Monday, January 25, 2010

Our Second Attempt at Homemade Laundry Soap!

Last year the children and I made our first attempt at homemade laundry soap. It seemed to work o.k., but I realized that I made a mistake in the recipe. I am using the Duggar family recipe which calls for Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda. Last year I used Baking Soda instead. Also, last year we used a Zote bar, and this time we tried Fels Naptha. We will see if there is much difference. I can say that the Fels Naptha is harder to grate. The kids think it is a blast grating it though. The Duggars say that the Super Washing Soda works much better than Baking Soda, so we will see how this mixture differs. Here are some pictures below.

Gabriel is holding the grated Fels Naptha soap. It looked like grated cheese.

Here my fascinated observers are checking out the soap after we melted it in four cups of hot water. I love the look of curiosity on their faces!

At this point, we filled up a five gallon bucket half way with warm water, added the melted soap, mixed in 1/2 cup of Borax and 1 cup of Super Washing Soda. Then we mixed all up and finished filling the bucket with warm water. My last step was to add in some peppermint essential oil when the mixture had cooled. It is supposed to sit overnight to thicken up.

Here you can see the ingredients we used. I will add that the Super Washing Soda is not easy to find. The only place I found it was at Kroger's. That is the whole reason I used Baking Soda last time. The Duggars say not to use Baking Soda, so I am excited to see how this recipe compares. Below is the recipe as I found it on the Duggar's web site. Now I have five gallons of laundry soap for a few dollars maybe. Think of the savings!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-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.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!


  1. Ruth, I used to make this soap recipe as well. You do need to add something to keep your whites, white. Maybe vinegar? After a year of using this type soap my hubbies t-shirts and all white under clothes took on a grey cast. Maybe it was the water in Copperfield! Anyhoo, I know have a front loader so fake laundry soap is not an option. Fortunately, our new home has soft water so I use a Tablespoon or less each load.


    Marjorie Maske - Christ Church

  2. Oops, hubby's not plural!!! I do only have one husband! LOL