Homemade Laundry Soap

Laundry soap FINE. I’ll just say it. I’m bad at cleaning. My husband grew up in a spotless home where laundry magically appeared in his room (washed, dried, and folded), meals appeared on his plate, and trails of his stuff magically returning where it belongs. Well, not magically, just motherly. It was a survival tactic. With Jordan in school, soccer, or transit just about every hour of the day, the machine had to be in tip-top shape to run well. Lisa was on it. She really was/is supermom. She laughs with me now and apologizes for setting the bar so dang high and tells me to make him do it himself now. She’s great like that.  

I try so hard to be a neat person. I really do, but I’m a creative soul. When I have a moment without the kids on me, I am exercising, getting something started in the kitchen, taking photos of something, quilting, trying to dust off my poor instruments, or (heaven forbid) resting. So, I flip the pile of laundry the bird and vow to do it another time. I mutter profanities at the food gluing itself to the highchair even though I just cleaned it after breakfast. I (but, really, we) make piles. I pile papers on books and stack them up nicely in a corner of the counter top. Whenever there is an open corner it is like a magnet attracting any box or object with no real place to begin assembling with other nameless stuff. I always vow to organize at a later time when I’m not writing a blog post in-between putting coats of paint on a beehive. (This is happening right now)

I could be SO clean and organized, if that is what my life was all about, but it’s just not and I only kind of care. I play with my kids, over keeping house anytime. I think that’s what they’d prefer. However, I always feel great when everything is clean and clear and under control. So, I have to go back on a cleaning schedule. I thought I didn’t need one because our apartment is so small, but I think I need one even more. If one thing is out of place it looks like a tornado tore through here! So, hold me accountable, ok? I respond well to tough love. (As long as it’s mostly love and not that tough) 

Now, with all that being said, I’m ok with things out of place, but I am not ok with germs. I can’t do “ick”. I’m weird about bedding and towels and I vacuum a lot. So, that’s what we’re talking about. I make my own cleaners and I have had so many of you ask me what I do! I just feel like a big joke telling you how to be clean when sometimes my apartment looks like someone robbed us, but if you really want to know, I’m happy to share.

This week. We’re talking laundry soap. Why? Because this is the main one that will save you so much money. I make like 10 gallons and it costs about 10-15 bucks to start. After that, it costs like two dollars a batch because you have everything else in stock. I also start here, because these are most of the ingredients I use in my all purpose cleaner too, so you may as well get them. 

Disclaimer: I’m not the crunchiest person of all time. I try to reduce toxins in my life as best as I can and I also want my clothes to be clean and not fade in the wash. So, I’m sure there is someone out there who only washes their clothes with fresh cut, un fertilized grass, and I’m happy for them, but my soap has ingredients. So, use what you want, leave what you don’t and make it yours! 

My recipe is based off of the Duggars’ recipe. I change it each time but it has always turned out great. 

Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe:

These ingredients can all be found side by side in the laundry aisle of almost any store.

You will need:

1 1/2 cup Borax Laundry Booster, 1 1/2 cup Super Washing Soda, and one bar of Fels Naptha Laundry Bar and Stain Remover, or Zote White Laundry Bar Soap. I also use lavender essential oil and on guard essential oil. When I make a gallon or two for cloth diapers, I add melaleuca essential oil to cut the stink.  You can add any essential oils you love. (message me to chat about what brand I LOVE!)

Once you have your ingredients, the process is actually really quick. You get a big pasta pot and bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Shred your bar of soap (I’m lazy and use the fine grate on my food processor). Add 1 1/2 cups borax and 1 1/2 cups super washing soda to the mix. (Here you can also add Crystals Laundry Enhancer as a fabric softener and scent if that’s your deal. Just add 1 cup) Stir until melted and combined and then cool slightly before adding your oils (I do a total of about 30 drops.)  You now have a super duper concentrated laundry soap. This is the equivalent to 10 gallons of soap. Some people use it as a “laundry syrup” and just add a TBS per load, but I need to see the soap go into the machine to believe it’s power, so I dilute.  There are a couple ways to do this. You can pour your  mix into a five gallon bucket and fill it the rest of the way with hot water. Stir it really well and then fill 1o 1 gallon containers half way, and distribute it evenly over 10 gallons and top with water. This has proven to be an annoying and messy process for me, so I cheat. 

I evenly disperse the concentrate over all my containers, fill the rest with water and shake vigorously, just to take out the middle man.  Once it sits overnight, it will gel together and then you just shake before you use it. It’s not an exact science. If you don’t have 10 empty containers, just make a double concentrated 5 gallon batch. and just use 1/4 cup per load. Make it your own!  

Here is another note about making your own laundry soap: This stuff works. I’ve used it on cloth diapers, work clothes, nasty towels, kids clothes and more. It keeps our clothes clean and colors bright. Commercial laundry soap makes your clothes smell very….uh floral…which takes some serious chemicals and doesn’t react well with my kid’s skin. My recipe doesn’t make your clothes smell as intense as commercial laundry soap. That is something I like about it. If you want a more powerful scent, add the crystals I linked to in the recipe. 

 ~~Disclaimer~~ I include links to products in my posts. They are products I love and want to share with you! When you purchase something through one of the amazon links on my blog, I get a very small consignment at no extra cost to you. So thank you for supporting DearDarla!


  1. Pam M. says:

    I think the creative soul thing about cleaning must be a common theme. I WANT to care more, but it almost feels pointless. I also live in a really small place. People say that small homes are better because they clean easier. They lie. LOL This is the worst home I’ve ever lived in to keep clean.

    I used to make my own soap. I burned up three food processors grating the soap in it. So, I went back to grating by hand on my box grater. I used this soap for a long time, but our clothes were getting really dingy. I’m about 99% sure it’s our hard water and not the detergent, though. Now, I use Kirkland’s from Costco. I may go back to this when we move and don’t have such hard water.

    Have a good one!

    • DearDarla says:

      I work so hard to clean my space and then all I see is a wide open space to create more in! Then I restart the cycle of slop lol.
      I only make soap 2-3 times a year so my food processor seems fine so far, but I’ll keep an eye on it! I think our clothes look great with this stuff, so I hope you give it a try again one day!

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