Homemade Laundry Detergent

I am really big into using natural cleaners and as few weird chemicals as possible. I wholeheartedly believe that it is healthier for my family, and a lot of times, it’s easier on my budget as well. 🙂

Yesterday, I made laundry soap. It’s actually quiet easy. All you need is 4 ingredients. Fels Napa or Zote Soap, Washing Soda and Borax. I used Zote for a while, but I can no longer find it. So, I’ve been using Fels Napa. I think I might like the Fels Napa a little better.

Anyway, grate 1/2 bar of your chosen soap into a medium to large pot.  Add water, and heat on the stove to melt the soap.  The bubbles are from adding water.  Do not let it boil.  Then you have bubbles everywhere.

Here’s what it should look like after it’s all melted.

The add 3/4 cup each of Washing Soda and Borax.

Heat and stir until it’s all dissolved.  I have found it helpful to add one, stir, and then add the other.  It does not seem to matter which order you add them in.

Then, dump your mixture in a 2 gallon bucket.

And fill your bucket up with water.  It’s actually better to not get as many bubbles as I did when filling up your bucket.   But, being pregnant, I was having trouble lifting it out of the sink.  So I’ve been using the sink sprayer hose, and that makes quite a bit more bubbles.

I use 1/2 cup per load.   2 gallons will give you about 64 loads.

One thing to note.  This does make a very low sudsing detergent.  It will still get your clothes clean.  The bubbles aren’t what get them clean.   The soap being in the water does.  When you are used to using normal detergent, it’s a little worrying to not see any bubbles when you do your first few loads.


About Kara

I am a daughter of The King, my Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus. I am helpmeet to Bryan, and mommy to a precious little girl, and another little one on the way.
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2 Responses to Homemade Laundry Detergent

  1. I have been using grated soap for a couple of years now. Much easier to carry home than big jugs of detergent. I don’t know where you live, but if you have soft water, you may not have to add the Borax or Soda. They are both very caustic. In hard water you may need to soda, but not the Borax. Our water is straight off a glacier, so very soft. Don’t be afraid to play around and see what you need for your water type to get results.

    I have also found that I still need detergent for towels (esp. my kitchen ones) to cut the grease every few loads. We don’t do many paper towels, so mine do get olive oil, etc. and for me the soap needs a boost.

    Also, many of the new fabrics have a coating for whites. If you don’t use the detergent with brighteners, they will get dingy. Overall, I have found plain Castile soap (I’ve also done Fels Naptha) to be easy to use and give good results.

    • Kara says:

      Thanks Gloria. Unfortunately, here in New Mexico, our water is more liquid rocks than it is water. I have not noticed my whites getting dingy, however that could have something to do with me hang drying them, so they get sun bleached for several hours after every wash.

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