Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIY Powdered Laundry Soap - 4 1/2 Stars

Good morning, everyone!

I had come to the end of my container of store-bought laundry soap and saw I was staring down the the opportunity to give making my own a try or walking away and heading to the store to buy more.

Once again, here are my reasons:
  1. It seems pretty easy (well, except for the shredding soap, but I digress).
  2. It saves a LOT of money!
  3. I know exactly what's in it.
  4. I want to know if it works.
My DDiL made some liquid laundry soap.  It seems to be working for her, but it was a bit more complicated than I wanted, so I went with a powdered formula.

There are quite a few out there, all somewhat similar.  I went with baking soda, washing soda, Borax and Fels Naptha soap.  I am going to pick up some Oxy-Clean the next time I'm out and about to add that as well.

Some of the "recipes" I found used a scent to make it smell a bit better.  I thought the Fels Naptha is a bit strong when you open the container, but the clothes smell fine, so I'm not going to add anything extra.

I also found that most of the "recipes" made a HUGE batch.  I wanted to see what I thought BEFORE I committed to making a year's worth.  If it didn't work, what on earth would I do with it?  I'm going to add a series of links you can take a peek at and see if you want to go with their quantities/ combinations.  There might be something you see there you like better or want to try.

BTW, you might have noticed I gave it 4 1/2 stars.  It washes very well, a 5 star-er, BUT I have to be honest that the smell in the container isn't my favorite, hence, 4 1/2 stars.  I'm picky, but overall I like it.

But for now, here's what I did.  As I mentioned, the formulas made HUGE batches as they used the full size boxes of each.  I cut the batches down to a manageable amount for a first try.  I used the small, 1 pound baking soda box as my measure (not the giant one in the picture).

Powdered Laundry Soap

1 lb baking soda
1 lb washing soda
1 lb Borax
1/2 bar Fels-Naptha

As mentioned above, I took the small, 1 pound baking soda box and used that to measure my quantities.  It might not be exactly 1 pound of each, more so 1 container.

Pour Borax, washing soda and baking soda in a bowl.  Add Oxy-Clean, if you have it.  I stirred this with a wisk - a bit like flour, sugar and baking powder!

Here's the one part EVERYONE complains about - shredding the soap bar.  I used the grater "blade" on my mandolin and went at it.  I considered it exercise for the morning.  I found other ideas from people out on the Internet, but I wasn't interested in tucking it in the microwave and seeing what happened....just sayin'.  I told myself to get over it and and grind.  I did.  I survived.  It's fine.

Add this to the bowl and mix.

Pour the mixture into a container.  I think that down the road, I will make up something lovely to hold it, but for now I will use a mason jar.  Actually, 2 mason jars.

Here's where the money saving part comes in.  You only need 1-2 tablespoons in a load to wash your clothes.  Seriously!  I've done about 4 loads so far and that's all I've used in each.  I sprinkle the mixture in the empty washer, add the clothes and turn things on.  The clothes are coming clean and they smell just fine when the are done drying.

Crazy, huh? 

Here are some links to other bloggers who are making their own, as well.  Take a look and create your own!  It's worth it.  :o)

Between mine and the links above, there's plenty for you to consider if you are thinking about making your own.  Give it a try and let me know how it goes  for you.

On a side note: My DD came home from college for Easter break last night.  She brought home her laundry (BIG surprise, eh?) and as a field hockey goalie had some kind of smelly duds. She LIKED the smell of the laundry soap (my 4 1/2 stars...) and we found that this mixture totally cleaned her practice clothes!  YAY!!!

Be creative today,

PS. Don't forget to enter the drawing for fabric headers and a quilt pattern!  Do  as many or few entries as you want on THIS POST - Rafflecopter will select a winner on Monday night - it could be you!


  1. This is exciting, Carrie! I'm sharing!

    1. Yay, Amy! Give it a try. You can make a BIG batch (using giant boxes of all ingredients) but I wanted to test it out before I had a year's supply! Haha! That and grating the Fels Naptha does take time... but you DO have extra hands :) (Sorry, kiddos!)