DIY Laundry Detergent – It’s Easy and Cheap!

Lest you think I’ve changed my mind about owning my own little homestead some day in my quest for a minimal/simple lifestyle not to worry.  The dream is alive and well.  In fact my Beloved Hubz and I had quite a lengthy conversation about it just yesterday.  Plans are afoot!  I’m looking forward to sharing the details as they come together.

In the meantime, as part of this ever-evolving quest to live simply and frugally, I am sharing my recipe for homemade laundry detergent (soap is probably a more accurate word) that I’ve been successfully making/using for over a year now.  It is easy to make and costs pennies.  Seriously pennies!!  Talk about frugal.  Plus, the borax powder listed in the ingredients is also included in a recipe for DIY ant traps that I’ll be posting next week.  Double duty folks!  No cluttering up my cupboards with items that only serve one purpose, no sir-ee!  I’ve seen the light.

DIY laundry soap

DIY Liquid Laundry Soap  (all ingredients bought at Walmart BTW)

1/3 bar of Fels Naptha or other pure soap (I just used Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap Bar and it worked great), finely grated (use a microplane, super fast!)

1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

1/2 cup Borax

Directions:  Bring 4 cups water to boil in large pot (bring another 4 cups to boil in another pot, you’ll be adding this to the large pot later).  When water is boiling add grated bar soap.  Stir until completely dissolved – completely, especially when using the Fels Naptha.  Turn off the heat and add the washing powder and Borax.  Again, stir until completely dissolved.  Now add the additional 4 cups boiling water.  Stir some more just to make sure.

You’ll now add 22 cups of cold water.  Yes, 22!  I divide my laundry soap between two containers, an old reused commercial laundry container with a spigot and a gallon-sized plastic pitcher with a screw on lid.  Put 11 cups water in each container then add 4 cups of the concentrated soap.  Close the lid and shake hard to blend together.  That’s it!

As it cools you may see some separation between the denser soap and the water.  Just shake well before using.  I use about a half cup per large load.

There you have it.  Simple and frugal with a minimal amount of ingredients.  Laundry soap like your grandma used to make.


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