Make Your Own Laundry Detergent with Scent Like Tide and All Surf

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by Cassie on February 2, 2012

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Last week, we shared our recipe for homemade laundry detergent powder for sensitive skin (compared to Ivory Snow or Dreft) that we use for our baby and our son with eczema.  We promised that we would share the recipe we use for the rest of the family, our towels and bedding.  Are you ready to make your own laundry detergent?  Let’s get started!

Similar to the previous recipe we shared, this one is also very easy and quick to whip up a batch at less than 10 minutes – a perfect length for our busy family.  :)  And as the recipe we share gives you enough for 80 light loads or 40 heavy loads of laundry you can adjust the recipe to meet your family size and your schedule!

We actually make a double or triple batch of this powdered detergent because as we mentioned before, it stores better than the liquid detergent (our own opinion) and the larger batch decreases the number of times we have to make it.  But as we mentioned before, we are certainly willing to try a liquid if you have a recipe you recommend!

laundry detergent ingredients

First, here is the ingredient round-up:

  • 1 bar of Fels Naptha Soap
  • 2 cups of Super Washing Soda
  • 2 cups of Borax
  • 5-6 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil (or other fragrance if you prefer)

Step #1 – Prepare your Fels Naptha:

  • Microwave your Fels Naptha soap bar for 30-60 seconds to soften the bar.  It will not create the cool meringue marshmallow growth like Ivory does, but it will certainly be easier to deal with when it is softer :) In addition, it leaves a nice clean smell in your home.
  • Then cut it into cubes and stick it in a blender/food processor
  • You will note some recipes encourage you to grate your soap; I really don’t like to grate it as I prefer softening and then blending.  So yes, some might refer to this as the “lazy way”  but I prefer to think of it as the “very busy, yet very productive mom way!”

Step #2 – Blend in the Borax and Washing Soda:

  • With the Fels Naptha softened and cubed, next add your 2 cups Borax and 2 cups Washing soda.  I actually add 1 cup of each of these at a time, so start with 1 cup of the Washing soda and blend, then 1 cup of the borax and blend and then repeat!
  • Continue blending until you see uniform mixture.

laundry detergent in food processorThis is what is looks like with 1 cup of the white powder and the blended Fels Naptha

Step #3 – Add scent:

  • Drop in 5-6 drops of Lavender Essential Oil into the mixture and then blend for 20-30 seconds one last time to that the fragrance is evenly distributed.
  • Your final product will be a nice fluffy peach-colored powder detergent that smells great and works well! We store it in a #10 can in our laundry room!  The end product will yield 40-80 loads worth of detergent!

make your own laundry detergentThis is what is looks like in the end as a fine “light peachy” colored powder!

Here’s how to use it:

  • Light Load – 1 Tablespoon
  • Heavy Load – 2 Tablespoons

We’ve also had a few of you ask about odor after using our detergents.  When we use both the clothes smell clean and don’t have an odor.  We also want to remind you of our recommendation to use vinegar as a fabric softener which also helps to remove odor.

Here’s the cost breakdown:

  • 1 Bar of Fels Naptha sold for around $1.00 in-store
  • Borax with average cost per box of $4 (for a 76 oz. box) = $0.84 per 2-cups for each laundry batch
  • Super Washing Soda with average cost per box of $3 (for a 55 oz. box) = $0.87 per 2-cups for each laundry batch
  • Lavender Essential Oil around $5 a bottle (Puritans Pride buy 2 get 3 free sale is one of the cheapest!) which will last for a LONG time (ours has lasted forever) so we will estimate around $0.20 to be conservative?

This makes the final price an average of $2.91 per batch of 4-7 cents per load (even cheaper if you purchase the above ingredients for less with sales or coupons)!

cost per laundry detergent load comparison scented

Here’s how Tide (usually most expensive in-store) and All Surf (usually on the lower end of cost in-store) stack up in price to this homemade equivalent.  We are comparing to Walmart’s everyday low prices.

Tide Powdered Detergent 169 oz. (equal to 120 loads) sells for $20.47 = $0.17 per load

All Surf  156 oz. Powdered Detergent (equal to 120 loads) sells for $10.97 = $0.09 per load

When you make your own laundry detergent you can save between 61-76% compared to popular national brands!  Our homemade laundry detergent is 61% cheaper than store-bought All Surf and 76% cheaper than Tide powder detergent! Even with sales and coupons, you would need to purchase the name brands  for 60% off or more to equal the same value.

If you wanted to purchase the ingredients online and have them shipped to you, here are some options.  Please note the Fels Naptha and Borax are cheaper in-store, but we provide you these online resources for comparison and in case you can’t find it easily in your local supermarket:

Fels Naptha

Super Washing Soda 76 oz. (will make multiple batches as you only use 16 oz. per batch)

Borax 76 oz. (will make multiple batches as you only use 16 oz. per batch)

Lavender Essential Oil (this will last FOREVER and has many household uses!)

See our sensitive skin homemade laundry detergent powder recipe to save 90% over store bought equivalent.

See more of our Daily Doses of Thrifty to save even more money in your household budget!

Disclaimer:  Before using any homemade laundry detergent, please be sure to test it on a small piece of clothing first.  Finally, don’t forget to have fun.  When you make your own laundry detergent not only can you save money, but have a wonderful time with your children as well!

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent with Scent Like Tide and All Surf
5.0 from 1 reviews
Print
Recipe type: Household
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 80
Save "loads" of money by making your very own detergent that is very easy (I can make mine in less than 10 minutes) and have it be very effective in gently cleaning your clothing!
Ingredients
  • 1 bar of Fels Naptha Soap
  • 2 cups of Super Washing Soda
  • 2 cups of Borax
  • 5-6 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil (or other fragrance if you prefer)
Instructions
Step #1 - Prepare your Fels Naptha:
  1. Microwave your Fels Naptha soap bar for 30-60 seconds to soften the bar. It will not create the cool meringue marshmallow growth like Ivory does, but it will certainly be easier to deal with when it is softer :) In addition, it leaves a nice clean smell in your home.
  2. Then cut it into cubes and stick it in a blender/food processor
  3. You will note some recipes encourage you to grate your soap; I really don't like to grate it as I prefer softening and then blending. So yes, some might refer to this as the "lazy way" but I prefer to think of it as the "very busy, yet very productive mom way!"
Step #2 - Blend in the Borax and Washing Soda:
  1. With the Fels Naptha softened and cubed, next add your 2 cups Borax and 2 cups Washing soda. I actually add 1 cup of each of these at a time, so start with 1 cup of the Washing soda and blend, then 1 cup of the borax and blend and then repeat!
  2. Continue blending until you see uniform mixture.
Step #3 - Add scent:
  1. Drop in 5-6 drops of Lavender Essential Oil into the mixture and then blend for 20-30 seconds one last time to that the fragrance is evenly distributed.
  2. Your final product will be a nice fluffy peach-colored powder detergent that smells great and works well! We store it in a #10 can in our laundry room! The end product will yield 40-80 loads worth of detergent!
Notes
Disclaimer: Before using any homemade laundry detergent, please be sure to test it on a small piece of clothing first.

We also HIGHLY recommend that you put this in your home binder along with many more things we will be sharing! See all of the information on this in our previous post HERE about Put Together Your Home Binder with Free Downloads.

Finally, use this new thrifty and healthy cleaning product as part of our Spring Cleaning Challenge.

If you want even more ideas too, be sure to visit these links!

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Alex & Cassie
 

{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle C February 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm

This is the Duggar’s recipe and I have been using their liquid version (same ingredients) for a year and a half and it is great. I will say I broke my food processor (cracked the plastic casing of the blade) doing the Fels Naptha “the lazy way” LOL So now I grate. but I do love it and it’s super cheap. Even my mother who is die hard Tide (50 years+) loved the way it made her clothes smell and how soft they were. Highly recommended!

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Michelle C February 2, 2012 at 2:00 pm

BTW, the liquid version lasts very close to 6 months. Yes, I pay less than 10 dollars for about 10 loads a week for close to 6 months!

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thriftycas February 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm

I have heard good things about it – but it also seems like such a process to make it! I have heard some people literally melting their grated Fels Naptha for hours. However, I should give it a fair shake sometime and compare ;)

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thriftycas February 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Hi Michelle, The Duggars recipe is a lot different: http://duggarfamily.com/content/duggar_recipes/30456/powdered_laundry_detergent_top_load_machine. We’ve tried that and we like the one we have posted here as I like more of the other powders and using essential oils for the fragrance.

Also, the Fels Naptha is very hard and that is why I microwave it for about a minute so that it doesn’t “hurt” the food processor. It makes it very soft and very easy on the food processor :) I definitely want my food processor to last a long time!!

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Suzette February 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I wonder if this would help make my clothes smell better due to hard water??

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Katie April 1, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Suzette,

Yes, it does. That is what Borax is used for. It is a natural deodorizer. :)

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Lori February 2, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I have been making the Duggar’s recipe for several years. If you use your price break down and apply it to the Duggar’s liquid recipe it works out to only 0.009 cents a load for top loading machines and 0.002 cents a load for front loading machines. I have 7 children and we homeschool so I can totally understand busy, but this recipe is not awful time consuming or difficult. Honestly it probably takes me less time to make it myself than to load everyone up and go to the store :)

My food pricessor has a cheese grater attachment and I highly reccomend using this for the soap bars. Actually if I am breaking this out to grate soap I do several bars at once and then store the individual already grated bars into baggies for future batches. Then I don’t have to wash it each time I am making laundry soap. It only takes about 5 minutes for me to dissolve the grated soap in a pan of water on the stovetop. Then I add that to my 5 gallon bucket which already has the washing soda and borax poured into it. I move the bucket to my shower and add hot water and stir with a 5 gallon paint stirrer stick (from Lowes) so I don’t burn my hand. Put the lid on and let it sit overnight and it gels up. Now for my very favorite part… once it is gelled we set it on a bench in the kitchen and we fight over, I mean take turns, squishing it through our hands and fingers to break it up. Seriously this is so fun! Then I pour it into old laundry soap bottles and remember this is concentrated so my 5 gallon bucket actually makes 10 gallons of laundry soap. I have several old bottles so I refill them all and “restock” my shelves! I make it for several family members too. I am sure the powder is easier but the liquid is cheaper per load, and I am cheap (I mean frugal). I read somewhere if you have hard water to use a bit more Borax, I actually use 1 cup rather than the half a cup the Duggar recipe calls for. We have well water here but the family members I make it for don’t.

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thriftycas February 9, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Hi Lori,

We have 5 kids and homeschool :) I really should try it sometime. I am saving my detergent bottles from our super sweet in-store deals to store it in and give it a try. I think because I already make the sensitive skin powder detergent and it takes just a few minutes, I just go ahead and make the regular one that way too. I will try it sometime (soon maybe??) and post about my thoughts and experience too! Thanks for sharing all of that information, it is much appreciated!

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Vanessa Smith July 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Can you send me the exact recipe? Thanks

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Lori February 2, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Oh and you can add essential oils to liquid soap also, just add it after it has cooled. Duggar’s mention it too, their recipe is here…
http://www.duggarfamily.com/content/duggar_recipes/30455/homemade_liquid_laundry_soap_front_or_top_load_machine_best_value

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monica February 8, 2012 at 8:26 am

This may seem like a silly question but do you use have 2 separate food processors-one strictly for making detergent and the other that is used for food?

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monica February 8, 2012 at 8:27 am

correction ‘do you have’ lol

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thriftycas February 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Hi Monica,
No, I only have one. I just wash it immediately and rinse out with really hot water a couple of times.

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jlm February 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I have sensitive skin, could I use Ivory or Dove soap? Thanks!

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thriftycas February 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Hi jlm, We actually have a son with eczema and a baby that we make a separate detergent for due to their sensitive skin specifically designed and made for sensitive skin.
We shared the recipe on our post at this link: http://thethriftycouple.com/2012/01/26/homemade-laundry-detergent-powder-recipe-like-ivory-snow-and-dreft-soap/

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Michelle Crooker February 10, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I shave 1/2 the bar of Fels Naptha with a knife put it in a pot with 1/2 gallon of water heat until melted. Take off burner add 1/2 cup each of Borax and Washing soda stir until dissolved. Add a gallon and a half of warm water stir well. Next sit overnight, stir well dump into 2 ice cream buckets. I use 1/2 cup to 1 cup depending on how big and dirty the load is.

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jlm February 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I forgot to ask in my earlier message if this recipe will work in cold water? Thanks!

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Cassie May 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Hi jlm, Sorry for not noticing your comment until now. Yes, we use it in all temperatures and cold water is great :)

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divagoddez09 February 23, 2012 at 12:59 am

i think i have found a liquid recipe that might be worth trying on youtube
http://youtu.be/66puEYarq4o it has all the same thing from your original recipe. i want to try this myself. hope this helps

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thriftycas February 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Thank you! I do have liquid on my list next to try! We have quite a bit of laundry detergent at the moment, but I am going to try it soon and post my results/thoughts :)

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Jessica February 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm

I have a recipe for liquid fabric softener….it is 3 cups water, 3 cups white vinegar, and 2 cups of any hair conditioner ( I use suave because it is very inexpensive and they have some great scents)

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SamIamHis August 16, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Sadly, that video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content. REALLY??? The homemade liquid soap recipe?

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Jennifer Bowers February 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I have been using these same ingredients (plus baking soda & oxy clean) for a year now. LOVE IT! I grate my soap though so, I’ll have to try the microwave/food processor way next time I make it. I have a 5 gallon bucket full though so, it might be a while. :-)

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Jennifer Bowers February 23, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Oh! Also, do you have a dishwasher? You can make your own dishwasher detergent too. I started doing that a couple of weeks ago.

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Kristen R. February 24, 2012 at 8:16 am

How is that working for you? Do you have a recipe? :)

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Jennifer Bowers February 28, 2012 at 8:47 am

Working great!
Dishwasher detergent
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Coarse Salt
15 packets of unsweetened lemon kool-aid
Mix all ingredients in a container.
Use 1 tbs per load.
Also, you can use vinegar in place of rinse aid!

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Libby's Library February 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I’m just wondering why the entire family doesn’t use the sensitive soap?

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thriftycas February 27, 2012 at 9:22 am

Hi Libby!

Someone asked a similar question on the other detergent post for Sensitive Skin, so I will give a similar answer as it is the same :) We use this detergent most and more often because Fels Naptha is the classic heavy duty laundry soap booster/degreaser and so I guess it makes me feel better for the more heavy duty laundry that I am using a more heavy duty soap :) I would use it for our boys too if it wasn’t for sensitive skin. But the sensitive skin one does the job too – I just think this one is a little better if you didn’t have to deal with the sensitive skin issue. Hope that helps answer your question. If not, let me know!

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Lisa February 29, 2012 at 10:53 am

I don’t have a food processor, and I’ve been thinking about getting one as much for homemade laundry soap as for regular use in the kitchen. I’m not a fan of the tedious grating. What size do you have so I know it’d be large enough for recipes like this? Do you have any recommendations on brands/models? Thanks!

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Cassie May 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Hi Lisa – We have a Cuisinart 14-cup processor. I saved and budgted for one for a while as they are a little pricey. The soap and ingredients are soft enough though that most all would be good! There is an 8-cup one by Black and Decker for a good price here: http://amzn.to/N8trbP

Also, with this being 8-cups, you can divide the recipe and blend it 1/2 at a time, otherwise an 8-cup one might get pretty full :)

You can see a number of other ones on Amazon too. We find that Amazon consistently has great prices on those types of items! They do have a number of sales on food processors right now too! You can see them here: http://amzn.to/KUbOIN

Hope that helps and we would love to know which you decided to go with and how that is working!

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Kimberly March 21, 2012 at 11:37 am

Hi everyone I am new to all this DIY stuff. :) I am really interested in making my own laundry detergent as I am a mother of three young boys and am constantly doing laundry. I was wondering if either of these laundry soap recipes are o.k. to use in an HE only washer and dryer?
Thanks,
Kimberly

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Cassie May 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Hi Kimberly! Yes, both of these detergents work just fine in an HE washer. The issue with HE washers is over sudsing with regular laundry soap. This does not “over sud” :) Hope that helps and please come back and let us know how it works for you!

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Tiffany March 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Does this work in a HE washer?

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Cassie May 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Hi Tiffany, just as I said to Kimberly above, this works just fine in an HE washer as it won’t over suds :) Let us know how it works for you when you try it!

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Judy November 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I just bought all the stuff to make this soap and I have a LG HE washer from other posts that I have read on using the homemade soap they suggested to not put the soap in the dispenser and to put it on the clothes before starting the load. I have not tried to make my soap am going to make my first batch today and will post later on how it works out. I love all the great information thank you

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Katie April 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I just tried making this and it was pretty easy! I don’t have a food processor, just a blender and I found that my blender didn’t really like it. I ended up just blending up the fels naptha and a cup of the washing soap until fine and then putting it in my mixer to mix in the rest of the washing soap and borax. Do you normally let the fels naptha cool before putting it in the blender/food processor?

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thriftycas April 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Hi Katie – No, I just stick it right in. I make it so quickly that I haven’t tried to just let it set. I do wash out my food processor with hot water and a bit of dish soap and then a second washing using either vinegar or lemon juice to get any remaining scents off. Mixing it warm does make the fragrance stronger, but I like that my house smells “clean” when making it :) I too love that this is very easy to make in literally just a few minutes. Usually when I run out of laundry soap, it is not planned ahead and so I am throwing the clothes in the washer, opening the soap and realize “oh, I am out” and make it and back in the laundry room in just a few minutes. Hope that helps!

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Mike April 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Found all ingredients at my local wal-mart cheaper than any listed here. Essential oil was $2 for 2 oz and the borax, washing soda, and fels naptha bars were lined right up in the laundry aisle!

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thriftycas April 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Awesome Mike!! We would love to get the prices from you to include in the post. Would you mind emailing us at thriftyus@thethriftycouple.com? We appreciate it :)

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Cindy E May 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

Been using a liquid variation for a LONG time! My daughter gave me the recipe but it looks like it’s based on the Duggar’s recipe! 1/6 bar fels-naptha (I GRATE it in the processor—it doesn’t cause so much wear and tear on the machine) then separate it into 6 parts that I wrap in plastic wrap or sandwich baggie) which has been stirred and melted into 3 qt boiling water. Turn down burner to low then slowly add 1/3C borax until completely absorbed and then 1/3C Super Washing Soda. Mix until it’s turns as clear as it can to make sure its all absorbed (2 min max). Take boiler off burner and set aside for 12-24 hrs. It will gel. You can use the gel in top load machines but I put the gel through my blender then place in old detergent bottle. Shake well and use as much as you normally would!

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Cindy E May 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

A friend of ours determined it as $.58 per BATCH to make this! I also use vinegar for a rinse agent and have used it with my bedridden Mother’s bedthings and it’s worked better than anything I’ve bought!

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Nancy W. August 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Just found this website today and am enjoying it immensely. Do you need to vary the amounts of 1T for light loads, 2T for heavy loads for front-loader machines? Also, has anyone made it without the lavender essential oil? I don’t have skin issues, but certain strong scents can trigger asthma attacks. (For example, I had a really good coupon for that Gain scent booster and it was on sale at our local store, but when I smelled it I knew it would not be a product I could have in my house, let alone use on my clothes! I left the coupon on the store shelf for someone else to use!)

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Lorraine November 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Hi, I love the thought of making my own laundry detergent, but i was just wondering if the soap you use is a type of laundry soap? (We don’t have that brand in Australia)

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Chandra December 4, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I know I am late, but we use Dr. Bronner’s mild unscented soap.

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Tabitha December 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Love this!!! Today was my first time making this and it only took me four minutes. Thanks for posting this.

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Cassie December 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Awesome Tabitha! I am so glad to hear it and thank you for your update. I love simple and effective things too :)

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Cindy March 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I have made this twice now and we have been very happy with how its working and the smell of our laundry. We have hard water so I tend to have some trouble with it. Do you know if this would be safe to use in place of woolite fir washable suade or would I need to do something different? (it says woolite only)

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Julie Dunn April 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Is there an easy printable for this recipe? Thanks!

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Cassie April 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Hi Julie, We got our printable recipe plug-in several months after posting this. I haven’t updated those recipes with that, but you have reminded me to do that and so I will get that done :) Watch for that soon!

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Cassie October 19, 2013 at 9:26 am

Julie – This recipe is now printable! So now when you go to the post, you should be able to print it easily and make use of it easier :)

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Sherrie April 19, 2013 at 11:19 pm

I don’t have a washer so I have to visit my local laundromat to do laundry. Should I contact them before taking homemade laundry soap to use in the commercial machines? I also want to try the vinegar for the rinse but am not sure how they’d react to that in a crowded public laundromat LOL!

Thank you so much for sharing all the stuff you do! I’m on disability and a fixed income. My husband has been out of work since December and his unemployment won’t last long. I need to find ways to save a few dollars. I’ll definitely be checking back with your website to get more tips!

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Cassie April 22, 2013 at 8:04 am

Hi Sherrie – I don’t think that there is any need to get permission as this is less “gunky” and very safe for any washing machine. Vinegar is also a much better option for both your clothes and the machines themselves as it is not as damaging as commercial products. They would probably be quite happy to have you use less harsh products on their machines as it would create less buildup and residue! I had to take some rugs to the laundromat a few weeks ago and I noticed a gentleman there with a bottle of vinegar :)

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Joni April 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Can you use this powdered detergent in a front loading machine? If so how?

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Cassie April 22, 2013 at 7:59 am

Hi Joni – yes you can and it works very, very well as Borax is naturally an HE product. I now have a front-loader myself and I put this in the dry powder detergent spot. Do you have one of those?

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Joni April 22, 2013 at 9:24 am

I just have a tray that pulls out and has a spot for detergent, fabric softner and bleach. The instructions that came with the washer (2008) only state that the detergent must be HE.

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Joni April 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

Also, is there a link to print this?

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Cassie October 19, 2013 at 9:27 am

Hi Joni – This recipe is now printable! The link is in the bottom of this post now so that it is easy to find and make use of!

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Sarah May 1, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I haven’t made any homemade detergent yet, but it is on my list of things to try this year. I have seen another version that adds oxicean (from the Dollar Tree) and Purex Crystals. I know this would add to the cost of making your own, but wondered if anyone added these for brighteners and scent and if they think it is worth it? Or had success?

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Cassie May 1, 2013 at 10:37 pm

I personally use vinegar for much of the same reasons you listed for the extras – but put the vinegar in the liquid softener slot on my machine in the loads that I think need it. I haven’t tried adding those extras that you mentioned though. On my really soiled and tough loads, I do use oxygen bleach (which is like Oxi-clean, but there are much cheaper versions) for that specific load! Hope that helps!

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mr.s.m.sabreen. May 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm

dear sir
i manufacturing small Sculley soap and washing powder at my home.
to add fragrance very necessity to add.
kindly regarding with you how to make the fragrance.

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Cathie June 21, 2013 at 6:54 am

Hi, can you add any oils to change up scents?

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Cassie October 19, 2013 at 9:27 am

Yes – you can be as creative as you want! Lavender is by far my favorite though :)

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Jamie June 30, 2013 at 8:05 pm

I have tried the Dugger recipe and it was ok, but wasn’t loving it. When I shook the liquid up everytime I used it, it would suds up and then drip down the side of the bottle and make a mess, and was hard to then measure for the bubbles. I also have “iron” water, so I do think your recipe adding more borax and washing soda will probably work better for me. I’m definitely going to try your dry recipe in my HE washer! Thank you!

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Cassie July 16, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Hi Jamie – I am curious how it worked for you? Please let me know!

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sandra price July 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I hope I can try this and a few dishwasher soap ones I saw in comments as well! I got lucky this morning and bought a KitchenAid food processor barely used (still in the box) for $15!!! The multi-purpose blade is missing though :( and it seems to be discontinued product. It will still be great for grating/slicing but I would LOVE to find that blade somewhere.

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Cassie July 15, 2013 at 1:11 pm
Debra July 18, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I was recently introduced to homemade llaundry soap and was pleasd to find out any glyserin soap or dial soap will work. I make the powdered version. Just cut your bar into long strips like french fries and run it through the shreader blade on your salad shooter. I grate it staight into a four gallon bucket add the rest of the ingredients put the lid on and shake. Done! Less then 10 minutes I am done and have enougb for my house and my sons and it smells like cranberries.

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Becky October 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Well, my son doesn’t like the smell of the Fels Naptha and I didn’t want to add the expense of the essential oils, so my recipes uses one bar of Dial Basics HypoAllergenic Soap which I purchase at the Dollar Store, 3 bars for a dollar. I grate the bar (it only takes a couple of minutes), add 1 cup Borax and 1 cup Washing detergent into food processor. I add also, 1 cup of color safe bleach (also from the dollar store) to give it an extra boost but that is optional. I quit making the liquid as the powder takes much less time to make and dissolves without a problem in the washer. 1-2 TBS per load depending on what is being washed and the size of the load.

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Tess October 17, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Is there a printable version of this recipe? Maybe I am just missing it? We were at the Family Economics Conference and you encouraged me to make a home binder. Love that idea! Thanks!!

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Cassie October 19, 2013 at 9:28 am

Hi Tess, We just updated the post with a printable recipe version, so now you should be able to print it easily :) So glad that you were at the conference and let us know if you have more questions!

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June Sawmiller January 7, 2014 at 10:16 pm

I would like to PRINT this about making home made soap, but can’t find anything in regards to print it…. Cassie .dated Oct 19,2013 above posted there is a printable version..Thanks for your help.. June

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Nalemaro January 13, 2014 at 7:43 am

I have a top loading machine. Is 2 tablespoons really enough for large loads? We’ve been using store bought liquid detergent for quite a while and it even seems that powder detergents require more than 2 tablespoons per load. I’ve made the recipe but I’m still a little wary in trying it because it just seems like 2 tablespoons is not enough. Thank you.

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Donna February 24, 2014 at 9:36 am

How do you make the liquid Detergent? Thank you

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Cheryl February 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm

I love the way that homemade detergent makes my laundry feel and smell so fresh, but I have always had problems with whites becoming dingy over a few weeks of using the detergent. I have started using the home made many times, only to stop for a while due to the dinginess. Does anyone else have that problem and hopefully, a solution?

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Michelle March 28, 2014 at 11:26 am

Hi- I just found your website and am loving it!! Thank you for providing such good information. My question to you is can I soften the bar of Fels Naptha Soap before grating it. I do not have a processor so grating is my only option. Thank you.

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Cassie March 29, 2014 at 8:14 am

Hi Michelle, Yes, you can soften it and break it up even with a fork and by hand as well. Just cut the soap bar into smaller pieces (like quarters) and soften each piece separately. It’s much harder than soaps like Ivory. You can microwave the whole Ivory soap bar at once and it will soften fine.

Fels Naptha will burn before it softens if microwaved whole. And since you want it even softer for this purpose, take it 1/4 at a time :) Let me know if that worked!

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Joe Edge April 10, 2014 at 4:36 am

Borax is banned in the UK and Europe,but I find the soap and soda crystals works just fine on their own.

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Kadimay May 5, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Your website and ideas have been super helpful! I made this recipe w/ 2 bars of ivory soap instead of the Fels. Also used 2 cups of borax and 2 cups of washing soda. Mixed them all together w/ 2 gal of water and put it in an old detergent container. I love it! I use about 1/4 cup for heavy loads. It even cleans our cloth diapers super well and doesn’t irritate my baby’s skin. Way more cost effective and efficient than store bought! Thank you for sharing!

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Shgoodman May 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm

My only question with this powder laundry soap recipe is if the Fels Naptha is so difficult to melt for the liquid versions, is it dissolving in the washing maxhine from the powder version? Especially when washing in cold water? Doesn’t seem like it would.

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Tena July 13, 2014 at 9:27 am

Hi there, I have been following your website since I found it for a few months now and love it! I have tried some of the cleaning supplies and am getting ready to make the laundry detergent and have a couple of questions. First I have seen two receipes one with oxi-clean and one without and didn’t know why you would make it without? And two I have a front loader so do I put the detergent in the machine or where I would put the liquid detergent I’ve been using? Also I plan on using the vinegar as the fabric softener and where should I put that? Thank you for your great site and I look forward to your answers! I have laundry and I can’t wait to get started! Tena

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Cassie July 18, 2014 at 10:40 am

Hi Tena,
The other recipe is for sensitive skin, and so the oxi-clean is omitted. You can add it to either recipe though :) Also, I have an HE frontloader. I have a slot for liquid detergent or powder detergent. I put mine in the powder detergent slot. However, if you don’t have that, just put it right in the tub. The liquid is specifically for liquid (my understanding). Also, we put the vinegar in the liquid softener slot. Do you have a slot for liquid softener? Hopefully that all helps! Thanks Tena!

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Carman July 24, 2014 at 12:43 pm

I’ve made this laundry soap before and loved it, but did not love grating the Fels Naptha, so after one batch I never made it again. Thank you so much for sharing the ‘lazy’ method. I made it today, and it is WAY easier than grating. I would even say it was a little bit fun. :) And itt has a great smell, even without essential oils. Off to do laundry…

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