worth clipping and saving:
“I created the original Tide Clone recipe. I bought all the ingredients at the best prices I could find, usually at Wal-Mart or a dollar store. I added tax to each of the prices and measured out how many cups were in each box, then did some math. I calculated that I could use 1 tablespoon in a large load of laundry, at a cost of 2 cents per load. I have tried it in my washing machine and it seems to help whiten and brighten my clothes! It’s so easy to mix up, too. I just put 1/3 cup of each ingredient in a Ziploc-type bag, close the bag, then mix it by tossing it back and forth.” — H.G., forums

Tide Clone Recipe
1 cup Sun with Bleach powder detergent
1 cup Sun Oxygen Cleaner
1 cup Borax
1 cup washing soda

Mix well. Use 1 tablespoon for every load. This whitens and brightens, and you will have clean laundry, too! You can use more for extra-soiled clothes, but you will be shocked how much just one tablespoon will do!

Cloth Diaper Detergent
1 cup Borax
1 cup Sun Oxygen Cleaner
1 cup washing soda

Mix and use 1 tablespoon per load. Use vinegar in the rinse cycle. This is cheap and easy, and it also helps to get stains and odors out of your cloth diapers while cleaning them and preventing the buildup that you get when you use regular laundry detergent on your diapers.

For stain-fighting:

1 tablespoon Tide Clone
1 tablespoon non-concentrated Dawn dishwashing liquid

Add to one load of laundry for awesome stain-fighting power! I love it. It’s also safe on cloth diapers and prevents buildup! I’ve used it on stained “Sunday clothes” and they’ve come out clean! If using in cold-water washes, always dissolve in warm water first.

photo by Kristen Bonardi Rapp

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About Sara Noel

Sara Noel owns Castalia Coffee Roasting Company, Follow me on Twitter

2 Comments

  1. Carolyn

    12/30/2012 at 10:18 pm

    I use one full bar of Felis-Naptha, & pink Zote. I make two batches in the largest stockpot i have. After the first two soaps have melted, i turn the heat off and add about 1/2 cup of Borax, some brand of oxy detergent (whichever is cheapest) and a few drops of essential oils. After this mix cools in a Kirkland detergent bucket that i re-use and it forms a gel. I just scoop some out with a old jar lid. This mix cleans everything very well. I then re-use a snuggle fabric softener bottle and with a funnel add water, some baking soda, a small amount of white vinegar and essential oil. Have been using both of these for several months and i have saved hundreds of dollars on store bought detergent and FS already!

    The Zote and FN cost about .97 cents at WM. The Borax is about 3.00 $ at WM, the BS is about 3-4 $ for a big box, and the oxy clean is about 2$. Each box lasts me at least 6 months and i do about 10 loads per week. Let’s say at the top end of pricing, the total items needed cost 10$, If i do 10 loads a week thats only 1$ per load!! and i’ve begun to stockpile the FN and Zote… just in case…

  2. Karin Ladd

    3/12/2013 at 2:22 pm

    Are these homemade detergents ok to use in our HE washer? Also, is the tide clone ok to be used in our HE washer? I would love to try it.. Thanks for these recipes!

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