Friday, January 2, 2009


Since I finally had accumulated all of the ingredients, my daughter came over the other day, and we made our homemade laundary detergent. It is quite easy to make and rather fun as well!

Ingredients: Fels Naptha soap, Borax, and washing soda (sodium carbonate).

With baby Christian as our supervisor, we began...

We shredded the bar of soap, put it in a double boiler and added the water to cover. Stir while heating until melted and mixed well.

While the soap mixture was melting, we filled our five-gallon bucket half way up with hot water then added our Borax and washing soda while mixing well. We then added our melted soap.

After all of the ingredients are mixed together until all powder is dissolved, we filled the bucket to the top with hot tap water. You then cover and let sit over night. You now have five gallons of detergent, which you then dilute 1:1 with water giving you a total of 10 gallons of laundry soap!

I got this recipe from the Duggar's web site and have also listed it below. They said that store bought detergent costs $60 per 180 loads. This homemade detergent costs $1.50 per 180 loads! Of course, the costs will vary depending upon what you pay for your base ingredients. My daughter and I split the 10 gallons of concentrate into two five-gallon buckets, each ending up with a total of 10 gallons of ready-to-use soap. We figure that they will last each of us approximately nine months. To top it off, the Borax and washing soda that I have will last for several years, so all we'll need to purchase in the future is more Fels Naptha. Since I got a three-pack of the bar soap, we each took one of the remaining two to use as a stain remover. You wet the clothing and rub the bar directly onto the stain. It is also said to be good for poison oak. Needless to say, we were both quite happy about our new frugal find!

I am also testing out a vinegar rinse as a substitute for fabric softener (also found on the Duggar's web site.) So far, I have only tried it on one load of dish rags, but there was no residual smell whatsoever. I am anxious to use it in a load of clothing to see if it truly takes out any static cling.


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)


Amy said...

Hi! That's a great recipe for laundry detergent! I make my own detergent too -- only I make the powdered variety. It's amazing when I first used it and only had to use 1/4 cup for a load, and to see all the dirt and gunk just floating at the top of the water mid-cycle!! Ew! But good, too, since your clothes are SO much cleaner and get done cheaper than the bought laundry soap.

Zebu said...

I Amy--glad to know that it works for other people :)

Angie said...

Awesome! I have the ingredients on my grocery list. I'm planning on doing the powdered kind :)