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Money-Saving Laundry Soap



I'm all for saving a buck, but this is incredible!


This recipe for homemade laundry soap makes approximately 4.5 gallons.


1 five gallon bucket

1 bar Fels Naptha Laundry Soap (Zote or Ivory can also be used)

1 cup Borax (blue green box)

1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (yellow box)

4 gallons of water + 1 qt


Grate Fels Naphta bar into about 8 cups of water in a saucepan, leaving about 4"

of room at the top.


Melt soap into water. You will know this is happening when all the soap flakes

are dissolved and steam is rolling off the soap.


Meanwhile, boil 4 gallons of water. It is important that the water be boiling

for the soap to set properly. Steaming tap water isn't going to do it.


Once soap melts, add 1 C borax and 1 C of washing soda to melted soap and water.

Stir until there is no more 'grit' and it becomes a gelatinous blobb. Pull from



BE CAREFUL HERE - soap can splash and burn and get into your eyes.

Add 1 quart of water to bucket. Add soap mixture. Stir well. Add rest of water.

Stir well.


Cover bucket and let sit a minimum of 12 hours or overnight.


Next day, you will have a gelatinous jiggly substance with liquid on the bottom.

Break this up with a large spoon or knife. Trust me, you're NOT done yet.


Using an immersion blender or drill w/ paint stirrer attachment, whip the soap

until a full emulsion has occured, everything should be the same color,

thickness and consistency of a salad dressing.


Pour into clean milk jugs or recycled laundry soap containers.


Give it a shake before using to make sure it's still together.


Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup for regular loads, 2/3 - 1 C for large or heavily soiled






This is low suds soap, so you won't get alot of suds but it DOES clean

extraordinarily well, the FIRST time. No multiple washings here. No heavy

perfumes. NO itchy or scratchy show either.


I use dryer sheets for reducing static cling.


This batch is considered to be a 'double' batch and can be halved with no

problem. I use a 5 gallon bucket for mixing and it is just right.


On preparing the soap, you just can't toss in the bar of soap and expect it to

melt. You need to grate it or peel it with a veggie peeler. I've done both. They

both take the same amount of time. Peeling is easier on the wrists. I DO NOT use

my food processor, because I'm afraid, that while the soap is like a hard cheese

(and okay for sending through the processor), I don't want to burn out the motor

of my Cuisinart. If you have a food processor that you don't care about - go

ahead. Let me know how it goes.


I didn't like the Ivory soap. I don't remember why. If you're using the double

batch system above, add 2 bars of Ivory, not one.


I use the Fels Soap. Nice clean smell.


Target does carry the pink Zote, but I thought it smelled like toilet cakes so

no, I didn't buy any.


So here's the cost analysis:


I got all the supplies from our friendly neighborhood WINCO.


Fels Naptha Soap (white paper wrapper) $1.12 a bar

Arm & Hammer Washing Soda $3.12; (11 C in a box) .28 / batch

Borax $3.25; (15 C per box) .22 / batch

Water - a few pennies


Cost for 1 batch of soap is $1.62


I get approximately 60 loads per double batch, so ecah laundry load costs me .03 PER LOAD.


Now that's cheap soap!



Photos will be coming soon!

1 Comment

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I love your recipies...and your notes. (that one about the pink Zote for example sums up my thoughts its scent, too, LOL) :D

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