DIY: Homemade Laundry Soap


Nerdship, when I think of things I usually buy commercially prepared that can be made at home, I cringe a bit and think of Martha Stewart, with her prim perfection and button-down dress shirts with khaki pants. So, when my friends started piping up that they had made laundry soap, I was a bit dumbfounded, but intrigued. I continued on with my non-believing, store-bought laundry soap ways. The turning point was a $13 box of Arm and Hammer laundry soap. It killed me.  I went ahead and made my first batch of soap, half-expecting it to suck, but it didn’t.

I have been making my own laundry soap for nearly a year, and it is awesome. I have tweaked the recipe a bit, and I think I’ve got it down now. It cleans just as well as the commercially prepared laundry soap, and I have less of a heart attack when I buy the ingredients.  It takes me about 30 minutes to make it and the batch will last a couple months. Two tablespoons in a large load will take the dirt and grime outta just about anything.

Jennifer’s homemade laundry soap


  • -1 bar soap (I use one just for laundry, like Zote or Fels Naptha, but you can do a body soap too, like Ivory or Dial.)
  • -3 1/2 cups washing soda (Sodium carbonate, also called soda ash. Can be found on the laundry aisle for about $3.25, or in the pool chemicals as a pH lower for about $8)
  • -3 1/2 cups borax



  1. Finely grate your soap on the tiny holes side of your grater. I have a box grater I use just for the purpose. 🙂HomemadeLaundrySoap_NN-2
  2. Mix your grated soap together with the borax and washing soda. If the soap isn’t grated to tiny smithereens, you might want to run your mixture through a food processor just to break those bits down and mix it together a little better.HomemadeLaundrySoap_NN-3
  3. Keep it in an airtight container.HomemadeLaundrySoap_NN-5
  4. All you need is 2 tablespoons in your wash cycle. Lookie there, you’re a modern Ma Ingalls! 😀

BONUS laundry tips:

-a quarter cup of vinegar will take the musty, mildewy smell out of a load of laundry left in the washer too long before drying. 🙂  Restart the load, add some soap and your vinegar. Voila!

-hydrogen peroxide removes most (if not all) blood before it stains, and does a fine job breaking it up/diminishing the stain if it dried a bit. (I know that makes me sound like some kind of ax murderer, but I promise it’s a good tip.)


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