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Homemade Laundry Soap

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!

 

homemade laundry soap Danielle Comer Blog

 

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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):

Baking soda4lb box ~$2.50 or 3.5lb bag from Target $2.79 (2 cups ~ 1lb box)

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 soapΒ – 3pk $7 on Amazon (1 bar per fill – so the 3pk is perfect for one batch)

Borax – 4lb box $4.59 at Target

One fill:

Baking soda ~$0.93

Washing soda ~$1.33

Borax ~$1.06

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!

 

The steps:

 

 

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.

 

homemade laundry soap kitchenaid food processor Danielle Comer Blog

 

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!)

 

homemade laundry soap grated Danielle Comer Blog

 

Add the cheese, I mean the grated soap shreds, to the other mixture.

 

homemade laundry soap mix Danielle Comer Blog

 

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 orΒ you will create a powdery, cloudy mess – ask me how I know 🀣

 

homemade laundry soap mixing Danielle Comer Blog

 

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!)

 

homemade laundry soap essential oils Danielle Comer Blog

 

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 πŸ™ƒ). 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.

 

homemade laundry soap glass jar Danielle Comer Blog

 

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!

 

homemade laundry soap storage Danielle Comer Blog

 

 

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)

  1. Measure and mix the first 3 ingredients in a very large mixing bowl.
  2. Grate one bar of soap with a food processor (I use this oneΒ – 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.
  3. 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.)
  4. Add the powdered soap to the mixture made in step 1.
  5. 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 🀣*
  6. 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.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 for 2 more fills – you will have 3 fills total once you are done.
  8. Add approximately 8-10 cups to your container (this is mine).
  9. Store the remaining mixture in a very large ziplock bag. Label the bag so you remember what it is πŸ™ƒ
    *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!

 


 

Have you switched any other products out in your household for greener options? Do you have any money-saving tips and tricks when it comes to green cleaning? Tell me about them in the comments below! I’ll be posting more soon 😊

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Catherine @ To & Fro Fam
    November 13, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Good for you!! I also like knowing all the ingredients in my home goods, especially ones that go on our skin. I use Borax in my cleaning all the time. It’s the BEST at cleaning the tub!

    • Reply
      Danielle
      November 16, 2018 at 7:43 am

      Yes, me too! I’ve been changing out my beauty products too over the last several years. Borax is great for cleaning the tub! I used it in our duplex on the coast to clean our shower (it was disgusting), and it looked so clean and white again! It was crazy.

  • Reply
    Pech
    November 13, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Haha I like you calling the soap cheese… though you totally can make soap after making cheese too!

    • Reply
      Danielle
      November 16, 2018 at 7:40 am

      Haha! It seriously looks just like cheese – it’s so funny!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Platings and Pairings
    November 14, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Detergent was on my shopping list for today, but now I’m thinking I need to make my own. Why is detergent SO expensive?! It’s crazy. That and toilet paper…

    • Reply
      Danielle
      November 16, 2018 at 7:39 am

      Yes! Paper products are insane too! That’s my next little green goal… less paper towels. Now, if I could get my boyfriend on board πŸ˜‰πŸ€£

  • Reply
    Mary
    November 14, 2018 at 8:23 am

    That’s fascinating! I’ve been curious about making my my own detergent, but have been weary. This sounds pretty simple and straightforward. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Danielle
      November 16, 2018 at 7:37 am

      I was the same way before this class – I figured it would be a good excuse to try it out. It’s surprisingly easy and so cheap! And now I can’t bring myself to spend the money on regular store-bought haha!

  • Reply
    Waz
    November 14, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    I just picked up a new bottle of detergent recently, but I’m curious to try your recipe when that bottle runs out. Sounds pretty straightforward, and it’s always good to know what’s going into the recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Danielle
      November 16, 2018 at 7:34 am

      Yea, you should definitely give it a try! It’s surprisingly easy and has so many uses around the house!

  • Reply
    Hillary Knudsen
    November 14, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    This is so smart! Honestly I’ve never thought to making my own, but it’s such a great idea! I’m definitely going to make this over the weekend since I’m running low on my store-bought detergent πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Danielle
      November 16, 2018 at 7:33 am

      I hadn’t either until I took that class! Then it was so easy and so cheap I couldn’t go back 😊 if you make it, let me know how you like it!

  • Reply
    Renee | The Good Hearted Woman
    November 16, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Thanks so much for this great tutorial! I’ve thought many times about making my own detergent, but have never been motivated enough to actually do it. Now I may revisit the idea.

    • Reply
      Danielle
      November 16, 2018 at 11:25 am

      You’re so welcome! And you definitely should πŸ™‚ You can always make just one fill to give it a try and see how you like it before committing to a full batch (which is 3 fills). You may be surprised how easy it is to throw together a batch. Let me know if you have any questions when you give it a go!

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