are easy to make, makes less trash and obviously uses less chemicals than commercial laundry soap. I am not a big fan of waste at all. I don’t like buying the humongous bottles of laundry soap that are full of chemicals to wash my family’s laundry.
And, with 5 people, I do a lot of laundry. A LOT. So, I found a homemade laundry soap recipe online that I liked, and tweaked it.
It works very well in our super hard, high iron water, and I have had great results with getting out stains. I do need to use a full bar of soap as a pre-treater for tougher stains, like grease or grimy dirt, but this soap does quite well.
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Here’s what I use:
- 1 bar soap (I use homemade soap, but the original recipe calls for Fels Naptha)
- container with tight fighting lid
- 1 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda—Arm and Hammer is most common brand)
- 1 cup Borax (20 Mule Team is the most common brand)
- 1-3 oz. essential oil (in preferred scent- I totally love orange or lavender)
Grate bar soap using a hand-held cheese-grater.
Add in the borax, washing soda, and essentials oils. Stir gently to combine and store in a container with tight fighting lid.
I use 1/2 cup per load, and add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle. We have very hard, irony-well water, and this has helped our clothes come out clean and soft.
If you like extra softness in your clothing, try making your own fabric softener!
This is for those of you who may want something other than vinegar in your rinse, or that “scent” of fabulous fabric softening that commercial products leave. This does use commercial fabric softener to start, but stretches it out far longer. What you need:
- 1 bottle fabric softener of your choice
- 1 gallon sized bottle of white vinegar
- 1 bottle of hair cream rinse of your choice
Start by emptying the white vinegar into other jars.
Then, add 1/2 cup of each fabric softener, vinegar and cream rinse into the empty jug. Fill to the top with hot water and cap tightly.
Shake gently to mix and add 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle. You will want to gently shake before each use, just to mix it all up a it.
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.
7 thoughts on “How to Make Homemade Laundry Soap and Fabric Softener”
You didn’t mention where to add the Borax.
How much homemade soap would you use in a front loading washing mashing. Thank you for the recipes. That is my email address for real
I would use about 1/2 cup, and see if you need more or less. this doesn’t “suds” up, so it should be okay.
Thanks for sharing! I’ve made this lots of times =) I have my grandmother’s food processor that I grate the soap
with, very noisy but sooooo worth not having to grate by hand!
I use this laundry detergent but, it only takes 1 TBSP per load. I also have hard water. Best detergent ever!!!
Been making this for years, started with friends here in the area. In fact ACE hardware carried the borax and washing soda together on the shelf. Told my local grocer about it, hopefully he will do same. I only use my little scoop from shakes, one or 2 and clothes are clean.
I am so glad to hear another one who loves this! 🙂