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Not long ago a friend posted a picture of her newly mixed batch of easy DIY homemade laundry soap. Now, I’m no stranger to the idea of making your own laundry soap, but I was never really convinced that it was worth my time to try – until this friend mentioned a few things like...

  • She bought her ingredients 2 years ago
  • She was making her 3rd batch from those ingredients (except for a couple things she has to buy extra)
  • One 5 gallon bucket of this concentrate equals 10 gallons mixed and lasted her family of 4 for 1 year!


Needless to say,  I began making my own homemade laundry soap, too! Andrea told me this recipe is from the Duggar’s but that she adds the Ivory Soap and does not use essential oils.I am using my affiliate links.

easy cheap diy homemade laundry soap

What you’ll need:

The recipe:

You will have extra Borax and Super Washing Soda left over – perhaps for another two or more batches. Each time you go to mix a new batch from scratch you will need to buy a new bar of Fels-Naptha and (Ivory Soap – optional). UPDATE: I omit using the Ivory soap and instead just add extra Borax and Washing Soda now.


Step 1:  Grate & Melt

To make your own 5 gallon bucket of homemade laundry soap concentrate first grate your bars of Fels-Naptha and Ivory. Put the 4 cups of hot tap water in a saucepan and the grated soap and stir over medium-low heat till the soap is melted.

Hint: The finer you grate the soap, the quicker it melts.


Step 2:  Add & Mix

Fill your 5 gallon bucket half-full with hot tap water. Pour your melted soaps and add your Borax and Super Washing Soda to the bucket. Stir till the powdery soaps are dissolved.

Now fill the bucket to the top with more hot tap water. <— Remember, this is concentrated, you’ll be adding more water before you go putting it into your machine.


Step 3:  Put a Lid on it

Let your homemade laundry soap sit overnight to thicken. Expect it to gel, but also not to be too thick after being stirred.


Step 4:  Prepare for Washing

Now is the time to pull out all those empty used laundry containers you’ve been saving because you just knew someday they’d be good for something. Right?

No?  Well, fortunately for me I had some.  But if you don’t, you might want to use old milk jugs or other plastic containers – or call a friend and ask for theirs, because that 5 gallon bucket of  laundry soap you just made IS the “concentrate”.

Whatever container you decide to use just make sure you…

  • fill it half-full with (yes, more) water and half-full with the soap
  • now give it a good shake

And shake before each use!  You can store your bucket of concentrate somewhere safe and out of they way.

Optional:  The soap smells fine to me just as it is, but if you want something special you can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.


Step 5:  How to Use

  • For top-loading washer:  Use 1/2 cup of your homemade diluted laundry soap.
  • For a front-loading washer:  Use 1/4 cup of diluted laundry soap. This is a low-to-no sudsing recipe.

The first time I put half cup in my washer it just looked like plain water – like there was no soap in there. I added a 2nd half cup, but Andrea assured me that I didn’t need to. And, in fact, one of my loads felt like I had used too much soap in it maybe?  So, unless I really feel like a load is particularly dirty I just use half a cup.

If you have a big family or own an at-home laundry business and do a ton of laundry you can buy the Borax, Super Washing Soda and Fels Naptha in a bulk kit here.


If you liked this post you may be interested in the following:
~ 6 Steps to Starting your own Laundry Business from Home
~ A video of me making my homemade laundry soap.
~ See how well my homemade laundry soap cleaned dirty kid’s clothes.
~ I don’t use dryer sheets anymore, I use these dryer balls.