Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade Laundry Soap

Happy Monday Everyone!!!

I’ve been working on this post for some time now and finally feel it is ready to be shared! I tried my hand at some homemade laundry detergent I discovered through my fellow blogging bud, Lauren @ Found & Free Cottage. She originally tried this recipe from Stone Gable. and had great success so I wanted to jump on the “money-saving” train too!

I made some slight changes to fit our needs and budget. Here is the step-by-step to homemade laundry detergent:


Gather the ingredients: I was worried I wouldn’t find all the ingredients for this project because options can be somewhat limited in a small town. However, I was so pleasantly surprised to find everything I needed at our local Walmart! AND… all on one shelf!? This never happens to me! It was meant to be!

1 – 4lb 12 oz box of Borax =  $3.38

1 – 4lb box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda = $2.24

1 – 3lb 7 oz box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda = $3.24

1- 3lb container of Oxy Clean = $7.52 (I used the Dirty Jobs version – photo below)

2 bars of Fels Naptha Soap = $.97 each

1 bar of Zote Soap = $1.97 (size is about double the Fels Naptha Bar)

2 containers Downy Un Stopables =  $6.97 each   I decided to forgo this addition to save money, because it wasn’t necessary to the overall performance.  If added scent is something you are looking for, these would be great!

Homemade detergent for a year = ONLY $20.29! 

This homemade soap will at least cut our detergent bill in half each year! Plus, no more adding it the grocery list, clipping coupons and watching for sales.

Take 20 minutes and save yourself time and money all year long! 


The Downy Unstopables would be a great addition for scent but I decided to forgo them to save overall! That was my purpose for this project! I actually liked the scent of the bar soap on its own. Yes, I sniffed them both equally… before I bought them.

That’s right, I’m a “sniffer!” I hope you won’t judge me. If you find yourself buying anything scented, just know my nose has probably been on it, haha! Joking – I smell at a safe, “germ-free” distance ;)


Grating the soap: This step was by far the most labor intensive. It took me about twenty minutes to completely grate all three bars of soap. As I am putting this post together, I come to find they actaully make Zote soap in flakes!!! Are you joking!? This may be a much better alternative to grating in the future! I found that link here at Walmart.com. (These flakes also come in white, unlike the  yellowish Fels Naptha soap. Therefore, you wouldn’t be questioned by your husband as to why the new soap looks like it has cheese flakes in it! Ha!)


Grate, grate, grate some more. Arms getting sore…

Finally! Slightly out of breath as I tried to grate as fast as possible.


Now, the fun part!

Dump it all in one big honkin’ bowl!!!


During this baking soda dump, catch your breath and keep your mouth closed as a large plume of soda will fill the air and your taste buds. I made this mistake and felt like a cat choking on a hairball or something… I’m sure my face was priceless.


(cough, cough…gasp)


Add in the the washing soda,




and the Oxy Clean stain fighter, (I think the Dirty Jobs version was less expensive and that is why I bought it instead – I’ve slept since then so who knows, ha!) Choose the stain remover that fits your needs and budget.


Now, use your best kitchen tool to mix it all together.


Hot diggity dog, you’re done!


I used some “old” kitchen containers from college to hold and display the detergent. This batch filled three of those, the Dirty Jobs container, and a ziploc bag! Holy cow, this should last us awhile!

Doesn’t the Tide container look sad there in the corner…

“I’ve been replaced…”

A pretty display shows off my homemade laundry detergent. So happy to finally try this.


So far so good! I only use about 2 heaping spoonfuls in each load and so far see the same results as I do with the expensive HE liquid detergent brands. If you try or have tried this, please share your experience with all of us!

Homemade Laundry Soap
Prep time

Total time


This recipe goes a long way! I’m hoping it will last my husband and I all year!
Recipe type: Household DIY

  • 1 4lb 12 oz box of Borax
  • 1 4 lb box of Arm And Hammer Baking Soda
  • 1 3 lb 7 oz box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1 3lb container Oxy Clean
  • 2 bars Fels Naptha Soap, grated
  • 1 bar Zote Pink Soap, grated
  • Optional: 2 containers Downy Un Stopables (I find this soap smells quite fresh without this addition. I passed and saved myself about $15! Sorry Downy, I’m sure they smell amazing!) Add them if you want even more scent!

  1. Grate the bars of soap with a spare cheese grater. (I used a spare, “cheap” one we had but it washed up just fine with a quick soak. No need to buy one for this project)
  2. Toss all ingredients into a large bowl and blend together evenly with your hands.
  3. Place in a large container or several small ones like I did for easy reach.
  4. Add 2-3 Tbsp. to the tub of your washer per load of laundry.
  5. *Safe for HE washers!!!

Grating the soap takes the most time. I just discovered Zote Soap flakes – this may be an easy alternative! (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Zote-Laundry-Soap-Flakes-17.6-oz/21320683)

Safe for HE washers!

Look for pre-grated soap flakes to make this even easier!

Do not put in the liquid soap dispenser – add to the tub of the washer

I am not sure how it will work on sensitive skin. “Sensitive skin” is very relative. – via StoneGableBlog.com

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a great week!



(*Opinions in this post are my own. I have not been compensated to review or promote any products, brands or companies within this post.)


  1. Love it! So glad to hear it is working for you, too! I totally agree that the Downy Unstoppables can be nixed!

  2. Cindy Moran says:

    Love this idea and plan to try it. Thanks for sharing this idea

    • laurenrustichoney says:

      Let me know how it goes! You may want to look for the flakes instead of grating the soap. I think I will do that next time I make it! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I’ve made liquid laundry soap three times now — usually 2 gallons at a time. It works great, smells good — I put in whatever essential oil i have lots of — but it does not completely dissolve, so we end up shaking it up good before we use it. Not a biggie, but it doesn’t look pretty on the shelf. I might try your powder when our current batch runs out. Thanks for posting this. I’ve bookmarked it!

    • laurenrustichoney says:

      That’s great! I have actually never had a powder type before this and so far so good! It feels a lot less messy to me now over my usual store-bought liquid. If you try it, please let me know how it works for you! Thanks as always for stopping by! :)

  4. Do you know anyone who has used the Zote flakes? I just purchased and made my soap and as I was throwing the boxes away I saw on the back of the it says not recommended for HE washers. Though in sure sure why because isn’t the concern normally suds, which it doesn’t do much of. I’m so sad and a little scared to use it now :/

    • laurenrustichoney says:

      Hi Corinne, thanks for stopping by! This is new news to me! I do not know anyone personally who has used Zote flakes but MANY MANY tutorials online use this as an ingredient in their HE mix and I have read positive user reviews in the past. When I researched Zote flakes this is what the item description read: All natural, Low suds, Eco-friendly, readily biodegradable, etc. This to me sounds completely fine for HE washers. Not sure if this is exactly what you bought but here is the link I found: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Zote-Laundry-Soap-Flakes-17.6-oz/21320683#Item+Description

      I’m sorry to hear about this! I wish I had some better advice for you. If you choose not to try it out, definitely gift it to friends! :) Let me know if you find any other information on it!

  5. Is there a reason you use both Zote and Fels Naptha? I have seen recipes that use either or but not both. Thanks

    • laurenrustichoney says:

      Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for stopping by the blog! Honestly, I was indecisive and just bought both! I thought it would be a good experiment to try both but I can’t say there would be a benefit to using both instead of sticking to one kind. I think fragrance would be the leading factor in choosing one over the other in the future as both were similar in price. The Fels Naptha was a harder bar of soap, which made it slightly more difficult to grate. However, keep in mind you can also buy the flakes (pre-grated). I discovered this after I spent the time grating the soap for my batch! Hope this helps and good luck! :)

      • Thanks for your response. Did using both do a good job? I have started buying ingredients to try my first batch….just wondering how effective your version is.

        • laurenrustichoney says:

          I’ve really like it! I’ve used it ever since this post and still have not had to make any more! It makes a ton! I will say it doesn’t leave much of a scent so if you want that you should add in the unstoppables. I think it does just as good as our store-bought liquid versions at getting clothes clean… and my husband’s clothing can get pretty filthy between work and farm! :)

  6. Very nice! I want for long time to make my own laundry soap! Thank you for sharing! This time I will try to do it!

  7. I made this about two weeks ago and I used the Zote Flakes in my HE washer with the Purex Crystals and my Diy homemade fabric softener and I Love it!

    • laurenrustichoney says:

      Sounds like a great combination! Happy to hear of your success with it! Thanks for taking the time to share! :)

  8. Buying these ingredients today to make this!! Excited!

    • laurenrustichoney says:

      Hope it goes well for you! We’ve been using ours for almost a year and love it! Let me know how it goes! :)

  9. Since your husband farms, I know this will be and appropriate question to ask. Does it get get out cow manure stains good?

    • laurenrustichoney says:

      To be quite honest, my husband wears rental jeans through his work so if he has stains the cleaning company gets them out (which is wonderful for me)! However, when I have encountered manure stains in the past, I pre-treat them. I don’t think they will come out with this detergent alone…especially if they are set in. Hope that helps!

  10. My mother-in-law taught me to unwrap the Fels Naptha Soap when you buy it and let it dry a little so it is easier to grate. Also, I bought the large 55 oz container of Purex Crystals ($8.96) instead of Downy Un Stopables ($6.97 for 1 but you need 2=$13.94). I only need 1/2 the container to make a batch since it’s twice the size. So it comes to $4.48 more a batch rather than $13.94 more for the Downy Un Stopables. I also used Sun Oxi ($5.47 for 6 lbs) which was an alternative brand to Oxy Clean at my Walmart. That lowered the cost from $7.52 for Oxy Clean to $2.74 (since you only need 3lbs) a batch, for Sun Oxi. his brought my total cost for a batch of laundry soap to $21.28. Some of my Walmart prices were a little higher than yours. I live in Florida. Hope this helps.

    • laurenrustichoney says:

      Awesome suggestions and tips! Thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely have to try this, especially the Purex Crystals, the next time I make a batch!


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