Skip to main content

How to Make Your Own Laundry Soap

  • Author:
  • Updated date:
Making your own laundry soap is easy, fun, and can save you money!

Making your own laundry soap is easy, fun, and can save you money!

Why Make Your Own Laundry Soap?

Laundry soap is expensive. It's easy to spend $100 or more a year just on detergent to get your clothes clean. Making your own is inexpensive and easy, and has many benefits. It may seem complicated or daunting at first, but it's really not. The initial upfront cost to make your own is about $30, depending on which ingredients you choose, but will make 5–10 times what a decent detergent such as Tide would get you for that price.

Tide, Gain, and other brands run $15–$25, and the cheap stuff you buy at the dollar store or knockoff brands don't work as well. You can also opt to use natural ingredients to make it better for your skin, and health. Much like toilet paper and paper towels, this is just another thing you literally buy to use up and throw away—what a waste. Make your own, and save your money for fun things, not laundry soap.

Ingredients You'll Need

  • 1 bar/14.1 oz Zote laundry soap/or buy the pre-grated white Zote, grated
  • or 3 bars Fels-Naptha soap, grated
  • 2 cups Borax
  • 5 gallons water, hot
  • 5-gallon capacity bucket
  • long spoon for stirring
  • 1/2 oz essential Oil/or 1 cup laundry booster, scent optional
  • 1 funnel, optional
  • 2 cups OxyClean or Biz or sodium percarbonate
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 5 gallons tap water
  • 2 cups washing soda

Most of the ingredients can be found at Wal-Mart or a local grocery store. I've noticed it is much cheaper to buy them locally than through an online retailer. But if you can't find them locally, there is always Amazon—especially for something like Zote.

You can substitute essential oil in the recipe below with a laundry booster, such as Purex Crystals, or Gain Fireworks. I only do this when I don't have an essential oil on hand. Essential oils are natural. Pure Castille soap can be used in place of Zote or Fels-Naptha.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and save tons of money like we do! Your clothes will be brilliant!

Some of the ingredients you'll need.

Some of the ingredients you'll need.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

24 hours

24 hours 30 min

5 Gallons

How to Make Your Own Soap

  1. Grate your Zote or Fels-Naptha. Once grated, add it to a large pot.
  2. Add 2 liters of boiling water, and stir this until it has dissolved
  3. Next, add this mixture to your 5-gallon bucket.
  4. Now add the 2 cups Borax, 2 cups washing soda, 2 cups Oxyclean or Biz, 1/2 cup baking soda, and your essential oil or laundry booster
  5. Stir and add the remaining water. Use the hottest tap water you can get from the tap. Keep stirring until well blended and dissolved.
  6. Put the lid on your bucket and let this sit for 24 hours.
  7. Remove the lid and give it a really good stir
  8. You can now use your laundry soap! 1/2 cup to 1 cup per load. Give some to family and friends, or even sell it at a local market. Dilute further if desired, many do, because it will be thick. You can also use this for dish soap.
This is what grated soap—Zote or Fels-Naptha—looks like.

This is what grated soap—Zote or Fels-Naptha—looks like.

How to Make Your Own Washing Soda

If you can't find washing soda locally, you can make it from baking soda.

Just set your oven to 400°F, spread 2 cups of baking soda on a cookie sheet, and bake for at least 1 hour, swirling it around occasionally during the process. And don't worry if you overcook it, it won't hurt it.

Bingo, washing soda!

© 2018 Rebecca