I have been making my own Homemade Laundry Soap scented with essential oils for four years now. I have tweaked the recipe to my liking and have made a few adjustments.
My Basic Recipe is
4 0r 5.5 oz bar of soap grated
1 Cup of Washing Soda
1 Cup of Borax (optional some fear the use of this)
5 gallon bucket with Gamma Lid
About the ingredients:
Washing soda not baking soda. Borax is a great cleaner. Borax is natural but it never degrades so we use it and it seems to dissolve but really it is still there and settles out again and may not necessarily be back into your tap water but remains built up somewhere in the environment.
5 gallon bucket and Gamma Lid. These Gamma lids have a rim that permanently fits on the bucket and a screw top lid insert that seals tight but allows you to open the bucket whenever you want easily! Great for food storage too.
For the SOAP: I prefer to use Plain Castile Soap that I usually order from
Virginia Soaps & Scents it is their Cleaning Bar 8 oz for $4.95 found in the Laundry section. I use 1/2 of the 8 oz bar for a recipe.
I buy the 8 oz bar not the already grated soap. The 8 oz bar makes 2 large 5 gallon buckets of concentrated laundry soap.
Or I like the All Natural SFIC Castile Melt and Pour Soap Base: From Bulk Apothecary. This I measure and use 4 to 5 oz. per recipe.
But I have several bars of the Fels-Naptha soap so I use that every other batch or when I am out of the Castile soap.
Some people have used
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Pure Castile Peppermint Soap, 5 Ounces. However this would make wonderful Laundry Soap but would not be quite as cost effective.
Now the for the tutorial…
1. Grate the soap:
Grate the soap. Looks like cheese doesn’t it. It even does in person. Once I was getting ready to make soap and had to stop and make dinner. I left the plate of grated soap sitting on the counter and my husband almost put it on his taco. He said this cheese is really hard when he started to pick it up. It looks like curly grated cheese but when you touch it it is much stiffer than cheese.
2. Put grated soap into small saucepan and cover with warm water.
3.Now your will not necessarily look like the above picture but put it on the stove and while stirring constantly melt it over med heat.
4. Add hot melted soap that was in the saucepan with water to the bucket add the washing soda and borax and about two or three saucepans full of the hottest tap water you can get from your tap.
5. Add more hot tap water to 4″ below rim of bucket.
6. Close the lid and wait overnight.
7. the next morning you will open the bucket to find it has turned to a weird jell consistency.
turns somewhat more runny upon stirring still with chunky jell like globs. This is how it is supposed to be.
You have to stir it around a little with the scoop or measuring cup every time you want to fill a jug.
8. I fill an old Tide jug 2/3 full of the concentrate goo. The best way is to put the jug over the bucket and stuff the goo into the opening as best you can by pouring it from the measuring cup. It gets all down the sides but I just wipe it off with a dirty towel and throw that towel in a load of wash.
9. Then I fill the jug with water. You must shake the jug before pouring the detergent into the cap. I use a half a cap in my front loading washing machines. (I have two washers and two dryers, another post)
10. Now for the clincher. It has no optic brightener in the formula. So some whites get really grey and dingy after a while. I imagine our colors are less bright to but it is not as noticeable as the whites. The most noticeable is the underwear. And the more polyester in the fabric the quicker the greying takes place. I really couldn’t get a good picture of the towels, white shirts to show the difference and sorry I am not photographing any underwear. My solution is a laundry booster that is mostly brighteners. Want to know how much brighteners are in your commercial laundry detergent (I wager they are in most all laundry products especially detergents and carpet cleaners and spot cleaners) Just pour into a cup and hold a black light on it for a cool affect turn off the light in the laundry room and shine a black light around you can see where you spilled laundry soap.
Now if Natural is what you are going for then your whites will not be white after awhile. I have refrained from adding this to the bucket of laundry detergent concentrate because it is so chemical laden probably the only natural ingredient in the stuff is the water (and that is debatable on the water’s naturalness) Anyways I just use it on my whites.
Note that we have super hard water here too which does not help the white situation.
You may use the Laundry concentrate at 1/2 detergent and 1/2 water also. I range between 2/3 to 1/2 water.
We still buy Wisk Laundry detergent for my son’s work uniform he works in the parts department of a car dealer and his uniform gets some transfer grease from the mechanics who come in and out of the parts department. And my daughter works at a fast food restaurant and she has to use the Wisk too because of the grease factor. I am not sure what ingredient is in the Wisk that is lacking in the homemade laundry detergent to solve this. But all the rest of our laundry seems to get clean just fine with the homemade stuff.
11. I like to add 1/4 oz or so of essential oils to the jug of laundry detergent.
My favorite combos are
Tea Tree, and any of the above
Peppermint & Lemon
Happy Crafting and Happy Laundry!