Homemade Laundry Soap–Updated Recipe

This week, I made a new batch of homemade laundry soap. Now, I know there are hundreds of recipes out there, and people have different opinions about ingredients and methods. I’ve tried a couple different recipes, but I’ve found that the clothes, though technically, don’t always come out looking, feeling, or smelling that clean. I wanted to do something about that this time.

I make my own laundry soap because my daughter is allergic to dyes and perfumes found in store bought laundry soap. Since making my own (for the past 4 years), her eczema is WAY better and she doesn’t sit around and itch all the time. When we borrow clothes from others or get hand-me-downs and I don’t wash them first, or when her clothes accidentally get washed by store bought soap, we see a huge flare-up in her eczema. So at least I know this soap helps her.

Still, now that I’m also washing cloth diapers, I haven’t been thrilled with how clean the diapers are getting. I’m having to wash them twice every time, and one of those loads I am using chlorine bleach, which I know isn’t best, but sure makes a difference for our youngest.

So when I ran out of our last batch (which lasted about a year), I decided to do a huge batch and change a few things. Here’s the final recipe. I’ve used it a few times already and find the clothes look, feel, and smell a lot cleaner. However, I haven’t used it enough on the cloth diapers to have a final opinion about its performance on cloth.

UPDATED HOMEMADE LAUNDRY SOAP

  • 4 bars Fels Naptha soap, grated
  • 1 container OxyClean Pure (free of dyes and perfumes)
  • 1 box Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (available in the laundry aisle, usually near the Borax)
  • 1 box Borax
  • 1 box powdered color-safe bleach

Combine a few cups of grated Fels Naptha and OxyClean in blender. Blend until soap is coarsely ground. Empty into large storage bucket. Repeat with more soap and powdered ingredient (it can be OxyClean, Washing Soda, or Borax. I wouldn’t blend the bleach…) until all the soap has been ground. (I like this step because it makes the soap more concentrated and easier to dissolve.) After all the soap has been ground, combine all the ingredients in the large bucket. Stir or shake to mix thoroughly.

TO USE: Add 1-2 Tbs detergent to a full load of laundry.

I have been asked if this recipe is safe for HE washers. I’m not an expert, so I don’t want to say yes or no, but I did notice that a few of the ingredients had on their boxes “HE safe”. Since that wasn’t important to me, I didn’t check on all the boxes. But I’d assume if all the ingredients alone are safe, then the final product will also be safe. You’ll just have to check the ingredients for yourself.

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About Cheri

Hi! I’m Cheri and I’m so excited to be blogging with you! I am a stay at home mom with 4 little girls and one little boy, with another baby girl on the way. We have a third grader, first grader, kindergartner, 3 year old, and 18 month old. So, I guess you can say life is pretty busy. But my heart is even more full than my hands, and I wouldn't change a thing. Like my post? Please comment.
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17 Responses to Homemade Laundry Soap–Updated Recipe

  1. Cheri said:

    Hey Emily, I’m not sure about the size of the box. I just bought what Walmart had. I’ll have to look the next time I’m in that aisle and let you know.

    [Comment imported from blog at 11:11 pm on June 13, 2013

  2. Emily says:

    Sorry one more question, what size of box are we talking of the color safe bleach and the oxyclean? Thanks!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cheri,

    The powder method I had tried ( a different recipe before I saw yours) said to only use a tsp per load! It didn’t seem to be cleaning so I went back to my slop method. Yours calls for 1-2 Tbs per load so I am sure that would get it clean. I have everything but the powder bleach. I will give it a try! Powder is a lot cleaner than slop, and faster to make, I just think slop stretched farther and like I said my clothes smelled fresh so I guess the jelatin properties in the Borax or whatever were stretching out the soap and spreading its qualities across more space…I suppose to make it work better because I do think I used less with it being stretched out with the recipe’s water…does that make sense. Have you figured out the cost savings with the powder method and your recipe? I like the fact you pour in an oxyclean I bet that helps! And the powder bleach I bet that will help with my whites. I look forward to trying it. I just know when 1 year underwear looks the same as 7 year old underwear, then there is a problem. 😉

    • Cheri says:

      I’m glad you’re going to give this recipe a try! I really love it. The only thing I’ve found it does not get 100% clean is my cloth diapers, but then again, neither did store bought soap. I also sometimes have to treat set in stains, but for the most part, the clothes come out looking, feeling, and smelling clean. I love it! The cost is about $20 for 1-2 years worth of laundry (doing 5 loads a week). So I’d say that’s pretty good! Enjoy!

      Cheri

  4. Cheri said:

    Hey Tiffany! The Fels Naptha Soap is usually right in the laundry aisle, usually toward the end of it, in the same place as the Borax, Washing Soda, and, often, Oxyclean. Sometimes it is harder to see, because they’re smaller, and sometimes I’ve seen them way up on the top shelf, but I’ve always found it, in every grocery store and Walmart I’ve tried to find it in. Good luck!

    [Comment imported from blog at 2:24 pm on March 9, 2013

  5. Cheri said:

    Hey Tiffany! The Fels Naptha Soap is usually right in the laundry aisle, usually toward the end of it, in the same place as the Borax, Washing Soda, and, often, Oxyclean. Sometimes it is harder to see, because they’re smaller, and sometimes I’ve seen them way up on the top shelf, but I’ve always found it, in every grocery store and Walmart I’ve tried to find it in. Good luck!

    [Comment imported from blog at 2:24 pm on March 9, 2013

  6. Cheri said:

    Emily, I haven’t tried the slop method. I have a friend who does it that way and loves it. I’ve found the powder to work just fine for me. What is it that isn’t working for you? Is the soap not dissolving? If that is the case, that’s why I grind the soap in the blender/food processor with some of the powder ingredients to get it to a finer texture. Maybe that would help?

    [Comment imported from blog at 2:22 pm on March 9, 2013

  7. Cheri said:

    Emily, I haven’t tried the slop method. I have a friend who does it that way and loves it. I’ve found the powder to work just fine for me. What is it that isn’t working for you? Is the soap not dissolving? If that is the case, that’s why I grind the soap in the blender/food processor with some of the powder ingredients to get it to a finer texture. Maybe that would help?

    [Comment imported from blog at 2:22 pm on March 9, 2013

  8. Tiffany said:

    Where can I find the Fels Naptha soap? I’m really interested in trying this recipe out. 🙂
    Tiffany

    [Comment imported from blog]

  9. Tiffany said:

    Where can I find the Fels Naptha soap? I’m really interested in trying this recipe out. 🙂
    Tiffany

    [Comment imported from blog]

  10. Emily said:

    Cheri,

    Have you tried the slop method kind? I tried a powder mix and it didn’t seem to work as well as when you melt the soap and make this gooey stuff. However my recipe didn’t call for the oxy-clean or the powdered bleach…good ideas. Where do you get the powder bleach at? I run out of the gooey stuff too fast, but I am using my powdered stuff as I made a big batch, but as powder, it doesn’t seem to work as well in that for for me. I’ll have to try this recipe when my batch runs out.

    [Comment imported from blog]

  11. Emily said:

    Cheri,

    Have you tried the slop method kind? I tried a powder mix and it didn’t seem to work as well as when you melt the soap and make this gooey stuff. However my recipe didn’t call for the oxy-clean or the powdered bleach…good ideas. Where do you get the powder bleach at? I run out of the gooey stuff too fast, but I am using my powdered stuff as I made a big batch, but as powder, it doesn’t seem to work as well in that for for me. I’ll have to try this recipe when my batch runs out.

    [Comment imported from blog]

  12. Tiffany says:

    Where can I find the Fels Naptha soap? I’m really interested in trying this recipe out. 🙂
    Tiffany

    • Cheri says:

      Hey Tiffany! The Fels Naptha Soap is usually right in the laundry aisle, usually toward the end of it, in the same place as the Borax, Washing Soda, and, often, Oxyclean. Sometimes it is harder to see, because they’re smaller, and sometimes I’ve seen them way up on the top shelf, but I’ve always found it, in every grocery store and Walmart I’ve tried to find it in. Good luck!

  13. Emily says:

    Cheri,

    Have you tried the slop method kind? I tried a powder mix and it didn’t seem to work as well as when you melt the soap and make this gooey stuff. However my recipe didn’t call for the oxy-clean or the powdered bleach…good ideas. Where do you get the powder bleach at? I run out of the gooey stuff too fast, but I am using my powdered stuff as I made a big batch, but as powder, it doesn’t seem to work as well in that for for me. I’ll have to try this recipe when my batch runs out.

    • Cheri says:

      Emily, I haven’t tried the slop method. I have a friend who does it that way and loves it. I’ve found the powder to work just fine for me. What is it that isn’t working for you? Is the soap not dissolving? If that is the case, that’s why I grind the soap in the blender/food processor with some of the powder ingredients to get it to a finer texture. Maybe that would help?

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