Posted by: purityseekers | March 7, 2007


****I got a comment asking how much this cost per load and how many loads it would do.  That depends on how much you use.  I find I use about 3/4 cup (or an old Tide cup full) for loads like sheets and cloths that are fairly clean anyway like unstained kids clothes and my Dh and I’s clothes.  But if I do a load that I know needs an extra boost I use twice that amount.   I’ve tried it with cloth diapers and really wasn’t too thrilled with it but I also think my diapers need a good stripping!  All that regular detergent has taken its toll on them I think!!  I bet if I took the whole load right now and put it through a cycle without soap… at the “vibrating” stage I could look in and see tons of bubbles!  That is soap residue and can cause lots of stinkeeeee smelleeee diapers!!  So… I’ll probably strip them and come back to say whether it worked or not.  I’ve heard mothers swear by this detergent for their cloth.

So I guess based on how many gallons it makes (about 5)… since the total is no more than about $2.50 a load (unless you used more expensive soap or something) then it would be about (ugh… you are really making me work here!! haha Gotta get my math mind in gear!!!!) … let’s see… there are 16 cups in ONE gallon… so 80 cups in 5 gallons.  So that would be more than 80 loads if you used 3/4 cup.  Let’s figure you decided to use 1 cup (just so I can figure it without too much thought haha).  Figures to be about .3 a load.  CRAZY, isn’t it?? I’ve figured that even if I only use it here and there for light loads it would save tons of money!!!

We used to buy the Tide 2.5 gallon BIG jugs with a spout for about $17.  If I used a cup of that it would cost about .40 a load.  Even if you used 1/2 cup of Tide it would still be .20 a load.  You can definitely see the savings!!!  If you used 1/2  c. of homemade detergent you’d spend a cent and a half a load.  (that’s what a lot of women use) hahaha That just doesn’t sound right, but it is!!  And I am stretching it with the cost because it is actually only about $2.00 a load without the essential oils and stuff you don’t HAVE to add.  So it gets to be less than a penny a load!!!  Nutty!!  Ok… now onto the recipe!!! (sorry if my math isn’t right… it’s early haha… but I know I’m close!)

I had heard about people making their own liquid laundry soap here and there over the past year or so and I decided to research it more a month or so ago and try it for myself!  I had gotten the “Beeyoutiful” catalog after buying some SuperMom Vitamins through their website.  On one page it had different emails from women who had made their own laundry soap, the recipes and other tips.  I have taken that info. and the things I have learned online and decided on a recipe I really love!!!

We have always bought the largest Tide with the spout and it cost about $17 or more for 2.5 gallons.  This recipe makes about 5 gallons (double the Tide) and can be made for under about $2.50.  If you use more expensive soap, add essential oils, etc… it can cost a little more… BUT… WAY WAY WAY less than the over $30 for 5 gallons of other detergents!

I am showing the recipe by using photos I took… but at the end I will just post the recipe if reading this with all the pictures bugs you!!!  (Sorry… I am a photo junkie!!!)

First you need to find the coolest soap in the world…Fels Naptha! ( I called around and both of the major grocery stores here carry it in the laundry section for under $1.20 a bar) ~~  you only need one bar for this recipe! (also… it is a GREAT stain remover.  I keep a bar in my laundry room and wet the stained area and rub over it with the bar!!!  Works awesome!)


Before you do anything else… take a big cooking pot and start boiling 6 quarts of water to use later!  By the time you are done all the rest… your water will be boiled and ready!!  Come on… just trust me on this!!!  If you don’t boil it now… you’ll be waiting impatiently later!!!

You take the soap and grate it like you would cheese.  The first time I made laundry soap (using a more expensive soap, Dr. Bronner’s) we did it by hand… here is my Big Girl “Z” helping me…(what a pain it was… but didn’t take as long as I thought it would!)

but this time I decided to get out my old food processor and try that!!  Worked GREAT!!  I am not sure how long it will actually hold up to grating soap that is as hard as Fels Naptha… but I never use it anyway so I don’t care!  haha

This is what it looked like after I grated it… Tacos, anyone??

In a big pot you put 3 quarts of water and the grated soap and heat until soap is melted.

Then you add 1 and 1/2 c.  WASHING soda (not to be confused with BAKING soda) (I found this also at the local grocery store for a little over $2!)

and 1 and 1/2 cups of Borax….(got mine at Walmart… its also pretty cheap although I don’t remember the price)

Continue to boil until thickened being VERY CAREFUL NOT TO LET IT BOIL OVER!!!!  Remove from heat. Take it from someone who did it the first time… haha… I had melted soap ALL over the top of my stove and some burned on and it was NOT pretty!!!!  Hey… at least it was soap, right??  My stove was clean afterwards!!

Take your bucket… ( I got a 20 gallon bucket at Walmart)

OH… and if you have a store like “Sam’s Club” you can ask at their bakery section for used icing buckets!!  The last time I did that they had 3 on hand!!  They clean them all nice and they are cool!!  They have a nice cover and handle!!  Awesome for making the detergent, or transferring it detergent to store it or to give it away, etc.  This is a batch I made for my friend, Summer, who has 6 children!  She said she’d love to try it since detergent is so expensive, so I just made her a whole batch to try!!  Heck… for about $2 it’s a great gift that won’t affect your budget!!  (‘specially when the bucket is free!! haha)

Add 3 quarts of HOT water to the bucket along with the mixture of soap, washing soda and Borax.

Then add the BOILING water that you should have put on to boil before doing anything else 😉

THEN add 4 MORE quarts of water plus one pint (yes… it calls for a LOT of water!!!!)

At this point you can just stir and it is ready to cool and get thickened and would be ready to use in 24 hours… OR you can add a few things before the cooling process.

You can add essential oils… I LOVE oils so I have my favorites on hand… lavendar, lemon, orange, and tea tree.  This last batch I added about 15 drops of lavendar, and about 10 drops of tea tree oil.

And if you want to get even MORE creative… you can buy some Grapefruit Seed Extract and add that for extra bacteria killing power!  I squire mine all over the top like I was making some fancy design of squiggles on the top of a cake!

In the end you have about 5 gallons of liquid detergent.  You can use about 1/2 cups for each load… but I usually add a little more since I do BIG loads!!  Today I am trying it for the first time with my cloth diapers!!  I’ll have to add to this post to let you know how it worked out!!

There!!!  I think you will find that  ‘Es una receta bastante facil… (had to add a little spanish for my brother) ** it’s an easy recipe

Let me know if you have tried making your own before or if you DO try!!

The recipe without all the pictures!


1 bar Fels Naptha bar soap

1 and 1/2 c. Washing soda

1 and 1/2 c. Borax

5 gallon bucket

Put 6 quarts of water in a large pot to boil. (to use later in recipe) Melt the bar soap in 3 quarts of water and then add the Washing Soda and the Borax.  Contine to boil until thick, being VERY careful not to let it boil over!!! Remove from heat.  Add 3 quarts of HOT water to your bucket and then the mixture. Add the 6 quarts of BOILING water to the bucket and then an additional 4 quarts plus 1 pint of HOT water.  Stir and let sit for 24 hours to thicken!

*** optional… you can add essential oils.  I like 15 drops of lavendar, 10 drops of tea tree and I squirt a bunch of Grapefruit Seed Extract all over the top and then mix it in!

That’s it!!!

🙂 B



  1. I made some today. However my recipr did not have all the boiling and water. It used the same ingrediants yiou listed except it is a powder detergent rather than a liquid. I will try yours since the powder needs to be mixed each time I put it in the washer and I want to make sure I put it inthe right amount. Many of my friends make it the same exact way you made it bu I didn;t want to bother them this morning as I wanted to get right to it. I did one load and it seems to look and smell clean. I will have it folded tomorrow and take a good look at it. We were at the park all day and didn't get back until dinner and now I am too tired to tackle it.

  2. Way cool sis! We will have to try it soon! Thanks for your idea for our blog… I am going to use it!

    Love you all! Bri

  3. I sure like my Tide though. I do hate to spend that money. We have to use Tide he because we have a front loader. Does this recipe suds a lot? Let me know how you like it.

  4. I have been thinking about making my own….Thanks!!
    I'll have to try =)

  5. Thank you for the tutorial with pictures. I have always wanted to do this, but never had the nerve. What is the cost per load with this and how many loads can you do? Just curious. THanks again.

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