Saturday, May 10, 2008

How to Make your own Laundry Soap

Last December my friend Celina blogged about making her own laundry soap. I decided that I would try it out once my current supply ran out.

I did a lot of research online to find as much information as I could about making my own laundry soap. What I found was that pretty much all the recipes are essentially the same, some people use more or less of each ingredient, and that bath soap does not clean as well as laundry soap. I also learned that this is great for High Efficiency washers because it makes little to no suds (FYI the suds in store bought laundry detergent are for looks only and don't actually have anything to do with cleaning.)

In the end I went with Celina's recipe because a) she's my friend so I believe her when she says something works and b) because I believe her, her recipe is considered tried and true, c) it seemed pretty easy and d)Celina already did the price breakdown which saved me a lot of mental math work. Basically, homemade laundry soap costs less than 1 cent per load. You can't get much better than that!


Here's what you need:

  • Some kind of bucket to mix all your ingredients in. I used a 2 gallon paint bucket.
  • 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha Laundry Soap (you can also use Zote, Octagon, or Ivory--amounts may vary)
  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (everything but the bucket can be found in the laundry aisle of Walmart, Fred Meyer, or WinCo--at least in my neck of the woods)
  • A cheese grater and a small saucepan 
Baking Soda and Washing Soda are different. See?

Step 1: Cut your bar of Fels Naptha Soap into thirds and finely grate one third of it. If you are awesome you have this grater from Ikea. $4.99 for two! If you don't have this grater you are still awesome. You just need to take a trip to Ikea.
This looks like it would be good on spaghetti but...no. Don't try it.

Save the other two thirds because next time you make a batch of laundry soap it will feel like you are doing it for FREE!

Step 2: Put your grated soap in a pot with 6 cups of water and heat on low until the soap melts. Don't let the soap boil. Once all the soap is completely melted add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat.

Step 3: Pour 4 cups of hot tap water into your bucket. Add the soap mixture and stir it up. At this point you could add a few drops of essential oil like lavender or tea tree oil if you wanted your soap to have a fragrance. Add nothing and your clothes will simply smell clean. (Don't you love how I give you a picture pouring? As if you have no idea what it means to pour? Yes, I am helpful like that. You're welcome.)

Now add one gallon of hot tap water plus 6 more cups. I used my giant 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup but if I had had an old milk carton I would have just used that. As you can see my 2 gallon bucket barely fit it all. You might want to use a 5 gallon bucket to avoid unnecessary sloshing.
Give it another few minutes of stirring and then let it sit overnight.
Step: 4 In the morning your soap might look runny, or like gel, or separated with big clumps of slime on top and water on the bottom. This is all normal depending on the weather, the type of soap you used, and how much of a tree-hugging hippy you are. At this point you can be done and simply keep your laundry soap in the bucket and just scoop out 1/2 cup per load. Or you can give it another good stir and funnel it into your old well rinsed laundry soap bottle. OR you can be a sucker for cute packaging like me and take it one step further.


Step 5: I wanted to use a Beverage Dispenser with a spigot but my soap came out all clumpy and I knew there was no way it would flow through. So I busted out my immersion blender and smoothed all the clumps layer by layer.

I funneled each layer into my container then went back and blended the next part. Blend, funnel, blend, funnel, blend, funnel...etc.


I found this cute plastic cup at a thrift store and it holds exactly 1/2 cup. Perfect!

An adhesive plastic hook gave me a cute litle laundy soap set-up. Oops, I attached it to the wrong side. Easily fixable. But wait! There's more!

If you have a Downy ball, you can put about 1/2 cup of Distilled White Vinegar in there and it makes a fantastic fabric softener. And no, your clothes do not come out smelling like vinegar. If you don't have a Downy ball just add your 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. I don't like babysitting my washing machine so I have a Downy ball.


Check me out! Cute! Frugal! Tree-hugging! I'm a REAL Oregonian!

Update:

After five years I still love this soap. However, I've made a few simplifications in my process.  I no longer use the drink dispenser.  It got a crack in it and started leaking so I transferred all my soap to two 1 gallon orange juice containers.  Plus, the mixture will still separate and will need to be shaken before use so the o.j. containers are more convenient for shaking than the 2 gallon drink dispenser.

The above recipe used to say something about stirring until the mixture thickens.  This happens almost right away and easy to miss.  I took that line out.  Just remove from heat once everything is fully dissolved.  Everything will be okay, I promise.

Since I have to shake anyway, I gave up using the immersion blender.  Unnecessary!

I also mostly stopped measuring the water.  I just put enough water in my pan to cover the soap and other ingredients.  I let everything dissolve.  While it's dissolving I fill my 2 gallon bucket about half way with hot water from the tap.  Then I add the soap mixture and stir it up a couple times.  Then I fill the rest of my bucket up with hot tap water and stir again.  I let it cool for a couple hours and then transfer it to my o.j. containers using a ladle and a funnel.  Anything that spills is used to mop my kitchen floor.  

I'm so glad so many people are having success with this recipe!  Hooray for saving money!

282 comments:

darbishar said...

I love the soap dispenser, what a great idea!

darbishar said...

Oh I also meant to tell you that if you use Ivory, you don't have to grate it, you can just nuke it in the microwave and it "shreds" itself. You can check out a youtube video of ivory in the microwave to see what it looks like.

Thrifty Florida Mama said...

This is such a great post! I love the pictures and your ingenuity to create a total package. First time visitor to your blog but I will definitely be back!

Angie

Ginger said...

Wow. How amazing! Darn, I just bought laundry detergent at Costco..., I can't wait to try this - cute pics, and hooks, and dispenser. Thank you! I found you through Brenda

C & G said...

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Ginger - keep that container (unless it's cardboard of course:) so that you can put your first batch of homemade laundry detergent in it!

Kacey said...

Where did you get the dispenser? It's really cute. I thought about using my sun tea jar. I think that might work too...I'd have to keep the rest in a bucket I guess. Thanks! I just bought all my ingredients today.

Jeana said...

Kacey,

I got the dispenser at Target but I've seen them all over the place now that summer is in full swing. Let us know if the sun tea jar works for you. I thought about using one, too but changed my mind when I saw how thick the laundry soap really is.

kristal said...

kacey, let us know how it goes when you make your first batch!

Molly said...

I would love to be able to make this soap, but you cannot find borax (or even any type of boric acid) anywhere in Bolivia. I am very sad since this was my plan for cleaning and warding the ants from my house. Perhaps I can fill a bag with Borax the next time we go to the States. (Sigh) :-)

Mary Elise said...

I have all the stuff to make my detergent but haven't put it together yet.

Love your ideas for the laundry organizer! Gotta do that!

And I never thought of the Downy Ball, GREAT idea. The laundry room is too far away for me to babysit.

I saw your post about natural shampoo on another blog. I've been using baking soda to wash my hair and vinegar to rinse. Works really well for me. No greasies, more body than I've had in a while. I guess because there's no build up. Try it, you might like it.

Mary Ellise

Molly said...

Hello gals! I'm back in Bolivia after toting about 50 lbs of Borax, Fels Naptha and Super Washing Soda down with me. (Almost like I planned on being evac'ed just so I could make greeny soap, right?) I just made my first batch tonight. It's tropically humid and hot and sticky so we'll see what consistancy it is in the morning! Can't wait to use it on the cloth diapers tomorrow--so much easier than washing by hand like I had been doing! Thanks and blessings!!

Anonymous said...

I really like this blog site, I found it very informative, funny, easy to follow the soap making instruction. My daughter has eczema and I wanted to find a recipe for laundry soap that was all natural. Thanks so much!

shonna said...

Thanks for the great post! I myself am compiling a list of how to make certain cleaning supplies for my blog. If i give you total credit(like your link or name what ever you wish), can i add this to my post,? let me know! you can check out my blog at
http://saving-money-during-a-recession.blogspot.com/. Either way im going to the store tomorrow im gonna try it out myself!! thanks for the great info!

Jeana said...

@Molly: hooray! How did it work on the cloth diapers?

@Anonymous: My kids have eczema, too and this doesn't irritate their sensitive skin at all.

@Shonna: Thanks! Feel free to link to this post from your blog. Thanks for asking permission :)

Mrs. Drummond said...

I am on my second batch and loving it! It is one less thing to have to buy at the store!

Krawl's Sunshine said...

I made this soap for the first time last night. When I got up this morning, it was runny like water.It hadn't gelled at all. I reread the directions and I used cold water at the end instead of hot. Could this be my problem? Should I remake it??

Jeana said...

You should still be able to use it. Whether it gels or not is really dependent on so many factors. My soap is realy gelly in the winter and really runny in the summer.

Stacey said...

I love this! I've been looking for a good detergent recipe and I think this is the one I'll be trying. If I use Ivory soap - how much do I use? Thanks!

Jeana said...

Thanks, Stacey! Ivory soap bars are smaller than Fels Naptha so I would try using 1/2 the Ivory bar. Let us know how it turns out!

The Palat Family said...

I made this a few days ago and it's wonderful! I used Zote and my clothes are actually coming out cleaner than the detergent I'm currently using. :) I do have one tiny problem, though. My detergent has separated in the container. The water is at the bottom and everything else sits on top; I have to stir it up before I use it. No big deal, but I'm just curious what the problem could be. Thanks!

The Palat Family said...

PS....I used this detergent on my cloth diapers and, again, it did a much better job than my store-bought detergent. My diapers actually smelled clean...who'd a thought!

**Nicole** said...

I thought this was very interesting but now am for sure going to try it after reading that 2 of your kids have eczema and it helps their skin. My daughter has lots of problems with that as well and the special dye free kinds of detergent are soooooo expensive! What a great alternitive! I'm definitely going to try it out!!!

Jeana said...

@ Nicole, great! Let us know how it works for you.

@ Palat Family, my detergent separates, too. I'm pretty sure that's normal. I just shake it up and then I'm good to go.

jmyjon said...

Can I use this detergent with my front load machine? It requires "He" and I would love to use this alternative but need to know it won't ruin my new machine. Does anybody know?? Thanks oodles.

Jeana said...

This soap doesn't create suds so I think it would be fine. My friends with front loaders haven't had problems and there are lots of testimonials on the internet about people using homemade soap with their HE washers so...I guess you'll have to do what's comfortable for you.

jmyjon said...

Thanks for the response. I did a little more research too and realized it was due to the "suds" issue. I made a batch a few days ago and can't wait till my old soap is out so I can start on this!

tes said...

wow you are so wonderful women ! i am so glad that i found your website. i am about to embark into a new lifestyle as well and i am a firm believer of natural home remedies and anything natural. you are all God sent! i will post your website into my blogs website facebook etc etc so the whole world will know that there are great women like you and we all think alike! ha ha...great minds think alike!
i will send you some of my own stuff in the near future!
be abundantly blessed extravagantly brilliant and constantly protected
tw

Kelli said...

Silly question, with front loaders, do you still put the soap in the dispenser as usual or do you need to actually pour it onto the clothing after you load?

and do you need to reduce the amount of soap used, you said you use 1/2 cup for your washes, that seems about all I use for my current HE machine for the commercial detergents

Jeana said...

Kelli, as far as I know you can put the soap in the regular detergent dispenser. You shouldn't have to reduce the amount but if you want to try starting off with 1/4 cup per load and seeing if that cleans well enough for you...well, awesome! It will last even longer for you. But otherwise, since there are no suds this soap is safe for HE machines and other friends I know use the recipe as is. Most people use more soap than they need because they think it is making their laundry cleaner. In reality it's just creating more residue to rinse away.

Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic web site. Thank you so much!! Now that I know I can you vinegar as a fabric softner and in the dishwasher instead of Jet Dry. Can you tell me why I use a dryer sheet? If I put vinegar in the wash as a fabric softner, do I need a dryer sheet?

Lin said...

I'm curious, would a more concentrated mixture result from using less water?

Space is not something I have a lot of in my laundry room and I'm hoping that by simply using less water I can use a smaller container and simply use less detergent.

Lori said...

Can the homemade detergent be used in HE machines?

LaVonne said...

Hi ladies! It's so funny that I came across your site by chance today since I believe I know all 3 of you. I'm glad we share the same passions for greenness and frugality.

I've been using a similar recipe for about a year in my HE machine and I haven't had any problems with it. Every once in a while I just run a load using vinegar only to rinse out any residue because it was recommended by a technician. I use 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the soap and put the vinegar in the cup for fabric softener. It gets released when it's supposed to and I don't have to think about it.

Here's a tip for saving money and the environment. If you don't have a 5 gallon bucket, try going to a laundromat or dry cleaner. I found an old detergent bucket that was just the right size. I got it for free and was able to reuse an existing bucket. I store my detergent in old vinegar or milk jugs. I can make smaller batches and they are easy to shake up before use.

If you're concerned about space, you don't have to mix the ingredients with water. I have seen several recipes where you can mix the dry ingredients together and use about a teaspoon? of the detergent. It's easier to store that way and takes up less space.

Jeana said...

Great tips, LaVonne! And we've really been needing someone who's had experience with a HE machine. :)

Anonymous said...

I accidentally let the soap get to a boil... do I need to redo it? what happens if it boils?

L. M.

Liesl said...

Has anyone tried substituting Dr. Bronners or other healthy soap for the Fels Naptha (petrochemicals) or Ivory (beef tallow)?

plastic laundry hampers said...

This is going to be really helpful. I think I should start making to lessen my expenses on detergents.

Anonymous said...

i read on another site that people have used DR. bronner's successfully in their homemade laundry detergent. I have found that adding the essential oil after it has cooled seems to keep the scent stronger in the finished product. i have been using this, really like it. I have read several places that Zote works better and smells better. haven't tried that myself yet. happy washing

dr sardonicus said...

you can also use witch hazel as a fabric softener.

I love the laundry soap. We have been doing it for almost 2 months and goodness our clothes look cleaner and feel softer than ever before.

We also do a dry version. 1 cup Borax, 1 cup washing powder and 2 bars of Ivory or something of that sort (Dr Boners is awesome to use but pricey here).

Mix together and use 1/8 cup for normal loads and 1/4 to 1/2 for soiled clothes or sheets. I use this for bed clothing (sheets pillow cases, comforters)because it makes them so soft. White vinegar or witch hazel in the rinse cycle!

Mutuelle sante said...

This has been a great support, many thanks, now to make our own laundry soap is very easy with your help. Thank you

uwgirlb said...

This site is just full of awesome awesomeness...Love the play by play photos and your novel soap dispenser. Since I do laundry in the basement (I call myself the "laundry drudge" on those days), I might have to come up with some marvelous dispenser to compensate. Can't wait to run out of the store bought stuff.

Betsy from Canada

angie said...

i love this! just found it on pinterst somehow (eek i love pinterest!) going to give it a whirl next week!
oh and the play by play photos and commentary make me love you all the more :)

T Byrd said...

i found it on pinterest too! bought stuff today to make it :-)

Anonymous said...

Why does melting the soap and adding water, etc make more loads than using dry ingredients? I have a recipe for shaved soap, borax and soda simply mixed together, using the same amount of each but it cleans way fewer loads?

Olive's Mama said...

Thank you so much for posting this laundry soap recipe! I just made it tonight and am looking forward to using it tomorrow. Also, I live in California and yes, Walmart has everything you need. In fact, I don't know any other store around here that sells the Super Washing Soda except Walmart. Thanks again! :)

Anonymous said...

Found your blog on Pinterest and so glad I did. Just whipped up a batch and can't wait to use it. Plan on doing all my essential, towels, sheets and such items with this. Maybe can convince my husband and use it in everything soon. Now to look at the blog and find other great ideas. Thanks a bunch =)

christy said...

Hello,

I have been using this recipe now for a couple years myself. I love it... I also make batches for my best friend. We were wondering if anyone knew of an ingredient that could be added as a "stain remover" like some of the store brands have....

Any thoughts?

Kelly said...

I have been wanting to try making my own detergent and was planning on starting this weekend. I ran out at lunch and picked up hooks, a downy ball and the beverage dispenser. I like this so much better than milk jugs and baby sitting the washer! Love!

http://damselindelish.blogspot.com/2011/10/cheese-fondue.html

Pastrychef27 said...

I just made my first batch of laundry detergent! Feels great to be green :)
Thank you so much!!!

CupcakeLiz said...

I just ran across this on Pinterest...I was lucky to have been given a starter kit to make my own detergent last Christmas! I LOVE it!! I use pretty much the same recipe, but use a 5gal bucket and one cup of each powder(adjustable per your water type), along with the whole bar of Fels Naptha. The only difference is that I water it down when I transfer it to the jug, 1:1. I love making it, makes me feel accomplished, but now I feel challenged to make a dispenser! ;) lol

CupcakeLiz said...

Christy, If you want to save a small piece of the Fels Naptha bar, you can wet the stain with water and rub the bar on the spot, that usually takes it out. Or you can try soaking the item in water with some borax, or try these: http://tipnut.com/homemade-laundry-stain-remover-recipes/

Also, peroxide can get blood and berry stains out, pour it on the spot and rub it with your nail or a soft toothbrush. White chalk can soak up grease from clothing-just rub it on and let it set for a bit then throw it in the washer; dish soap can also pre-treat greasy or fresh food stains.

Amy M said...

You can also use a Kirk's castille soap (coconut based) and it makes a very nice detergent...not as fragrant so you may want to add some lavender (or other)oil.

Meredith said...

I'm trying to make this now and my mixture is not thickening. I used an old bar of Fels Naptha - it crumbled rather than shredding so maybe that why. Any ideas?

Patty said...

First attempt and it didn't thicken like honey. Hopefully tomorrow it will have thickened.

Kathie @ Like A Box Of Chocolates said...

I've always wanted to try this, but I always wonder how this affects the clothing? Does it fade material faster or affect it any differently than store bought detergent?

Danika said...

I melted the soap in 6 cups of water, and added the borax and washing soda, but it's still not thickening. According to your instructions, it seems as though you remove it from the heat *after* it thickens.... but my mixture is still watery... I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Help!

Maria Swigart said...

I love this soap...and it works great..but it doesn't get as thick as honey like said in one of the steps but none the less it still turns out wonderful....I just now made my second batch and I love it...thanks for the recipe :-)

Leah said...

I have made this twice and it is great. The only thing is I have to shake it before each use. Does the blending work? Does it stay blended or does it seperate? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

We made this soap this morning and followed all instructions but it didn't thicken. We continued on with the rest of the recipe anyway and now have it in our bucket waiting to see what it looks like tomorrow. My husband believes it will work whether it thickens more or not. Fingers are crossed!

Anonymous said...

aahhhhhh thank you. i love this!!

Ann said...

Found you on Pinterest and had to share with you I've been using this recipe for 2 years and LOVE it. I did learn from you - Thank you. I need a submersible blender to get rid of my lumps. My family is a little grossed out when it's their turn to do the laundry and you've solved my problem.

toni adams said...

Can't wait to try it...and I LOVE your personality ....thanks

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hi, I'm new to all of these great green options and I'm wanting to make the shift. Can anyone tell me the pros & cons between the liquid and dry versions of homeade laundry detergent...the dry options seem like alot less work, but I do like liquid detergent better. Any input would be great!! Thanks so much for your great info!!

Anonymous said...

I skip the 'water' step and just put it in a container usually use a couple of teaspoons per load adjust to how hard or soft your water is...clothes smell great . Easy to store...dissolves fine!

Lori W. said...

Thanks! Good to know!!

Lindsey said...

UUUHHHMAZING. I've seen the home-made laundry detergent before, but putting in to the water jug. And the topper was putting the cup and downey ball on hooks. brilliant I tell you.
Thanks so much for your step by step instructions!!!
p.s. I found you through Pinterest.com

Lindsey said...

LOVE this idea....How long does it usually take from the time you grate to the time it's ready to set over night? And you said you did the breakdown.....how much does it cost for the 2 gallons, compared to store brands? Thanks so much! It's a great blog

dodge_family said...

Mine didn't thicken either. I want to throw it out and try again.. but where do I toss it? Sink or grass?

Leah said...

Mine never gets thick as honey but I just continue on and use it. I do have to shake it before each use so that is why I was wondering if the blended one stays blended.

Amanda said...

This is a fantastic idea and a great money saver. I found you on pinterest and I will most definitely be back to your blog! Wonderful!

Shelley said...

We started making basically this version about two years ago and have never looked back!! My oldest daughter and husband have very sensitive skin and this has been a GOD SEND!! I also add about 1/8 of a cup of tea tree oil to the mixture (5 gallon bucket full). I think of it as kind of a disinfectent component to the mix!!! We are in FL and sometimes things get kind of a stale smell...the tea tree oil helps!!
Anyway, I love it and find it cleans our stuff wonderfully!!!!
Blessings
Shelley

beanie said...

just made this today and main also did not get thick. I guess we will see tomorrow morning what happens

ouizee47 said...

One question about the liquid version of laundry soap. Does it ever mold or "go bad"? Just curious.
ouizee

Nicole said...

I made this yesterday and mine did not really thicken at all. Its almost like consistency of milk. I followed it exactly.

Sarah Maxey Photography said...

I made this a couple months ago with the Fels Naptha and it never thickened. I had to shake up the container before each use, it was like water. It still cleaned the clothes really well, but my husband could not get over the fact that it was watery soap :) I just made a batch using Ivory and it became thick almost right away after adding the borax and soda. The Ivory grated like cheese whereas the Fels Naptha crumbled like stale crackers...not sure if I had an old bar or what. I like the smell of the ivory and I also added some lavender oil. I'm interested to see what this will look like tomorrow- keeping my fingers crossed for a more gel-like solution! Thanks for the recipe!

Anne said...

thanks for sharing! i made this and was really pleased with the results. blogged about it and gave you credit here: http://prettyladydesigns.blogspot.com/2011/12/homemade-laundry-detergent.html

prettyphat said...

Just made my very first batch! I am looking forward to using it tomorrow. Thanks for the directions and extremely helpful step-by-step pics!!

Sarah Maxey Photography said...

As a follow-up to my comment a couple days ago, my detergent came out awesome! It's really thick, almost too thick, and it doesn't separate at all :) I now know to use Ivory instead of Fels Naptha. Hopefully this will help those that had thickening issues.

Anonymous said...

I have an HE machine and I use this. However, my detergent version is powder. I use the same ingredients and put them in a plastic box. I did not heat the soap or add any water. I use about 1.5 tablespoons per load right into the soap dispenser. If you don't have room for the liquid, this is an alternative. It works really well and no problems with my HE machine.

Anonymous said...

This is the exact recipe I have been using for years and I love it. You can add essential oil if you want a scent. I never thought to blend it, so I am so glad I saw this. Sure beats shaking it before every load...thank you!

Denise said...

This is our recipe. 4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Meijer.com). Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!
The only thing different is 2 things. It is a doubled recipe. And our's calls for after you dilute it the first time and let it sit over night to fill a container half way with the soap and half way with water again. To shake it and it works just fine. I don't have any problems with mine clogging up my spout. And I don't have to use an immersion blender. And it goes much farther. Therefore making it even cheaper.
My clothes come out extremeley clean!

Anonymous said...

I just made this laundry soap! I believe it will be great, but it did not thicken as you said. I believe I will try adding 1 cup of Washing Soap and maybe switching to Ivory. Is the Ivory the bar of soap and is one bar enough for this recipe? We will see how it is in the morning!

Pheas said...

Anyone know of a cruelty-free source of borax? I've only seen the 20-Mule brand in local stores, and it's made by Dial Corp.

Anonymous said...

Hello!! Do you know if this will work for high effient washers?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the comments, esp. Re: HE washers. I'm going to try this, as we are down to one income now.

Anonymous said...

AWESOME!!! Thanks! ..and after reading all the posts - thanks again Denise for BOTH recipies !

Jen Long said...

Hi!I just found this on pinterest. I have a question. I've seen a lot of these recipes with same ingredients made into a powder form. Do you have a preference? Have you tried to just do powder form? I have everything to make this, I'm just nervous to try it! :) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

@ Jen Long I use the powder form all the time. 1 cup grated Fels-Naptha, 1/2 cup borax, 1/2 cup washing soda and it works great

*~*JerseyDreamer*~* said...

I'm really excited to try this homemade detergent! I had a difficult time finding the Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda around here (Canada) until I discovered that here it's marketed under the name "So Clean!" and the box is mostly blue. Now that I have found all of the supplies (I'm using a Sunlight bar soap instead) I've got all of the dry ingredients in a container and will give it a try next laundry day. Though your container is super cute with the hooks and supplies attached, for space's sake and because it's lighter, I'm not adding the water. Thank you for this!

*~*JerseyDreamer*~* said...

*UPDATE*
I've got my winter jacket in the wash right now, using cold water. I am finding that with the dry version of this recipe, there are still shreds of bar soap floating in the water 10 minutes into the wash cycle. I am going to use the original version next time as the bar soap is rendered useless if it isn't dissolving early in the wash. Oh well. It was worth a shot! :)
(It may still work for hot water washes; I haven't tried.)

Anna M. said...

Would it work if you used a liquid dish soap instead of bar soap?

Unknown said...

anna, hmmm I don't know, seems like it would get too sudsy. I'm thinking of using my liquid dr. bronner's soap I just have no idea how much I should put.

Patti said...

I read every post about the homemade laundry soap, and came up with one idea that might be helpful to those of us that prefer powder. Someone mentioned that it didn't disolve well in cold water. Wonder if after combining all the dry ingredients together using a hand blender or an old upright blender you were to process it to a finer powder? I may have to give this a try. We use cold wash alot in my house and I know in my HE washer that there is not alot of water to disolve with when it washes (13 gallons of water compared to 40 gallons in a standard washer for each complete cycle). I will have to let you know. By the way, found this on Pintrest, thanks for sharing!

Karen Denise said...

I have been making my own laundry detergent for years with a similar recipe and I had some tips too...

I use a metal attachment to my drill that is used for mixing 5 gallon buckets of paint. I attach it to my drill and blend the soap after it gels overnight. I then pour off a portion into a smaller container to be kept on top of my dryer for daily use. I do need to shake it before using, but that is a small concession for saving so much money on detergent.

I don't prefer the powdered alternative because I cannot get as many loads out of one batch. I get 193 loads per batch from the liquid and only a fraction of that from the powder (like 45 or so).

I would never throw out the ingredients if it didn't gel... It's only a matter of temperature. The recipe has everything it needs to clean. The texture doesn't matter. It will still clean your clothes.

When I did make the powdered form I thoroughly blended everything in my food processor after shredding the soap. It made a fine powder and dissolved in my machine just fine. I have also kept the powder in a container and melted a portion in hot water on the stove to make one gallon at a time. You could do this if space is an issue with a 5 gallon bucket in your laundry room.

Anonymous said...

I anybody concerned about using Borax? It is considered a toxic poison and is actually banned in parts of Europe. Just Google Borax and see what I mean.

Jennifer Pekas said...

I have just started making your laundry soap and I love it! I am on my third batch. I just have a question...........when I mix the borax and washing soda my mixture never thickens up especially not like honey. Am I doing something wrong - is it going to be a big deal if it doesn't? I have read through the steps several times and do not see what I am doing wrong? My soap never really gets that thick, but it seems to work fine. Thanks!

Zade said...

I have been making this soap for years. The difference in my recipe is that you use a whole bar of fels naptha. (We also have extremely hard water) It gels every time.
I make the liquid now that I have an HE machine. I don't feel like the HE machines use enough water to dissolve the powder kind.
When I did use powder I grated my soap on a four-sided grater using the side that you would grate nutmeg on. It made the soap into a super fine powder.
Also, someone else was asking about the cost. I figure my batch of soap costs about $3 for 10 gallons of finished detergent. (this will of course vary for you depending on the cost of your ingredients where you live) If you use 1/3 c. of detergent per load (again remember I use an HE machine and don't use 1/2c. as called for here) then you will get 480 loads from one batch of soap. This equals $.00625 per load. (less than 1 cent a load)
Per a big discount retailer's website Cheer HE detergent is $10.97 for 100oz. Cheer does not specify how many loads you get from 1 bottle. If you assume that you use around 1.5oz. per load (what Tide says you use per load for their HE detergent) then you can get approx. 63 loads from a bottle. This is $.17412 per load.
For Tide HE at the same store is is $17.97 for a bottle that washes 96 loads. This is $.18718 per load. That means that Cheer costs almost 28 times more and Tide costs almost 30 times more than making your detergent at home.
I hope this helps someone.

Jessica said...

I just made this detergent and was pretty happy with the cleaner power it had, but after washing soiled sheets from my toddler the "pee smell" didn't come completely out so I was a bit disappointed. Why do you think it is? Any suggestions to avoid for the future? Also, where can you get the essential oil drops to put in if desired?

Leslie said...

@ Zade. THANKS for doing the math and providing this info. I'm copying it down so that when my husband gives me the "you're crazy" look... I have facts and figures to back it up. Just went to the local healthfood store and found an enormous selection of oils... my kitchen will be my sience lab this weekend! :D

Mommafo said...

Did/does your detergent stay liquid after you blended it up? I currently just use a powdered mixture of Fels Naptha, Washing Soda, Borax & Baking Soda... sometimes I throw in some OxiClean. I've been curious as to the reasoning behind the boiling/liquid version.

Anonymous said...

does this soap always seperate
last time i made it it suds up really bad when i added the borax and the washing soda and so now i have half a container of suds
what did i do wrong?

Airyele Rounds said...

Hi - I found this on Pintrest. I live in the East, and am not sure if you can get the Fels Naptha Soap here. Can you get it in a specific special store?

Leslie said...

This may sound stupid, but, was I suppose to put the vinegar in the downy ball and put in the dryer with my clothes? I did that and my sheets smell like vinegar... yikes...

kristal said...

not stupid, leslie! the reason you've got "stinky" sheets, though is that the downy ball goes in the washer, not the dryer. hopefully another wash and dry and the smell will go away!!

Deanna in Georgia said...

Just wanted to let you know, I just made my first batch of liquid soap using Denise's recipe =) Guess we will find out in the morning how well it turns out. It was really fun, and I loved the way it made my house smell. The lady at Walmart thought I was crazy for making my own laundry detergent, but if it saves me from spending so much money there, it will make me and my hubby very happy =) Plus, I plan on sharing it with my daughter too!

Deanna in Georgia said...

I got all my stuff at our local walmart. Mine didn't thicken like jel. It got a little thicker over night, but of course its only been 12 hours since I made it. Gonna use it anyway. Im glad mine didn't thicken because I have a HE washer(front loader) and was afraid it may stop up the lines if it was too thick! Remember, I used Denise's version.

Leslie said...

Was super excited to get up and do laundry this morning (a first ever! lol). I used all the products you used and my soap was a thick gel. I blended it up and poured it into two, 1 gallon containers. Have washed 2 load of laundry with it so far and it works GREAT! Makes me want to wash EVERYTHING in my house.. even the "clean" stuff. ;) Thanks for sharing this recipe... I will be sharing it with many.

The White House said...

Oh, I just *knew* I was saving a couple of those big detergent dispensers for SOME reason! I have everything but the Super Washing Soda, just because I'm a geek who likes using Borax in my regular loads and someone gave me a few bars of Fels Naptha for a science experiment that I've yet to do with the kiddies... So, then, I'll teach them math, home economics, and kitchen safety all in one fell swoop!

The White House said...

Teehee, and I love leaving posts from "The White House"...just know that our last name isn't Obama. Do they even DO their own laundry? LOL

Paige said...

Are the measurement the same (1/2 cup) for HE machines?

whitdd said...

I just started making this..It went well and is now sitting for the overnight wait! I did make a few changes...I used my blender on the grind setting to cut the bar soap...Also did not have a bucket big enough so I divided the mixture into 4 smaller conatiners. Put about 2 cups of mixture with 5 and 1/2 cups of water. This allowed me to use four larger mixing bowls. Now I plan to blend each bowl and then pour into old bottles!

camandcartsmom said...

My soap is sudsy on top and liquid on the bottom. Is this okay. Should I mix it up before each use?

pamelat2 said...

This is wonderful!!! I'm gonna give it a go today. Thank you so much. By what I can tell for the HE washers we use a 1/2 cup. Is that correct? Also the vinigar in the downey ball can that be used in a HE washer as well?

Casa al Paso said...

I will make this when my detergent is gone (soon I hope). I have been using washing soda mix with peroxide instead of bleach for my whites clothes and works great. Thanks!

Stacy said...

Found this link on Pinterest and was so excited to try it. I just whipped up my first batch and the house smells SO good. Can't wait to use it tomorrow!

The Loerzels said...

I live in Morocco and can't get any of these ingredients here. Can I substitute goat fat and olives?

~Nicole~ said...

@ Jeana, did mixing it layer by layer before you put it in your container help with the separation? Just curious.

JPB said...

Hello, I found this blog on pinterest...and wondered if anyone has done any research on Borax? I feel like I have used it for years because its "natural" but now I have been reading about all these horrible things about it, like don't use on children's clothes and don't use while pregnant. Any ideas for a substitute?

JPB said...

Hello, I found this blog on pinterest...and wondered if anyone has done any research on Borax? I feel like I have used it for years because its "natural" but now I have been reading about all these horrible things about it, like don't use on children's clothes and don't use while pregnant. Any ideas for a substitute?

JPB said...

Hello, I found this blog on pinterest...and wondered if anyone has done any research on Borax? I feel like I have used it for years because its "natural" but now I have been reading about all these horrible things about it, like don't use on children's clothes and don't use while pregnant. Any ideas for a substitute?

Sherry Dubose said...

I found this on Pinterest also. When I was cooking it the mixture did not thicken like Honey. I have mine in a spout container that I found at Wal-mart and I am having to shake it every time I need to use it. Is there something I can do different next time to make it thicken like you said? Thanks

Sherry Dubose Milton Fl.

Tracy said...

I saw several comments questioning the safety of Borax. I started doing some research. Here is one person's take on it's safety.

http://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/115/1/Handy-borax-tips.html

I will post any other useful information as I come across it.

Tracy said...

Another bit of information I ran across in researching the safety of Borax was a website that said Borax is the same thing as boric acid. This isn't true, although it can be easily converted into boric acid, it is not boric acid.

Frances Parrish said...

How much Ivory do I use in the place of the other.

Renee said...

How much Zote do you use in comparison to the Fels Naptha?
Renee

Anonymous said...

does anyone ever have issues with the essential oils or soap leaving grease/oil stains on clothes. have not tried this yet, but am nervous it may leave oily marks if i add scented oil to it?

Becky said...

I made this and it smells great!! However mine did not thicken like honey. Also after I mixed it down to put in a pretty container it's really foamy and has two layers. Is this normal?

krisney said...

I can't find borax anywhere! Every store in my area is sold out! I found oxiclean on sale for 4.99 for a 3lb tub. So it was cheap.... But can I sub it for the borax???

Anonymous said...

I work in a restaurant and we always have a surplus of 5 gallon pails and lids from all the used up supplies. I'm sure if you asked, any restaurant would be able to have 1 or 2 pails saved for you. Much better than going in the landfill!

Anonymous said...

Try going to a restaurant and ask to have a couple of 5 gallon pails or 2 gallon pails with lids saved for you. Much better use than going to the landfill!

mnmbeck said...

I just checked out Amazon.com for some of these items....they have everything there. It might be a good place to get these items if you live in an area that does not carry them. I was having trouble finding 'zote' soap....I ordered it on Amazon!

Anonymous said...

imade one batch of this using fels naptha and i love it. i dont need fabric softener at all. i do find if something white goes in with jeans they come out with a blue tint. my jeans do not seem to be fading tho.i would like to try this with zote. the bar is much bigger than fels so does anyone know if it would still be 1/3 of a bar. has anyone tried the zote?

Anonymous said...

i made one batch of this using fels naptha and i love it. i dont need fabric softener at all. i do find if something white goes in with jeans they come out with a blue tint. my jeans do not seem to be fading tho.i would like to try this with zote. the bar is much bigger than fels so does anyone know if it would still be 1/3 of a bar. has anyone tried the zote?

Nora said...

I just made my third batch of laundry soap today. I love the fact I'm saving money! I have to say the soap kept seperating over night, but I just give my jug a shake and I'm good to go. Also, I had an old laundry jug with spout that I have been reusing.

Allycia Harper Lee said...

Hi all! I just finished making my first batch of laundry detergent. It did not thicken but that could be because I live in Florida and we have extremely hard water. Now I just have to wait to see what it looks like tomorrow. I didnt have a bucket and Walmart was sold out. So I just used my 3 gallon "mop bucket" instead! Perfect size! I also have a couple old detergent bottles with the spout I am going to rinse and reuse! Thanks for the "recipe"! Found you on pinterest! (arent we all addicted to pinterest?!)

Anonymous said...

Thinking about trying this: I have front loader machines, do you put the homemade in the dispenser part and does it get mixed in okay?

Colleen said...

I found this on Pintrest, and I just read the post and every comment. I'm excited to try it out!

One of the questions I saw that I didn't find an answer to was if you blend it with the immersion blender, does it still separate? Just curious, because if it does, I could skip that step, even though it's prettier.

Thanks for this post. It's great info, and it's cool to read through the comments and see how many people you impacted!

Anonymous said...

This is my third time making the soap, I have always used the Fels Naptha soap and it never got thick, no matter how long I cooked it. I ordered the Robo-Stir (I know, lol, as seen on TV, but I have ADD and can't stir that long!) and just went down to check it, and its thick after about 20 mins!!!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... if Ivory soap can be used instead of Fels Naptha (I assume because it is actually soap and not detergent like most other bars -- Dial, Irish Spring, etc) I wonder if my homemade soap would work (not the melt and pour stuff, but made from scratch)?

flikmaster said...

I just made my first batch a few hours ago and it is already like jello in the bucket. I can't wait to try it on my clothes tomorrow.

LadybugJewel said...

I am excited about making my own homemade laundry soap! Lots of good ideas on here and was really happy to read the post from the person with the extra hard water. I will be using a whole bar of soap, too! For "Anonymous" with the essential oil question. I have experience using Young Living Essential Oils. I have not experienced oil staining from using the oils on my skin or sheets. Be sure that the essential oil you use is pure. So many are bottled "cut" with a base of almond oil, or other oils. I get mine from my sister who is an independent distributor. Feel free to go to her website at https://www.youngliving.org/joyousliving, go to "product line", then choose whichever letter will take you to the scent you want, i.e., choose "L" for lavender. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Is it Ivory Bath Soap?

Anonymous said...

I first learned of this when our minister made it for the food pantry. It is so easy and economical.

momt02 said...

Was very excited to find this recipe on pinterest.com. I made my first batch over the weekend and am doing laundry as we speak....SO EXCITED to be doing something great for the enviornment and my family. Of course there have been alot of ridicule and criticsm because of what I am doing but I say let them laugh.... My son and I both have eczema and after reading all the comments about how it would not affect our skin I knew this was for our family. Thanks again!!!!!

Jo from Georgia said...

You should tell everyone in the directions that it might NOT get thick like honey at first. I had it on the stove for 45 minutes, and it NEVER got thick. However, when I gave up, put it in the bucket and added remaining water....it thickened up about an hour later. Plan on testing it out
today. Can't wait....love the cost!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to use Dr. Bonner's tea tree soap. How much of the bar should I use?

Kellyinflorida said...

I found this on pinterest as well. I had the borax already (thanks to my son's science experiment) found everything else at Walmart. I had a 5 gallon bucket w/ a lid thanks to the kitty litter. I have been saving plastic juice containers, milk jugs, etc. (and even a few empty 2 liter soda bottles) I have an old tide bottle that I keep refilling for everyday use-and yes, I have to shake it, but hey I'll shake it for all the money that I saved. I also have an HE washer and use 1/4 cup. I haven't tried the vinegar trick yet, but I will when my bounce dryer bar runs out.
My friends think I'm nuts b/c every time I see one, I hand them a bottle of my laundry detergent!!! It's that inexpensive- you can afford to share. :)

Kellyinflorida said...

One more thing, for those of you that can't find the products, I happened to see someone selling the dry ingredients already measured out on ebay.

Cindy/Mamaw said...

I love your blog. You sound so cute and young... :) I'm a "mamaw" to 7 and love it. I did make my own liquid laundry soap. My recipe was pretty much like yours. I didn't like it. It was always full of lumps and clumps. Never thought to use my immersion blender. Did you only do that when you made the soap, or did you have to go back and do it again. That was my only issue. I've also made the powdered kind and really liked that. I made the liquid because we got a new front loader.

Kathryn Premraj said...

This is great! I actually have two of those beverage dispensers sitting forgotten in my garage, and millions of the 3M hooks I lucked out and got free. =0) I will try this! On thing is new to me--I thought fabric softener went in dryers, like the dryer sheet. And I don't use a dryer, so I'm used to stiff clothing. It can be a liquid and go in washers? How does the downy ball know when to open?

Mommaof2Boys said...

This sounds like a great idea, but how does it do for little ones with sensitive skin??

Dana said...

What type and size of container did you use to melt the soap on your stove? Is that a glass Pyrex container pictured?

Mehak said...

Just made this, and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe! I do have a question though-- it's getting pretty cold here (20+ degrees most day)-- have you had any problems with the soap freezing/re-gelling if you leave it out in the garage (where our laundry room is) or outside the house? Thanks!

Philip, Paige and girls said...

Where did you find the container with spigot?

Anonymous said...

I just found my dispenser at wal-mart for $7.26. Gonna start today! I will miss my Cheer but am looking forward to saving $$$!

Nadya Crouch said...

Hi, I'm doing my 2nd batch now. My question is, how to avoid lumpy, ticked on top and watery in the bottom of detergent? With my 1st batch I just scoop out without stirring with mixer but sometimes still stick between my laundry clothes. Have any idea? Oh yea, I live in a cold house in Oregon, so no way I can avoid cold weather. Thx!

CorazondeDios said...

This is utterly awesome. I get pissed paying so damn much for Tide HE laundry detergent at the store. I will definitely try this out, and see how well it cleans my clothes. And I will get a Downy Ball. I may even get a ubercool blender like yours (although mine is pretty damn cool for making Margaritas!)

Jessica Reyna said...

I used this recipe for the first time last week, and I loved it! But when I was making it, it started to boil and now that it's in the container, it's completed separated (liquid on the bottom half and foam on the top). Do I need to start over again or will this batch be fine?

Anonymous said...

If it gets really sudsy while you're cooking it, its b/c you're letting it simmer or boil. This won't affect cleaning ability, but will make a mess of your kitchen.

If it doesn't gel, it doesn't matter. Shake it up and use it anyway.

If you use Ivory or Dove, you need the whole bar.

No, do not substitute liquid dish soap!!!!

If you expect it to thicken like honey while you're cooking it, be prepared to stick around a while.

marnao122 said...

I have been making my laundry soap using this same recipe for about 3 or 4 years now and I love it. But what a great idea with the dispenser, the immersion blender and the vinegar in the downy ball. Awesome! Thank you so much for the ideas!!!

Shawn Greene said...

Sorry if this is a double up post.
I wonder if you or anyone knows what happens if the soap boils? It got out of hand with me and it boiled over a little bit. Does this ruin it? It does not seem to want to homogenize now.
Thanks!

Irina said...

Thank you a lot! I loved the idea...now I teach other people to do it, and here, in Chile, people are sooo surprised to find out that they can save money on laundry sopa! thank you again!

Mommy-mine said...

I tripled this recipe and used 1 whole bar of dial tropical soap. It was very watery, after it sat ovrrnight some foam on top but that's it? I mixed it and used my tide measuring cup- I put one cup in it didn't suds up as washer filling or washing(on cold)???
Did I need to use more than 1 bar of soap?

Mommaof2Boys said...

I'm pretty sure I read that this didn't have suds.

Anonymous said...

People people please read the other posts before asking your question. The same questions are being asked over & over.
I used the Duggar family recipe version and its very similar to this one but you use the whole bar of soap, 1 c each of the other 2 & put it in a 5 gal pail.
I've tried ivory & fels-naptha. Fels-naptha is actually pre-treatment bar for stains & I prefer this one for laundry detergent.
If u microwave the soap beforehand, it is much easier to grate & using a food processor makes it even faster.
The whole point behind "cooking" the grated soap is to just melt down the soap so it mixes w/ the other ingredients. It doesn't matter if it gets thick or not.
Let it sit overnight & it usually becomes gel-like. I've used a paint stick & pvc tubing to stir it.
I put mine in old store brand laundry detergent containers filled 1/2 way with hot water & 1/2 with the laundry detergent

Anonymous said...

I also have an HE front load machine and I use 1/4 cup of the homemade liquid detergent. It doesn't ruin your machine. If you have an HE front load you don't need a Downy ball, you put the vinegar in the fabric softener slot. Using vinegar also cleans out your washing machine.
Yes it does separate everytime & all you have to do is shake it before pouring in.
The Duggar family recipe lasted a whole yr & it never became moldy or mildewy.
I've heard that this detergent is pretty strong & needs to be in a heavier plastic like other laundry detergents whereas milk jugs can break down over time due to the type of plastic.
Martha stewart recommended using borax for cleaning baby diapers so I wasn't worried about trying it. My daughter has eczema & it hasn't caused any problems. I do use this to wash cloth diapers & it works fine. I also use this for my clothes & there has been no increased wear & tear from this detergent

autumn moth said...

I made this and am happy with how well it cleans, however i am having problems with deodorizing. I noticed someone else with urine smell issues. Does anyone have any suggestions? My kids' pajamas still smell like pee and the pits of my husband's T-shirts still retain body odor. I so don't want to switch back to $8 to $15 a jug again!

Juli Smith, said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever tried using less water? I'm trying to make an additional batch to add to my super watery one and maybe use 1/4 cup (one lid full of my all HE detergent bottle) instead of the half. I'm using exactly half the water and I added it to what was left of the batch I had, which was about half.
Just curious if it worked or if I'll be adding more water lol

Anonymous said...

White vinegar helps to neutralize smells. I have used it with store bought detergent and it removes urine, body odor, and foot odor from clothes. If your clothes still smell add vinegar to the wash. I don't put it in the rinse cycle, just pour in the beginning of the wash. There is also a recipe for homemade fabric softner that uses vinegar in the recipe.

Anonymous said...

started using the powdered version of the same ingredients for 3 months now(same ingredients just without the cooking-also saves room)- ever since my daughter who has had bad eczema since 6months old has been completely clear. we had been using the free and cleardetergents for sensitive skin with every steroid cream and natural remedy a complete fail. we also use vinegar as a softener.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks you for the easy do follow steps. I just finished doing this and its really runny like water. I just want to clarify if its ok to still use it when its as runny as water. I have it in my head that it needs to be think like soap. I just want to make sure I did it right. Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

I cooked mine on low like forever. It never did get thik like honey. I figured all the soap is melted so it should be ok. Any comments?

stephaniegreene1 said...

Adding tea tree oil should help with deodorizing.
I made 2 batches of this stuff already, and it's awesome!

Vaughan &; Rebecca said...

I use my paint stir thingy that fits in a drill to stir mine in the bucket, it works so well. I love this soap, last time I made it I also added some color safe bleach to mine....

Anonymous said...

I actually use both. I make this dry without the water. I love it!

-D- said...

Great idea and love the effort. But go greener and leave out the Ikea boost. Their sluggishness to reduce the wood they use from illegal loggers and to demand more certified wood resources somewhat reduces the going green impact. You're even more awesome if you cut Ikea out of your like altogether.
-D-

Grace InAZ said...

I have been reading about homemade laundry soap and cleaners for the last few months, but your post is spurring me to action! I have the borax and already use vinegar as a softener, so just need a couple of things. Love the idea of the drink dispenser with the clips! Thank you so much. I also found you on pinterest and would love to link to you in my blog!

Hugs, GraceinAZ
Growing Old With Grace http://growing-old-with-grace.blogspot.com/

KJ Stud said...

You could drill a hole in the bottom side of your bucket and install a spigot. Then you can mix and dispense out of the same container. Just an idea... Love your Post!

Janyce said...

This is great! I have all the ingredients and have been waiting patiently to use up my last purchased container of laundry soap. (well, not that patiently, really, 'cause I can't wait to do this)
And thanks for the tip with the Ivory Soap. That's great, now I won't have to use my tiny grater. ;)

SnuggleBunnie said...

Great Idea! I am going to post this on my blog and link it back to yours so people can join in on the fun:) Thank you for saving me some money.

freegrrl said...

Very cool! And very well written blog too!
I think I will try this.

Anonymous said...

I made the dry version and have had a severe reaction to it. Itchy, bumpy rash on my arms. I went back to free and clear laundry soap and rash is almost gone. Anyone else have a bad experience?

Anonymous said...

Sorry if this has been asked already; but does the soap ever separate again once in the final "pour" container?

ktdinsc said...

Hey all! It's april and Walmart has their "summertime" tupperware out and one item I saw was a huge container with dispenser to set in fridge for drinks! perfect for this soap. I make the 5 gallon duggar recipe and love it great for sensative skin. and for pee smell use vineger in the wash! not dryer ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if I can just use the fabric softener dispenser in my washer? Or do you have to use the Downey Ball?
Thanks

Unknown said...

I totally love this recipe and have made it many times and as far as getting it to thicken I've found that I had to really finely grate my bar soap. It takes more time and muscle but it made a huge difference in the consistency of the finished detergent. I think the soap just wasn't
dissolving when grated more coarsely.

Anonymous said...

I am a FACS high school teacher (Home Economics)..I just made the detergent. I love the smell. My Mom used to use the Fels bar soap for subborn dirt stain on b
aseball pants. Can't wait to show my students. Thanks for the receipe.


Carla

Corin said...

Is there a certain kind of essential oil you have to use? And can you get it at Walmart as well? I am thinking of making it but I like my lavender smell, and want to add it to the detergent when I make it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You can make the washing soda by baking baking soda in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees, and if you add a little bit of glycerin (2 tbsp) to the batch (which also helps clean clothes) it keeps the detergent from clumping up

Sara said...

I'm allergic to borax (not a very pretty site when my skin comes into contact with it), what alternatives are there to borax?

jade said...

Once you use the handheld blender, does it thicken back up in the container with the spigot?

Anonymous said...

We made this for the first time this weekend!! And are so excited to try it out. Thank you for posting the recipe. I will be sharing our results with friends and family. (Currently, they think we're ridiculous for making our own.. While I think they're ridiculous for paying too much!) Ours didn't thicken on the stove either, but I'm not worried. We did however, happen to find a paint mixer drill bit (easy to use even for me) for $6 at Home Depot. Love this whole thing!!! Thanks again..

Heather said...

I made this recipe but the product was very watery. Is that normal? It gelled up a little after sitting overnight but was never "like honey" like the instructions say. Did I do something wrong? I realize it's not supposed to be sudsy but I didn't expect it to be watery.

SozKLee said...

Hello a few questions as I am in the U.k I cannot get hold of the arm and hammer super washing soda can another soda cystals be substutited? also cannot get the fels soap so can any bar soap used I really want to make this but Im finding it hard to get the things to make it and to import is expensive so defeating the object of saving money if any one in the U.K. has made it and found where to get the things would be great thank you

Molly said...

Stain Treatment

Fels-Naptha works well on spots caused by cosmetics, sweat and food. Run the bar under the tap, then rub the bar on any oily stain trapped in clothes, then wash the garment as normal. This product will often get out stains that other pre-treaters can't touch.
I love it and i have a 2 year old that puts it to the test every day!! It works sooo great!
Making my own laundry soap saved us sooo much money =) Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

When you say a few drops of essential oil how many would you suggest? If its that big of amount you would have to use more then just a few....could/would you suggest using two different essential oils like lavender and sandlewood so I could get the smell of the laundry soap I like?

zumbamomma80 said...

Ok..I am so excited to try this! I am a single mommy to two boys and love to save money when ever I can! I also like the strong scented laundry soaps (usually buy Gain or Tide)so what do you suggest for scent of oils that I add? Going to buy all the stuff to make this weekend as "laundry soap" is on my grocery list to get....excited...so glad I found this post

Barb said...

I have used this for several years now. I like the powdered version so much more, and it is way easier to make and keep. I also make my own soap, so I know every thing that goes in my detergent. Any essential oil will work to fragrance the batch. I'm always experimenting with the scent.