Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Make Liquid Laundry Detergent

You all know that making your own _____ is sometimes more costly time wise that it would be to buy it. That is not the case with this liquid laundry detergent. My Aunt Miriam was the first one who told me about it, and I was a little interested. Then, after collecting enough bottles,she made some for herself and shared it with us. When we ran out, I made more. I didn't photograph the whole process, so you'll have to use your imagination a little bit. :)
A smaller recipe is on one of Mom's favorite blogs. Here is the link

at heartkeeper .

The above link she answers a lot of questions. Her recipe makes a smaller amount.

Note: this is not an original recipe. My Aunt Miriam got it from somewhere (off the Internet?). We have run across several different blogs that have this or a similar recipe.

I italicized the recipe. We did get a powdered detergent recipe along with this one. If any one wants it, let us know.

The ingredients you'll need are....

1. 4 cups hot tap water

2. 1 Fels-Naptha Soap Bar (5.5) oz

3. 1 cup washing soda ( can be purchased at a hardware store or online)

4. 1/2 cup borax

5. Lots of tap water

-Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted. If the Fels-Naptha doesn't melt completely, you'll have lumpy detergent.

-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.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machines- 5/8 cup per load (approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- 1/4 cup per load (approx. 640 loads)

Here is the soap after sitting overnight. It was gelled and needed a fair amount of stirring to get it into shape.

Make sure you collect enough bottles, otherwise you'll have to get creative. I suggest that you don't fill them up to the brim, as the container will expand a little as the soap cools to room temperature.

Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and the rest of the way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel) The water should be hot when you put an equal amount of it into the bottle with an equal amount of soap, so that it can amalgamate.

Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil. I haven't done this yet, but maybe next time I will.

Some of you may question, does this soap actually work? Our clothing, as well as our Aunt's, keeps coming out clean, so yes. This soap isn't sudsy though, so don't be looking for lots of bubbles.


  1. I have seen this recipe around and have been wanting to try it ... just need to collect the bottles, find the ingredients and give it a try! =)

  2. This is on my list of things to make too!
    Where did you find the Fels-Naptha Soap?

  3. Fels-Naptha was available at our local grocery store. You should also be able to get it at a hardware store or if all else fails, on-line.

  4. Just wondering, did you figure out how much each load costs based on what you paid for all the ingredients and how many loads you get out of it? Thanks.

  5. A load costs approx. 1.4 cents if you have a top loader.
    (That is $2.50 approx for ingredients if you get 180 loads from a batch.)

    It has been a little while since I purchased these ingredients, but here is what I remember for what they cost.
    Fels-Naptha (5.5oz bar) $1.75
    Washing Soda (55oz box) $4.25
    Borax (83oz) $3.00

    The recipe is supposed to make 10 gallons, but we only got 9 gallons out of it. Also, we don't fill up our gallons all the way to give a little breathing room since some of the detergent sits a while. I estimated that there is 100oz in each gallon, since we use 5 oz per load, that's 20 loads per gallon (approx.).

    Hope this is helpful.

  6. We're going to try this today!
    Thank you!