I’m so excited to (finally) share with you my homemade laundry soap recipe! I’ve been using this homemade laundry soap for several years now, and I have no plans on going back to regular detergent.
This one is budget-friendly, all-natural, and so easy to make! It also doubles as a great cleaning paste when added with a little water. I seriously use this for everything – laundry, bathroom, kitchen, all of it!
This post contains affiliate links, which simply means when you purchase through one of my links, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a tiny commission. These posts take a lot of work and time, so any purchase you make through my links is GREATLY appreciated!
I made this homemade laundry soap in a class, and I’ve adapted the recipe a tiny bit and plan to tweak it a little more to eliminate the Borax. There’s some split conclusions on Borax and its “greenness.” I gave an alternative in the recipe below if you wish to not use it. However, small disclaimer, I have not used or tested the recipe with the substitution. But from what I’ve read, the substitution should still work just fine! More on that later 😊
Why I use homemade laundry soap:
I easily could have gone back to using my store-bought laundry detergent after the batch from the class was gone. But after using it and realizing how much money I spent on store-bought detergent, I almost felt crazy to go back to anything else. It was so nice not having to drop $13-$20 on a bottle of detergent every few times I went to Target. I also liked knowing every ingredient going into my homemade laundry soap.
The cost breakdown:
Here are the ingredients and their costs (some will vary from store to store, but this gives you a general idea):
Washing soda – 2pk $7.70 or single in store ~$4 (I’ve only been able to find this at Walmart, so when I go to buy it, I buy several – less trips to Walmart)
Kirk’s castile soap – 3pk $7 on Amazon (1 bar per fill – so the 3pk is perfect for one batch)
Borax – 4lb box $4.59 at Target
Baking soda ~$0.93
Washing soda ~$1.33
1 bar ~$2.33
Total: $5.65 (approx. 80 loads for me)
3 fills = 1 batch (approx. 1 year for me): $16.95
1 batch ~240 loads: $0.07/load
That’s INSANE! I spend less than $20 for a year’s worth of homemade laundry soap.
The math is similar if you eliminate Borax and use washing soda in its place. It comes out to approximately $0.09/load, following the same math above, which is less than $22 for a year of laundry loads for my use.
The time breakdown:
As I mentioned above, 1 full container lasts me approximately 75-85 loads (yes, I kept tracked and tallied every time I did a load of laundry for several months). I filled it mid-November 2017, and then refilled it at the end of March 2018 – so approximately 4 months. In theory, if I make 3 fills (1 big batch) like I normally do, then I should only have to make the homemade laundry soap once a year. It takes me anywhere from 30 min to about an hour to make 1 big batch. So that’s less than an hour, and honestly even less, to have homemade laundry soap for the entire year. That’s it!
First, gather all your ingredients, food processor, large bowl, and measuring cup.
Measure and mix the Borax, baking soda, and washing soda in a large bowl.
Next, grate the bar of soap using a food processor with grating attachment. Powder it by pulsing it with a normal blade, if you wish. (My food processor is currently on sale with the attachments – 47% off! It’d make a great Christmas present for yourself or a loved one!)
Add the cheese, I mean the grated soap shreds, to the other mixture.
If you would like a more powdery consistency, add the shreds back in the processor before adding them to the mixture. Or add the complete mixture back into the processor and pulse to mix it all together. If you go this route, make sure and do it in batches or you will create a powdery, cloudy mess – ask me how I know 🤣
You’re almost there!
Now that everything is mixed together, in one way or another, you can add your favorite essential oils. A couple of my go-tos are lemon and lavender. You may also try basil, rosemary, or any other “laundry” scents your enjoy!
(If you want more info about oils, my sister is your gal! Find her here!)
I store my homemade laundry soap in a glass container on a shelf in our laundry room, like this one, and use this scoop with some baker’s twine on the end (this is totally not necessary, it’s just how it came from the class I took 🙃). I use about 1/2 scoop per “normal” laundry load. You can adjust as needed, but you should never need more than a scoop per load.
I store the remaining mixture in a very large ziplock bag (above). When I need a refill, I just add to my container. Use the leftovers to make a paste to clean any and everything – shower, bathtub, sinks, etc.
I keep my leftover ingredients in pretty, vintage mason jars with labels so I know what is what and I can see what I need to buy, if anything. Then, they are ready to go the next time I need to make a new batch!
Ingredients: (this amount will fill your glass container one time)
3 cups of Borax (if you want to skip the Borax, use 3 cups of additional washing soda)
2 cups of baking soda (1-1lb box)
2 cups of washing soda
One bar of Kirk’s Castile soap (grated/powdered)
10-20 drops of essential oils (optional and vary as you wish)
- Measure and mix the first 3 ingredients in a very large mixing bowl.
- Grate one bar of soap with a food processor (I use this one – currently 47% off!) and grating attachment. I haven’t had any issues using mine – the soap I use does not leave a residue or smell when I go to clean it after. Please use safety precautions and be careful when using sharp blades.
*Tip: left the bars set out for a couple days to help dry them out a little. This helps with the grating process.* You will have little soap bar bits left over, save these! I use them to get stains out of clothes before washing them.
- Add the grated soap shreds (it seriously looks like mozzarella cheese!) to the main compartment to powder the soap. (You don’t have to do this step, but I feel like it helps with the consistency.)
- Add the powdered soap to the mixture made in step 1.
- Mix all the ingredients together with your hands or use a spoon (if you have sensitive skin).
*If you want a really mixed and smoothed powder consistency, add the mixture back in the food processor in batches and pulse to mix. You must do this in batches or you will create a powdery, cloudy mess – ask me how I know 🤣*
- Add your favorite essential oils – my favorites are lemon and lavender. You could also try basil, rosemary, or any other “laundry” scents you enjoy! Mix one last time.
- Repeat steps 1-6 for 2 more fills – you will have 3 fills total once you are done.
- Add approximately 8-10 cups to your container (this is mine).
- Store the remaining mixture in a very large ziplock bag. Label the bag so you remember what it is 🙃
*I use this powder for other uses as well – cleaning the shower, sinks, etc.*
Some last tips:
Make sure you switch your washer drawer from liquid to powder.
Use the mixture for other cleaning tasks around the house – making a paste has done wonders on our showers and bathtubs.
Use 1-2 scoops, depending on your scoop size. You shouldn’t ever need more than 1-2 tbsp for a “normal” laundry load.
For my next batch, I will make it without Borax and will report back. If I see any difference or not, I will update this post and let you know! If you make your batch sans Borax, message me or comment below and let me know how it works!
I hope you find this homemade laundry soap helpful and effective for you and your family – and mostly, more natural and cost-effective than most other laundry detergents!