Green Living

Homemade Laundry Soap


If you have spare time but not a lot of spare cash, making your own laundry detergent is a great way to save money.

I got inspired to make my own laundry soap after I saw this post on Progressive Pioneer. I am so glad I did, because it is ridiculously easy to make! Once you buy your ingredients for crazy cheap, and it works perfectly! No more buying expensive Seventh Generation laundry detergent for us!
You can get all the ingredients at your grocery store. I bought the washing soda and borax at Publix and the naptha soap at New Leaf.Homemade Laundry Soap

3 tsp. naptha soap grated (I used my cheese grater and just washed it good afterward, but you probably should buy a separate grater just for soap)
4 tsp. washing soda
4 tsp. borax
5 cups cold water
3/4 cup hot water
essential oils (I used lavender and tea tree oil because that is what I use for my diaper spray and all purpose spray)

Melt the soap in 3/4 cup water in a pot on the stove, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and once it has cooled a bit add the cold water and essential oils. I tripled the recipe to make a big batch and poured it into an old laundry soap container, shook it up, and voila! Homemade Laundry Soap!

Note: I do not use this on my cloth diapers, I use Rocking Green Detergent for that. However, there are other recipes you can find online that are supposed to be fine for cloth diapers.

Homemade Laundry Soap

Looking for more natural cleaning recipes check out:

Mama and Baby Love blog post recipe roundup {free online}

Homemade Cleaners: Quick-and-Easy, Toxin-Free Recipes {Print Book}

-DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Supplies {eBook}

The BEST DIY Cleaning Recipes-Pinterest Graphic

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  • eidolons
    December 14, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    If you're ever interested, I have a recipe for laundry soap that we use on our cloth diapers (and have for almost two years now) and our regular laundry. I buy the ingredient at Publix and Target. I make a double batch and it lasts my messy (all boys besides me and two of them in diapers) family of five three to four weeks.

    Oh, and it's a powder – not liquid.

  • Stephanie
    December 14, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    I would love the recipe! Thank you!

  • eidolons
    December 15, 2010 at 11:07 PM

    Here's the original recipe link:

    I've tweaked it a bit over time. I add a dropperful or two of tea tree oil, use the liquid calgon, and use closer to half a cup per load.

  • Stephanie
    December 16, 2010 at 1:56 AM

    Thank you! I will try this soon and let you know how it works for us.

  • eidolons
    December 19, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    If you'd rather not buy all the stuff for it, I'd be happy to give you a "sample" bag of ours (I'm making more today) – what with us being local and all. (:

  • Stephanie
    December 19, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    oh, that would be so wonderful. Penelope has very sensitive skin and we battle eczema. I would love to be able to test it out and see how her skin reacts before committing to the indgredients. Thank you so much!

    My personal email is [email protected]

  • jessica kiehn
    August 6, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    Just made this today! So pumped! I have been using the Purex Free & Clear for so long, but have seriously missed having that "fresh laundry" smell. I refuse to use all the yucky, chemical-y stuff so I just let it go. I'm so happy to have this recipe! I got the Dr. Bronner's Peppermint. So Peppermint, Lavender, and Tea Tree oil aroma is filling my home as I do laundry and I couldn't be happier!

    Do you use the same amount of this soap as you did the store bought kind? For example, if you used a cap full of store bought stuff, do you use a cap full of this as well?

    [email protected]

  • Stephanie
    August 7, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    @jessica…yay! go you! yes, I use the same amount. I experimented in the beginning to see how much I needed to use, I wanted to see if I could use less. So you might want to try and play around and see what is best for your machine. From what I understand, most machines actually need way less than detergent companies say to use.

  • Elizabeth
    February 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Do you have any issues withBorax irritating her eczema? I have read before that Borax is a skin irritant, so I have shyed away.

    • Stephanie
      February 20, 2012 at 6:26 PM

      I have not had any problems. She does not have eczema anymore, and when she did it was just one spot on her thumb.

  • Tonie
    July 20, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Is there any reason you couldn’t substitute the liquid Dr. Bronner’s castille soap instead of shredding and melting the bar soap version? Just call me lazy bones . . .

  • Tonie
    July 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Aha . . .

  • Christine
    January 27, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Does this get stains out of regular clothing?

    • Stephanie
      January 28, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      If it’s a heavy duty stain, you will still need to do your normal, stain removal process, but the actual laundry soap works just as good as store bought.

      • Christine
        January 29, 2014 at 4:21 AM

        Wow, thanks!

  • Christine
    January 27, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    Also, how much do you use per size load?

    • Stephanie
      January 28, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      I never measure to be honest, I am so bad about details!