Homemade Laundry Soap...

Fourteen days of camping and hiking in the rain yields A LOT of muddy clothes and wet wool pants.   Nothing works better for cleaning dirt and stains out of the laundry like homemade laundry soap. Plus it's cheap and very eco~ friendly!  We've tried all kinds but found that the powder version works the best for our family.

1 bar of handmade soap (approx 2 C.)
1 C. Borax (deodorizes and acts as an alternative to color safe bleach)
1 C. Washing Soda (used as a natural stain remover and softener in hard water)

First we start by finely grating a bar of our handmade castile soap.  We are in love with my latest creation, Patchouli~Vanilla.  Yummm.  Sweet and spicy laundry fresh off the line.  Almost makes me excited to do a tub full in the morning!

Then we measure out the Borax and Washing Soda (Borax may irritate little fingers, so older kids or adults should probably measure out this part)

Pour all the ingredients into a glass, air tight canister.

Seal up the lid, put on some dancin' music, and let the kids shake it all up...

We do all our laundry in the tub and use a quarter cup per half a tub full, so probably a few tablespoons for a washing machine.  It works great in cold water and I assume it works for front loaders also, just use a little less. (If you have one of these fancy electric contraptions you know how it works!)  This jar will last us about two weeks if I do a load every day and the total cost is about $2.

I'm always looking to try new homemade, eco~friendly cleaning products that actually work.  If you have a favorite, I'd love to try it out!


  1. Elizabeth ... welcome back home! Looks like a lot of fun .... looking forward to trying your recipe. :) thanks ~pamela

  2. I make the laundry detergent found here: http://talk.sheknows.com/f1002/cloth-diaper-detergent-711212/

    It's not as simple as your recipe, but it works great on our diapers (and regular laundry). It makes a huge container that lasts us about a month - though we use half a cup in each load.

  3. Thanks Pam! It's nice to be home.

    Thanks for the link, eidolons! Don't be fooled by the pricy oxygen cleaner or water softeners, though. If you read the labels, Borax is the exact same thing as the oxygen cleaner, and washing soda is the exact same thing as the Calgon water softener; it just costs a lot more:)

  4. Natural cleaning - my most favourite topic! :) I've never (knock on wood) really burned anything on a pot, but my mom is a champion at it. So I was excited to try boiling baking soda and water in a pot with burned-on cabbage-crust when we visited yesterday, and it worked like a charm! I do love me some baking soda. I did the floors this afternoon with vinegar and water for the first time, and that worked beautifully, too! Oh, I could write about this for hours. :)

    I also use oxygen bleach on my loads of diapers - I find it gets them significantly brighter and fresher than without. It contains sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate, while borax is sodium tetraborate. So they are two different beasts, both wonderful in their own ways. Take care!

  5. So instead of Calgon I should just up the washing soda (chemistry and I were never friends)? This recipe is the only one I've tried thus far that actually gets the diapers clean with no residue/build-up/whatever. I'm hesitant to mess with a "good thing" but it would definitely make my life easier to cut back on the ingredients!

  6. sherrieg, hahaha! I too burn everything. I can't wait to try this trick. Thanks for the info about the oxygen bleach! I guess the brand I bought (I can't remember which one?) didn't disclose all of the ingredients properly.
    eidolons, I'd say stick with what works, but I know what you mean about making life easier!

  7. I have been using this same recipe for years and it works great! I am so happy to see someone else uses this laundry soap recipe and loves it too! I could never get into the whole liquid laundry soap making mess, making the powder is so much easier for me. Thanks for a perfect tutorial!
    Rebecca of Little River Dolls

  8. I love this stuff. So thrifty and does the job well. I love knowing exactly what the ingredients are. I sometimes also use 1/4c hydrogen peroxide to oxygenate my laundry.

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