It’s been awhile since I made homemade laundry soap, probably around four or five years. With the cost of groceries rising like an out of control tidal wave, I think it’s time that I try it again. While doing some searching and browsing on the internet, I found a laundry soap recipe I hadn’t seen before. In the past, I’ve tried the recipes that involve dissolving the ingredients in hot water and discovered that I really don’t like doing this. I’ve never been one to have pots that I could use for laundry detergent alone. With our small home, I tend to have a minimalist approach to what I have in my kitchen and most things have dual purposes. But, that’s for a different discussion. I’ve also tried the recipes that use washing soda, borax and fels naptha soap. Personally, I don’t like the smell of fels naptha.

Anyway, I digress. I found the following recipe and it didn’t require any special equipment or time on the stove. It’s pretty simple and so far seems to be working quite well. I’ve done three loads of laundry today and used this new detergent/soap and the clothes (even Lauren’s jeans) look great.

1 box Borax
1 box washing soda
1 box baking soda (4 pounds)
1 tub of oxiclean (1.3 pound container)
2 pounds epsom salt (which is used as a softener)
80 drops of your choice of essential oils (lavender, orange, jasmine, etc.)
3 bars of soap (I used Ivory as it was easy to find and works great)

Step #1:
Grate soap bars with a cheese grater.

Step #2:
Combine some of the baking soda and grated soap in a food processor and process until fine or powdery. Adding the baking soda is helpful to keep the soap from gumming up into a ball.

Step #3:
Pour all ingredients into a large container (in our case we used a five gallon bucket since I had one clean and handy). Use what you have on hand (even if it means using various bottles and jars). No need to spend extra money on a container for laundry soap.

Step #4:
Stir everything together until well mixed.


  • Use 1-2 tablespoons per load of laundry. This recipe makes a LOT of detergent so it should last you quite some time. ┬áI actually use the scoop that came in the oxiclean container. It’s perfect.
  • This detergent will NOT make suds or bubbles.
  • It can be used with HE washing machines.
  • If you’re planning ahead for Christmas, a mason jar full of detergent and a set of instructions on how to use it would be a great present (especially in today’s tough economy).