Monday, May 28, 2012

Homemade laundry soap

After about a dozen of my friends started making their own laundry soap I decided maybe it's time I give it a try too.  After talking to a friend that I KNOW is a neat freak like me and she has 4 kids with double the dirty, sticky, crayon-laced clothes that I have, and she raved about homemade detergent I was sure I wanted to make my own laundry soap too.  You can find my recipe here.  I was able to get spaghetti stains off of a white shirt and make Jim's dingy work shorts really clean and bright again.  All of this with just one little tablespoon of homemade detergent.  I did pre-treat the dried spaghetti sauce with a bar of the Fels-Naptha soap (found in the detergent) because someone told me it's a great stain remover and pre-treat agent, and it is!

So here's how I made mine...

Step 1:  Gather all the ingredients.  I found ALL of the ingredients in the detergent isle at Walmart.  I did buy the generic Oxy-clean, and it's more than enough for 2 batches of detergent.  The total cost was $17 plus tax, and if you consider that the Oxy-clean will work for 2 batches than the cost of one batch is only about $15.  Nice!

Step 2:  Combine all the ingredients.  I lined a 5 gallon bucket with a trash bag and poured everything in and stirred.  Jim ran the bar soap though the food processor to grate it into small pieces.  I ended up lining another 5 gallon bucket just to make sure that the grated bar soap was distributed evenly throughout the detergent.  NOTE:  There will be a lot of dust so one of those painters masks would be really helpful during the mixing and pouring process.  And stirring is difficult.  I used a very large metal spoon, but a wooden spoon should work just as well.

Here's a close up of the detergent.

Step 3:  Storing the detergent.  In the recipe the woman used a big glass container that she had.  I don't have a big glass container with a lid, so I needed to use something else.  I always head straight to the Dollar Tree when I need some storage bins.  I found these 3 plastic containers with lids and they worked great!  I evenly distributed the detergent into each.  I'm guessing one of these containers of detergent will last 2 or 3 months and I do a lot of laundry.  I'll update after I've used a whole container to tell you how long it lasted.

Step 4:  Me, being me, couldn't just leave these containers as they were.  I had to make them pretty.  I Googled and Pinterested some laundry labels, but I didn't like any of them.  So, I made my own and used clear contact paper to adhere the labels.  It took a few minutes, but this is the final product.  I bought an extra bar of Fels-Naptha to use a stain remover.

SIDENOTES:  I really do LOVE this detergent!  But don't expect the tablespoon of soap to make the water sudsy, it's not going to happen.  If you look in the washer during the agitation process then you'll see the water is a little opaque, but that's about all you're going to see.  Also, you can use the scent crystals (also found in the detergent isle at Walmart) to make the detergent smell like the big name brand detergents, but I still use fabric softner and a dryer sheets with each load, so with those scents there was no need to use the scent crystals.  The detergent has a very mild clean scent to it without scent crystals.  Seriously, this stuff is AMAZING!  Happy Laundering!  


  1. I make my own as well. I have done both but now am doing the liquid. I like both, liquid is a bit more expensive (I know krista it's all cheap, you little cheep girl) but I think maybe the powder works a bit better? I'll have to try your recipe!
    You are so creative, with your kid crafts, go momma:)
    I miss you, sure hope we can some day hang out as Mom's... We've never done that:(
    Great updates! I'm impressed with how you can keep up this blog!

  2. Oh, Krista, I miss you SO much!! You're so sweet! You'll have to let me know when you're in town so we can visit and let the kids play while we chat. ;)