Monday, March 29, 2010

Powdered laundry soap

I had a friend who made her own laundry soap....I giggled to myself, knowing I would probably never do that. I really did think it was pretty nest, I just couldn't see myself ever trying it.

...and look at what I just made.

When I saw the recipe, and realized it only had three ingredients, one of which I had TONS of. I once bought many boxes of Borax to make some slime for the kindergartners (not realizing it only takes a teeny bit of Borax)

So here is some homemade laundry soap. I just made the small batch, but I bought stuff to make several more batches.

Powdered Laundry Detergent:
  • 1 cup grated Fels Naptha Soap
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup 20 mule team borax

Mix and store in airtight container or bag.

For light or small loads, use 1 tablespoon. For normal loads, use 2 tablespoons. For heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons.

I found a website that had a breakdown of what it would cost per load...I'm going to trust the amount, as I have no desire to do the math and see if it's right ;-)

Cost per load .15

To make a large batch - grate 6 bars of Fels Naptha Soap and then add 3 cups of Washing Soda and 3 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax. Mix well and store in covered container.

Once I grated the Fels Naptha, I put it in a bowl, put plastic wrap over it and smooshed it down to make it finer. The soap has a warning label to not have prolonged exposure to skin, that's the reason I added the plastic wrap. Also, the Fels Naptha is VERY STRONG be prepared!

*After a comment, next time I will put it in the food processor.

mixing, mixing, mixing

My little helper, cutting out vinyl for the new laundry soap container

...and here it is in the cute new container.

I like to link up to some of these spots here



  1. We love our homemade soap!
    Trying blending it in a food processor or blender for a more "store bought" look.

  2. Huh who would have thunk!! I've never seen the stinky stuff - where do you get that??

  3. I should also add.
    We have used J&J Buddies soap, and currently have a batch made with Dial. Changes up the scent, and gets the clothes just as clean!

  4. I LOVE the little jar you made for the detergent! I just may have to use that for mine as well!

  5. Great idea!! I really like the jar, so cute!

  6. So I guess I'm just curious if it works- I know that sounds extremely obvious but it would save us a ton of money since I have two little guys who have potty problems at night:( and have to do alot of laundry

  7. Holly, I used the food great! Is J&J's Buddies soap easy to find?

    Deedra: my jar was actually a clearance Christmas jar that I picked up for a few cents, I simply decorated over the christmas tree's...clever huh?

    Jake (but Im wondering if this is Jakes wife?) I used the detergent last night, it works GREAT. we have young pottiers too!

    Just a note: the Fels Naptha is a pure soap and causes little or no suds, so it's great for HE washers (not that I have one) but be prepared for no suds or bubbles. It is also supposed to eliminate the need for fabric softener.

  8. i've never heard of washing soda? Is that found in the laundry detergent area? Where would I find that Fels Naptha soap? Just curious,, is making your own soap a cost saving thing or is it because its better than some of the store bought stuff or lasts longer? I've seen many people do this and was just wondering. Thanks

  9. I've never heard of washing soda prior to is a baking soda type of stuff, very cheap and easy to find...laundry aisle

    Fels Naptha: I found it at my grocery store for about $1.25 ish ;-) It's a laundry stain stick soap, so it's found by the detergents. I heard Walmart and Target usually carry it, but Id call to see if one by you has it in.

    As for why to make it....honestly I dont know! I just wanted to try it out. I hear it's cheaper, that it's better for HE washers, and since you use so little of it, (1-3 TBSP) it should last longer. But honestly I havent done all the deep down math and know how on it ;-)

  10. I am super excited to try this. And we are about out of laundry soap! Thanks for the info!

  11. Thanks for the recipe! Like Jess, we are about out of laundry detergent so I am hoping to try this tomorrow. One thing though - I have super sensitive skin and have never heard of that brand of soap, so I'm off to google to see if I can find out if it's gentle enough for my skin. Thanks again for this post.

  12. I made this about a year ago with big hopes. I seemed the washing soda was too harsh and my colors and blacks seemed to have faded. After I used this it also seemed that some of my clothing started to pill. Also, the finely grated Fels Naptha soap never really disolved in the water completed, so I premoistened 1T in hot water before adding to washing machine with little improvement. I switched back to commercial natural laundry detergents. Ecos tends to be an inexpensive brand if price is an issue. FYI - I have a front loader with softened water.

  13. I admit I love the look of this but I feel compelled to warn you. We had a terrible sewage back up in our home and our plumber told us that only a liquid will stay a liquid in your pipes. Powders, salts and oils, and in our case a toy tractor, will harden in your pipes and it's a nightmare I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy.

  14. Mika, I wouldn't wish a sewage backup either! you can actually make this into a liquid too, I recently found that 'recipe' I just haven't tried it yet.

    Messy Mama, we have a daughter with VERY sensitve skin, I still wash her clothes separate....I don't use this soap in every load, but I will say it has worked really great!

  15. Over the top of trees?!?! NICE! Love this!

  16. Thank you So Much for doing this. I have wanted to make Laundry soap. Love the photos..


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