Homemade Laundry Soap

I found a great recipe for homemade laundry soap on the Dugger website. I have been playing with the idea of trying it for myself. When I saw that this recipe worked well for a family of 20 I new that it must work well.

I have also found that using plain white vinegar in the rinse cycle makes a very frugal and natural alternative to fabric softener. Don't worry it does not leave a vinegar smell behind.

I am really excited to try this recipe for 2 reasons

1.) It costs much less then any prepackaged laundry detergent. According to the recipe each batch only costs about $2 and makes 10 gallons. Depending on the type of washing machine you have this will do anywhere from 180-640 loads of laundry!

2.) It is all natural and a very green alternative. I have children with very sensitive skin, and the fact that this recipe does not have any dyes or perfumes is a plus.

This recipe was taken directly from the Dugger's website. I felt it was best not to mess with any of the wording so that you can achieve the same results. I am not sure how to give proper credit for this.

TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP: We use Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

Powdered Laundry Detergent- Top load machine

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)

Make sure to check out this website for tons of great frugal recipes and incredible parenting advice.

NewerStories OlderStories Home


Anonymous said...

I am getting ready to need more laundry soap and I plan on using this recipe. If you make it before I do, plese post how it turns out.

Love and Prayers,
Holly in OKC

noelle said...

I've been making our detergent for a while now too and like it a lot. It seems like I was always running out of store bough detergent, but now I can make enough to last for a couple of months at a time.

I use a similar recipe to the Duggar's but I add all the water to one big bucket and scoop out of that.

Melissa said...

I just made this myself, for the first time. Check out my blog and see what happened to me. :/
I'm worried about that Fels Naptha soap. It has several warnings attached to it. Look it up on Wikipedia.

Heather said...

I use this exact recipe except that I cut it down to only make 1 gallon at a time for our family of 5. I've been using this for 2 months now and really like it. My kids have eczema and I have psoriasis and it hasn't bothered any of us. It cleans my husbands clothing (he's a mechanic) very well too. My mom and I just figured out last weekend that it costs roughly .88 cents/gallon for what we pay for all the supplies.

Heather in Spfld, MO.

Lorrie Briggs said...


I have wondered about the Fels Naptha myself. I have also hear that this can be made with other soaps as well. I guess there will always be warnings about something. I will keep looking for another alternative. I still feel it has fewer synthetic chemicals than regular detergent.


I am glad to hear this works for kids with eczema since this is what we battle at our house.

Lavender said...

I have been looking for a natural, home made recipe for laundry soap. I really don't want all the commercial chemicals on my clothes. Thanks for this information!

Amy -Cutting Coupons in KC said...

I made the laundry soap today and it was so easy! I am letting it sit overnight and I will try it out tomorrow. I posted about it on my blog: