Monday, October 17, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap: It's About Time

Sometimes I shy away from projects.  Not because I think they will be too much work or too expensive but because I just can't handle thinking about one more thing.  That's what happened when I first considered making my own laundry soap a couple years ago.  Sometimes, not getting into one more thing is really smart.  Sometimes, it's not smart.  Waiting to start making my own laundry soap?  Turns out, not so smart.

It was a friend from church who jolted me to my senses by giving Jamey and I a couple gallons of her homemade laundry soap.  We used it and it worked great.  She also passed along her recipe and told us how cheap it was to make it.  I finally realized the silliness of my ways and pledged to make my own batch when my store-bought detergent ran out.

Our local (non-chain) grocery store carries all three of the ingredients, but they were out of the bar laundry soap for over a month, so I had to order it on Amazon (with my trusty swagbucks).  Last week, I set to work mixing it up even though my head felt like a bowling ball (I really hate colds.  I'm all better now.).  It was so easy and satisfying that it lightened my mood.  And it took all of 20 minutes to whip up.  Doing the math to determine the cost per load?  Well, that almost made me sing.

Do you want to know how cheap it is?  Well, it is my pleasure to tell you.

The Fels-Naptha bar cost $4.20 shipped from Amazon.  The box of washing soda (55 ounces) cost $3.35.  The box of borax (76 ounces) cost $4.45.  For this recipe, you'll use the whole laundry bar, but only 1 cup of the washing soda and only 1/2 cup borax.  When all the math is done (Jamey checked it for me), the 10 gallons of laundry soap cost $4.91.  The amount you use for a front loading machine and a top loading machine differs slightly.

Drum roll, please...

If you have a top loading machine (like me), you will use 5/8 of a cup per load.  If this is you, this 10 gallons of detergent will give you 256 loads of clean laundry at a cost of $4.91 which comes out to less than $0.02 per load.


If you have a front loading machine, you will use 1/4 cup per load.  If this is you, this 10 gallons of detergent will give you 640 loads of clean laundry at a cost of $4.91 which comes out to less than $0.008 (yes, less than a cent) per load.

Go on, do a happy laundry dance.  I'll wait.


Thank you, Jennifer, for giving me the jump start I needed (and free detergent)! :-)

Homemade Laundry Soap (recipe from Jennifer)
This recipe makes 5 gallons of concentrate which equals 10 gallons of ready-to-use laundry detergent.

1 five gallon bucket
a long handled spoon
an empty (used) laundry detergent container (or juice or vinegar container, clean)
hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap Bar
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax

Grate the laundry soap bar (I used my cheese grater) and add it to a medium sauce pot along with 4 cups of water.  Heat over medium high heat while stirring occasionally until the soap has melted completely.  While it's melting, fill your five gallon bucket half full with hot tap water.  Once the bar soap has melted, add it to the bucket along with the baking soda and borax.  Stir it well until everything has dissolved.  Add hot tap water to fill the bucket and stir again.  Cover tightly with the lid and let sit overnight to thicken.  Stir well (it will gel and separate a bit).  You just made concentrate.

When you're ready to use it, stir the detergent well, then fill your empty detergent container half full with the concentrate.  Fill the rest of the container with water.  Shake before each use.  Use 1/4 cup per load for a front loading machine and 5/8 cup per load for a top loading machine.



For an update after 8 months of using this detergent and a great how-to video on how to make it, go here.
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106 comments:

  1. OK, I've seen this recipe several times, but nobody ever broke down the cost per load. Now I'm convinced that it's worth making...thanks!

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  2. Ok. I keep reading about people making their own so now I'm going to do it! I just have one question, do your colors and whites stay nice? I've noticed people talking about how their whites "gray up" Oh wait ... 2 questions! How's the smell? If there is none, that works for me! :-)

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    1. I tried this recipe and found that it was fading our clothing faster. I switched to the powder recipe and no longer have any trouble. I'm not sure if it is our water type or what.

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  3. That's so funny... I've been making our own powdered laundry soap for years, but just last weekend, whipped up my first batch of this same liquid recipe - I'll never go back! So easy, so inexpensive, and it makes such a nice, big, batch! :)

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  4. Just an fyi....there are places to get your fels- naptha much cheaper. I get mine for 99 cents! Sometimes you can buy it in bulk much cheaper even! I love this recipe and I love how very inexpensive it is! Glad to hear you are on the homemade laundry detergent band wagon! Blessings! :-)

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    1. Can you kindly advise WHERE we can find the Naptha bar cheaper? Inquiring minds want to know! :)

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    2. I've since found it at my grocery store (much cheaper) and others have said they carry it at Walmart. Check around- I hope someone nearby carries it for you:-).

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    3. In doing a bit of research and reading, it seems like the reason that some clothes fade a bit more is because of the washing soda (it's more caustic than baking soda) My Walmart carries the Fels-Naptha for 0.79 a bar, but only carries the large baking soda in the laundry aisle.
      Have any of you made the homemade fabric softener as well???

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    4. I buy mine at Walmart But my question is where do I find a 5/8th cup for the loads of Wash?

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    5. I just checked the prices on Amazon and they are quite a bit higher than the prices listed here, so I am definitely going to Walmart tomorrow. Anonymous, if you put 1/2 cup in and then 2 tbs. it will equal the 5/8th cup. If you have some of the old Tupperware measuring cups you could take a 3/4 cup measuring cup and then put 1/2 cup in it and then 2 more tbs. and mark the cup it should be close enough. Or even mark a jar after putting the 1/2 cup + 2 tbs in it. That should give you close enough to the correct amount. I am going to go and get the stuff tomorrow when everyone else is at work. Does anyone have a recipe for dish soap? Elisabeth Samuels asked about a homemade fabric softener. I would be interested in that also.

      Here is to being cheap!!! It is fantastic!!!

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    6. I get mine at Walmart for .97. Washing soda and Borax is a lot cheaper, as well.

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    7. Most grocery stores will order product if requested.

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    8. Fyi, go to goodwill buy an old soup pot you dont want to use your everyday pot to make this I bought a soup pot at walmart for 7 bucks and a seperate grater spoon etc. That way you dont ruin everyday used utensils

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    9. For dingy whites add oxyclean to recipe. Or if you have a dollar tree store buy their brand that's equivalent to oxyclean for a buck a box and add to the recipe.

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    10. We have a septic sytem and it works fine with it. We put yeast down our drain once a month to help the septic system cheaper than the famous brand septic system maintenance product.

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  5. Thank you for the impetus to start making soap again! And to think if you can get the Fels Naptha less expensive how much more it will save you! Thank you!!!

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  6. Schweet! That's a much cheaper recipe than mine. I can't wait to try it. I do have one reservation, though. Do you happen to know how hard your water is? Ours is 13 on the German scale. That's why I still alternate my homemade soap with commercial detergent. I would SO love to never do that again! Thanks for posting about your new adventure. :-)

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  7. is it fine to just leave the concentrate hanging around for a while? It seems like it'd take us a long time to get through 10 gallons of laundry detergent, especially since right now it's just me and my husband. I may consider halving the recipe too...

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    1. I make mine in plastic kitty litter containers and I've made up to 6 big batches at a time, which lasts my husband and I close to a year. I store it in my basement and it keeps just fine.

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    2. Wow, you must do a lot of laundry. My batch lasts just me for well over a year. And BTW I use Sunlight laundry bar. Smells fine ..almost no smell. I'm in Canada ..don't know if you Americans have such a fine product. :)

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    3. Emily, Im in Canada too and I also use the sunlight bars! I love the lemony smell! (which is very faint). I use 2 bars in my batch tho as my water is weird on the farm :) I mix 2 batches at a time in a big tote I bought specifically for the laundry soap.

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  8. Glad to see you finally got 'on the soap box'-- or bucket :) Hope you enjoy this new frugal endeavor!

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  9. For the whites 'greying' or not coming out as clean as you'd like - even with bleach, I've been putting a half cup of vinegar in the rinse withthe whites and it's worked like a charm.

    I like to put essential oils in mine....and there is almost every scent imaginable....even a Tide Scent...(Lord help me when I find a 'Gain' scent....I'll be wearing that stuff as perfume...hee hee)

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    1. I love Gain!!!! Let me know if you ever find it please :) @ brinafain@hotmail.com thanks!!

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    2. Where can you find the tide scent?

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    3. You can find the gain scent on ebay :)

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have very hard well water. I wonder if it would work well. I have had a very hard time getting my clothes clean.

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  11. groovyghosthunter,
    I haven't noticed any "dulling" as of yet, but then again, I'm not super picky about all my whites being really white in the first place:-).

    As far as the scent goes, the laundry bar I bought from Amazon was heavily scented. But WAIT! The detergent my friend gave me that she made (I was using her recipe) was not, so I forged ahead and even though the bar and the finished concentrate smells scented (it's a pleasant smell), what comes out of the washer (the clean clothes) has NO ODOR whatsoever. It must rinse out really well.

    Anonymous,
    I haven't heard from those who use and store this much that there is any problem with keeping it around, but a half recipe is a good idea if you're low on storage space or if you don't have tons of laundry to do.

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  12. it will only take me about 2 weeks to empty out 2 reg. laundry jugs-the others i save for insulin needles-does the trick!

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  13. I make a dry version using Zote, instead of Fels Naptha. I use the large bar of Zote (grated), two cups of Borax and two cups of Washing soda. Mix together and it fits perfectly into a 10 cup rubbermaid container. I use two tablespoons per large load. I have no problem with it dissolving...I wash everything in warm water. Love your blog...Janet

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    1. Thanks for this. I've tried to find a good dry recipe for a while.

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    2. One bar of soap only takes 1/2c borax and 1c of the washing soda for the liquid recipe here. Im wondering about upping the soap bars needed to proportinate this recipe a little better. Seems like way too much washing soda and borax per soap bar here.

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    3. I could only find Zote soap too, I am making mine today!!! finally got all the ingredients together! I am on a tight budget too and had to buy my stuff in two different pay periods but I'm ready now and I am also making the fabric softener. I have a good recipe if anyone needs it. I found all of these on pinterest! one of the best sites I have found I am on there daily finding new things to save money with! I think I will start my own blog like this!

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  14. Yes, my Fels Naptha was much cheaper, too. I'm not sure about your local stores, but in mind, it's actually with the hand and facial soap, so you may check that aisle, too:) WELL worth the effort!!

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  15. May I offer a tip? If you microwave the soap for about 90 seconds and let it cool before you grate it, the grating goes much easier. In the microwave the soap will expand and look like meringue. It is fun to watch!

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    1. this is cool :) thank you!

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  16. another lovely tutorial.

    I started this recipe last year and we too love it!
    Only my son has eczema and instead of the Felsnaptha, I use our soap.

    either way it works great becauase it saves money!

    Amanda

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    1. Does the Felsnaptha react badly to his eczema? MY boyfriend has severe eczema and I dont want to make it worse. What do you use instead of the Felsnaptha?

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  17. I've been making this for over a year... Instead of the Fels-Naptha, I use a bar of Ivory (I buy 3 bars for a buck at the Dollar Tree). It works great. I love it... I notice that clothes I dry outside on the line aren't as stiff, either!

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    1. I use dove because of allergies and it works great the cucumber and melon gives a nice fresh scent that isnt to strong

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  18. Oh this sounds wonderful! What about "he" washers though? Do you know?

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  19. I've used this for 2 years or more. I won't go back to commercial detergent, but - brutally honest - I find whites do get dingy. I don't use bleach every time, but once through with bleach and they are sparkling white again.

    I find this isn't effective on stains and I have to pre-treat, but then I had to with the commercial detergent too. I like the scent, but I use vinegar as a softener (and also eliminates any soap residue) and find the scent disappears after the rinse.

    Be careful about washing in warm or hot water. I read somewhere that the Borax, when combined with warm water, acts like peroxide. (research further) Great for germs, but I think my colors do fade faster.

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  20. On storing awhile, the only time I've had problems is when one of us accidentally left the wooden spoon we used for stirring down in the bucket...it molded all up and down the handle so I threw out the whole batch. Without a spoon, batches seem to stay good for a long time. I only use this mixture for darks, linens and dog towels...anything with stains (as in my 5 children's clothes) or our whites still get commercial detergent as we lost too many items to stains and dinginess with homemade.

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  21. My daughter has been making homemade laundry detergent for a couple of years now. She supplies me with all I need, for which I am forever grateful. I wash with warm water (never hot) and haven't noticed any graying of our whites. Daughter has an HE washer and it works great in her machine. Thanks for spreading the word on making your own detergent, Jane!

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  22. have you tried Walmart for the Fels Naptha? our's finally carries it and it's only 97 cents. I make the dry version of this and have even used Ivory bar soap, although it doesn't work as well, I try to use the Ivory batch for less dirty things like bath towels. I just found a recipe for the washing soda also, I've not tried it yet. http://www.ehow.com/how_5859235_make-washing-soda.html
    whoo hoo for saving money! thanks for sharing

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  23. I went to WalMart yesterday and they have FelsNaptha bars for .98 each! I bought 4 for my stockpile. Also, sitting right next to it they had Washing soda. It was around $3.75. So now I'm off to make my concentrate. :-)

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  24. I bought all the ingredients to make this. I found the Fels-Naptha bar of soup in the grocery store. It wasn't in with the laundry detergent area where you'd expect it to be - I found it with the bars of hand soup. The people at the info counter didn't know where it was so if you don't see it, check there. Finding the soup in the grocery store will make the cost of this project $3 less.

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  25. I just finished up a batch of this and I wondered---- is there a reason you have to mix the concentrate with water before using? couldn't you just use half the concentrate?

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  26. Anonymous,
    I'm guessing the added water helps the detergent disseminate more easily throughout the clothes so it's more effective.

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  27. Is this septic system safe? Always wanted to try it, but was too afraid it would do damage....

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  28. Anonymous,
    My husband(who has a background in chemistry and waste water treatment) isn't concerned in the least about using it with our septic system. I'm not sure where your concerns come from, but maybe this will help?

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  29. This is safe for HE washers right???

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  30. Anonymous,
    I found this (http://laundry.about.com/od/HomemadeLaundryProducts/f/Can-Homemade-Detergent-Be-Used-In-He-Washers.htm) which says it is safe for HE washers but, to confirm, you may want to call or email the maker of your machine:-).

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  31. Jane, I really like your site. I found it by searching (trying to earn swags) for a "sweet potato spoon bread" and yours is the exact recipe from Better Homes & Gardens 11-11 mag. I am so proud of you for answering God's call to homeschool your precious children in obedience. I too, have always wanted to make my laundry soap and will seriously consider that despite just the two of us. Our two sons were both home schooled, what a blessing for each of us to learn of Him & watch His guidance and direction. God bless you mightily.

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  32. Your math is 'off'. If the bar soap alone cost $4.20 then everything put together has to cost more than $4.20. Although like others said the soap can be found much cheaper so for most people it would probably be much cheaper than $4.20 for 10 gallons of soap.

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    1. The overall 10 gal finished product cost, yes would be the cost of the ingredients. Her math is just fine for the per load costs that she plainly broke it down to.

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  33. Katie,
    You're right! Nice catch. I corrected it above. I had the total cost per recipe wrong, but the cost-per-load figures were still right (or within 0.003). Thanks for telling me:-).

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  34. I use this recipe too,have been using abt a year,and no complaints,we love it ! Blessings Jane

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  35. Is it bad if it doesn't gel? I followed the steps but it didn't really gel...

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  36. Bethany,
    If you followed all the directions and let it sit and it still didn't gel, I would think it will still work just fine. Once it gels and you mix it/shake it up well (like you're supposed to before using), it is pretty liquid-y. I think you're fine:-).

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    1. Oh good!!! Thank you so much!!!! I did it in the utility sink in our garage so I'm wondering if maybe the cold played a part...thank you so much for all you share with us! I love your blog!!

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  37. I too just finally tried this recipe. I'd made other versions and not been happy with the results but I am thrilled! I figured out that it costs me something like $.69 cents a gallon to make. I'm trying homemade softner too and am enjoying it (although I miss my Downy scents).

    Fun stuff!

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  38. How is this for use on babies clothes. I have a 2 month old and her skin is sensitive?

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    1. I can't speak to this directly because my "baby" is soon three and no one in our home has overly sensitive skin. Try google-ing homemade laundry soap (there are other similar recipes out there) and sensitive skin/infant. Maybe someone else can speak to this better than I:-).

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  39. Hi! I wonder where you keep this five gallon bucket. It's not going to fit under my sink! Does it need to be in a cool dry place? What about a hot warm place (I have a hot warm place available, and no cool dry place)?

    thanks!!
    - sheila

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    1. I wouldn't have room for it under my sink either!:-) I keep mine in my laundry room. I didn't have a great spot for it, so I set my mop bucket on top of it (which sat on the floor in a corner). It's not the most convenient place, but I only have to get it out once in awhile (I fill two or three gallon containers at a time to use the soap from). As far as temperature goes, my laundry room gets pretty cool in the winter and pretty hot in the summer. Away from direct heat/sun is probably best.

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    2. I keep my bucket in the garage, and refill several laundry detergent bottles at a time. I had saved up those bottles when preparing to make my own, and keep the bottles on the shelf over my washer. In my area the temps get down below freezing, so I keep the laundry detergent bucket towards the part of the garage that has the furnace, and I've never had a problem. I doubt the cold would hurt it anyway.

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  40. I use all these things separately as "boosters" to my wash...geez! to think I could have been saving money so much sooner than this. Thank you!

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  41. I have made this type of laundry detergent several times. I have used Dove soap as the bar soap and the whites were very white and the colors looked very good also. If you don't like the smell of the soap, you can also add a few drops of essential oil to tweak the smell a little. I only used a few drops because of color issues. This style detergent gets our clothes very clean. That being said, it is not a miracle soap. I had people want to use it after I raved about it and then come to me complaining when all the grease, crayons, blood, red mud stains, etc. didn't come out of their clothes. Use a pretreatment for heavily soiled items.

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    1. Fels Naptha soap bars are a great pretreatment for stains. Simply wet the bar and rub it into the stains before washing. Zote, my favorite, works great, too.

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  42. I have made this type of laundry detergent before and it just didn't work for us...I feel it is our hard water. I did come across another method that is working sooo well for us. It is no-grate laundry soap found here: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/02/no-grate-homemade-laundry-soap.html
    I did change the recipe so I would run out of both borax & washing soda at the same time.
    The cost break down(Canadian) for 1box borax, 1 box washing soda and 8 bottles blue dawn= $17.49. This makes 48 batches (2years worth for us) each batch costs $0.36...there are 16 cups per batch and I use 1/2cup/load so it is = $0.01/load....I love how cost effective it is! I hope that this will help some of your readers who may have had the same trouble as I did.
    Blessings Kathleen :)

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  43. I make this laundry soap but prefer the ZOTE bar soap and I make the dry version ....ZOTE soap is found at SAVALOT

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  44. can i get the fels naptha at walmart? i have never heard of that but i have tried this recipe with regular bar of soap and it worked great! really thinking about making some more...it's been a while..

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  45. I make the dry version and love it. No, there is no strong scent, just clean. I also use homemade fabric softner, (which I will NEVER give up.)
    I buy my Fels Naptha soap at WalMart for 97 cents each. At our local WalMart, all these items are side by side since so many folks here make their own laundry soap. I use it in my HE washer, and for my newborn granddaughter, who has sensitive skin. No problems at all.

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  46. amazing! just made it. the soap was at walmart for 97cents! also, i already had the other stuff since i have been making a laundry detergent, wet/dry powder, which i love! but this would really be amazing in the cost corner! oh, another thing, the soap is MADE IN THE USA!AND i am a fan of USA products! thank you so much! looking forward to trying this coming week....esp. since my new clothsline is up and going.:)

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  47. Old post, I know, but for the person who asked above: I use the same recipe without the water, 1-2 tbsp of the dry mix per load depending on how soiled the load is. Takes up less space than the water-in version and I don't have to worry about the dog knocking over a 5 gallon bucket of soap.

    Also, if you microwave the Fels Naptha for about two minutes it puffs up like crazy. Once it's cooled it just flakes apart into powder, so no grating :D

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  48. Teacher & Mom in missouriJuly 24, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    I would just like to say that I absolutely love your website. I have become a follower and avid reader. I am on my second batch of homemade laundry soap and I absolutely love it. I found all of the ingredients at my WalMart for under $5 total! It was awesome! I have since converted family members and friends into making their own soap too! (and followers of your website too). Thank you so much for spending so much time and effort on this blog. I have found it to be a huge blessing to me and my family. I don't know how many of your recipes I have tried (the fabulous garden - basic tomato sauce was my most recent - love it too!) and I love reading all of your posts. Your blog has become one of my top ten must reads on the internet. Thank you so much for sharing your life with others. It truly is a blessing for so many!

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  49. I live in Canada, and can't find washing soda in any of our local stores. But I found this how-to to make your own! You need two things: baking soda and an oven. I've taken my out now, and will be trying out the laundry soap recipe this weekend!

    http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2011/01/homemade-washing-soda.html

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  50. Can anyone guide me to scented version? I used this exact recipe for years, and it worked great. Well, with my well water, even adding vinegar, etc., the clothes are dingy and don't smell good. Stains won't come out either. Only Gain or Tide works well.
    I would love to try a powdered version, is it okay for HE washers? How would you add scent? Maybe just use Downey or Gain softener? At least I would save at least $20 per month on the detergent.
    Help!!

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  51. I have tried this to wash a few loads of laundry and am finding that this doesn't suds at all. We don't have a water softener but I have never thought my water was extremely hard. Any suggestions?

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  52. Can u use this with a High Efficiency washer that ur only suppose to use certain stuff

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    1. i have a HE washer and use this all the time, in fact I have found that i dont even have to buy the cleaner stuff anymore to get that sour smell out. it seems to be cleaning it also. I love this and will NEVER go back to store bought.

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  53. Suds do not mean clean, according to my HE front loader manual suds are actually not good. Its the friction of the clothes beating togethet that cleans and sudsy results are usually in the additives of manufactoring.

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  54. By "gel" do u mean that chunks form on top? Mine stayed watery but formed soap chunks on top.

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  55. do you have to wait for it to gel or can you go ahead and seperate it into jugs and then add the water after it gels in the jugs?

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  56. If Ocy Clean helps with dinginess in hard water, I found the recipe for Oxy Clean on another web site: 1/8 cup each of washing soda, hydrogen peroxide, and liquid laundry soap. So...since washing soda and laundry soap are already in the detergent recipe, I wonder if just adding hydrogen peroxide to each wash would help keep whites from turning dingy [?]

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    1. Yes, you hit the nail on the head! I have been using the dry version of this recipe in my HE washer for years. I also use hydrogen peroxide! I use it as I would bleach. Just add it to the bleach dispenser of your washer. My whites are blinding! I will never go back to commercial laundry products again.

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  57. someone mentioned using essential oils, do you just add it straight into the mix or a few drops once you put mix into washer slot? thanks!!!

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  58. jane, i have been using this recipe since last may. i had a recipe for powder, loved it, but 5 gallons? had to try it...and i LOVE it. i didn't dilute and i just pour less of the concentrate in w/each load. also, i use a toothbrush,dip it into the concentrate before adding it to wash, and pretreat grease, blood, etc.stains and rub area w/bar felsnapha soap. it is amazing. that is the only stain remover i need now. wonderful laundry soap. and now...FABRIC SOFTENER. read last week about adding epsom salts, 1/4cup to each load of wash, add at the beginning along w/laundry soap, and this stuff works too. the recipe said you could add essential oil of choice to a batch of the epsom salts, mix and store in tight container. but, natural scent is fine w/me, esp. on days i can hang outside. thank you soooo much for the recipe. my daughter and my sister also use it:) love you and your blog...God bless you and your family.

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  59. Here is a tip for you...I microwave the Fels Naptha bars. After they cool they will powder in your hand...no grating. I learned this tip on a homesteading forum when I was researching about using this type of detergent. Microwave the soap bar 3 to 5 minutes on high, let cool, and then crush with your hands. If some of the bar still feels soap-like then microwave it a little more.

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  60. Great post! I have all the ingredients; all I need is the bucket! lol. Will have to try this. Saving my laundry detergent bottles so I can pour the homemade detergent into them when I make it. =)

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  61. ...You are awesome. Just thought I'd say it. And when my laundry detergent runs out, I will definitely try this!

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  62. Iuse zote soap is Fels Naptha the same? or is Fels beter, please someone tell me

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    1. I think they're pretty similar, although I've never tried Zote in this laundry detergent recipe before. Also, I believe the bar size is different. Fels Naptha comes in 5 1/2 ounce bars and I believe Zote bars are larger, so you'd need to take that into account. A quick google search brought up some comparisons between the two if you'd like to know which people prefer. Best of luck- whichever you chose!:-)

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  63. Can anyone tell me if this is safe to use in a HE washer?

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  64. Wow, I'm a frugal single retired Army GI type guy, and now a - semi retired farmer that happened to run across this, today. My Mother used to make her own soaps most of the time, used Tide second, but she used the old wringer washing machine that drained out on the ground. Yes, I'm that old. Since, Mom's receipe died with her, I've found through personal experience and mine and my X wifes liberal use of Tide, Tide powder is death to the septic drain field, and will cake in the washer too. Not Good! We, now me, have used only "Oh My How Expensive" liquid detergents since, that I've (somehow greasing equipment, greases my clothes as much as the bearing or joint it was intended for) needed sometimes to double the concentrates to clean, and still isn't up to my satisfaction. I can't wait until my next shopping spree, it will be the first time I've needed a list in a long time, might even see a new section of the store. Ha Thanks so much, this even looks better than Mom's lye type soaps, I can't wait to try it. Some of the commenters have really been helpful, as well. Love ya, Thank you all.

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  65. I made this last month, but found the soap bar and all other ingredients at Walmart. The fels-naptha bar was only .99.

    I estimated it cost me .20 a gallon to make this.

    The soap, even when shaken is a little bit gelatinous, but it still works well - and you can't beat the cost!

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  66. I got my components @ Winco (includes sales tax).
    Fels-Naptha $1.06
    Washing Soda (55 oz.) $3.45
    Borax (76 oz.) $3.68

    I calulated the cost @ .0027 Using your recipe. That almost 4 loads for a penny

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  67. Can i use baking soda instead of washing soda?

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  68. I made mine with zote, but it was all over my clothes undisolved, I have an he top loader, any suggestions. I even boiled water and tried to melt the zote and make liquid, still didn't melt.

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    Replies
    1. Hmm. I've never used Zote, so I'm afraid I won't be of help. See if you can do on online search for laundry soap using Zote and check if any of the directions are different. Sorry it's been a mess for you- I hope you can figure out what went wrong. :-(

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  69. Your "old" neighbor and I are going to attempt this! She has the ingredients and is waiting for me to come over so we can make this. Wish us luck!!!!

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  70. Any suggestions or references as to how much essential oil it would take to scent this BEFORE you dilute it. I would like to add the scent before I let it sit overnight. Thanks for any help you can give.

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