Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Money Saver--Make Your Own Laundry Soap

I started making my own laundry soap early this spring. I have made two batches. I cannot even tell you how much money this has saved us!!!

Here is the recipe I use:

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value
4 Cups hot tap water
1 Goat Milk Soap Laundry Bar OR Dr. Bronner's Castile Bar Soap
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)

TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP: I use Fels-Naptha Goat Milk bar soap, but you could use Fels-Naptha, Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps. Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. I couldn't find Washing Soda at Wal-Mart, but did find it at our grocery store.
I also couldn't find the Fels-Naptha at Wal-Mart, but found it at our little tiny grocery/hardware store in a nearby town with a population of 200.
Recipe cost approx. $2.

Now, as a farm wife, I had no trouble finding a five-gallon pail. Finding a clean five-gallon pail was the problem.
If you are NOT a farmwife, you could buy one at Fleet Farm or Home Depot.

I had Dennis bring me one from outside. Mine is quite fashionable--it says "Case IH Hy-Tran Ultra". It used to house tractor engine oil, and then was moved to the barn to carry feed and I think milk for the calves, too.

I had some scrubbing to do, but had no real choice because when I asked Dennis if I should just buy one at Fleet, he said something like, "for goodness' sake, don't BUY a bucket!! I've got plenty outside!!"

This recipe makes quite a bit--10 gallons total, five of the "concentrate" but you dilute it in half to use--so if you don't do as much laundry as I do, or just want to try it out, team up and share it with a few friends.
Since two batches has lasted me at least six months (I can't remember for sure when I made the first one), I imagine it would last more "average" households quite a while!

Let me know if you have questions!


  1. I'm curious, where'd you find info like this? Aaron

  2. I just make it up.


    I can't remember for sure where I came across this recipe...another blog somewhere along the way, maybe? I have been told that this is the recipe that the famous Duggar family uses, though I have never seen the TLC show that they were on.

  3. Hey Melissa! I use this same recipe for making my laundry soap. It does an amazing job!

  4. Hi! I found your blog after reading your post on Gretchen's blog.

    I had a question about the soap. I'm interested in trying this, but can you just use your kitchen pot and grater, etc. to make the soap then use it again for food once you are done...it's soap so it should just wash right off, right?


  5. Hi Lisa, Glad you stopped by! The answer is ABSOLUTELY you can just use your kitchen pot and grater. That's what I use and, as you said, it's just soap and washes right off!

  6. Thanks! :-) I'm excited to try it!

  7. Laundry soap round two is being made today! It works great! What a great way to save on grocery money! :-)

  8. Melissa
    I loke dove soap. Do you think I could use that. I have a couple family members with sensitive skin and hate to change things up too much on them. Also, can this soap be use in HE washing machines?

  9. Go ahead and try the dove if you want to. I've not tried that one, so I can't say one way or another. The Goat Milk Soap site has info on sensitive skin issues. And yes, it can be used for HE machines; that's the kind I have, too.

  10. Thx Melissa...I am so sick of throwing money out the window every payday on laundry soap!! I am going to give this a try. :)

  11. Thanks for posting your recipe in such an easy to find place! I used it today.


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