Wednesday, February 2, 2011

laundry soap recipe

it cost around $30 for me to get all my supplies, about 20-30 minutes to make the soap, and took a year and a half to go through it all. for a family of 6. with a husband who bike commutes and does lots of dirty house projects. with FOUR kids. seriously. about $2/month to wash all the myriad of laundry that comes down the shoot.

you will need an empty 5-gallon bucket with a lid. like an old CLEAN drywall mud bucket or something. just giving you warning so you don't get into this recipe and figure out you don't have a big enough container to mix your laundry soap. :)

erin's laundry soap
2 - 4 lb boxes baking soda
2 - 3.75 lb boxes washing soda (i buy arm and hammer washing soda, it's a yellow box...and it is IMPERATIVE that you buy washing soda)
1 box borax (i think there was only one size available)
1 container dye-free oxi clean (the round container with the lime green lid)
9 bars fels naptha soap

start by grating the bars of fels naptha soap. this is most easily done with the small grater attachment for a food processor. i grate three bars at a time and then empty the bowl. after all nine bars are grated, i put the blade back into the food processor bowl and make it into a finer powder. this extra step is worth it...i have done it without the extra processing and the soap doesn't work as well.

next, if you want your laundry soap scented, add 40 drops of essential oil (i like to use lavendar for laundry) to each of the boxes of baking soda.

now, start dumping boxes and grated soap into the 5-gallon bucket. once everything is in the bucket, put on the lid tightly and start rolling/shaking/etc to mix the soap. andy picked up the bucket and gave it some really nice shakes after he heard me flopping it around. :)

use 2 T (1/8 C) to 1/4 C per load. you really don't need very much. this soap is high-efficiency washer safe. i have been using it in my kenmore elite calypso machine for almost two years and have had no problems.

for whites, sheets, or other grimey things, i add 1 C of white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser to help get out any additional residue. you can scent your vinegar by adding 40 drops of essential oil to a 1 L bottle of white vinegar...the cheapest (and best) fabric softener you will ever use. you can whiten by adding 1 C of lemon juice to your bleach dispenser. get rid of bed bugs and dust mites by adding a couple drops of eucalyptus oil to the detergent.

happy washing. :)


  1. First of all, you laid claim to the best url! Although, you have a better kind of 'crazy' than I'm usually talking about these days.
    Secondly, how ironic that I'm always wanting this recipe and embarrassed to ask you AGAIN for it...and here it is! I'm bookmarking immediately. ;)

  2. Funny, Wendy...the name came from all the times I have felt like I am really SERIOUSLY going crazy! Glad you have the recipe again. I would have sent it to you again...without any comments. ;)

  3. Jess passed this along to me and I've been using it for a few months. Love it. :) So thanks! I used pink Zote soap and it works great too. Looking forward to trying some of your extra tips at the bottom!

  4. I am so looking forward to trying this! I am currently completely out of laundry detergent so this will be really cool. I have a mechanic husband along with 3 cats, a dog, a 3 year old boy and my 24 year old son is moving back in whom works at a pizza place. I'm willing to try anything! I also have a cat that likes to mark things when there ends up with too many people in my house. Straight vinegar works for that! I then wash the item.

    1. glad you found my recipe. getting a food processor will definitely speed up your next batch! ;) enjoy.

  5. I finally got it made. Now to use it. For grating I had to use my Pampered Chef Microplane Adjustable Grater! I don't own a food processor... I will own one shortly :)

    1. a few months into your laundry do you like it?