Homemade Laundry Detergent

Homemade laundry detergent

After having our third child I realized almost immediately that we would need to change our laundry habits. We were going through a ton of laundry and washing our clothing too often. The most obvious course of action was to downsize our clothing and linens. I paired down our closets, went down to the minimum amount of linens we could get away with, and gave everyone a laundry basket to keep things organized. If I didn't have time to fold in those early baby days, you could at least find your clean clothing in your labelled basket on the shelves my father-in-law graciously built in our laundry room. 

Once we had paired down, the next step was management of the water. Five people means a lot of water gets used in a day. Figuring out showers/baths, dishwasher, and laundry felt like a bit of a task to conquer. I designated shower days/times and laundry days to help us out. The dishwasher needed to run every night so we needed to work around it. Still today, we all have our laundry days, and you need to get in and get out in your allotted time. In case you were curious, two out of three of my kids (ages 11 and 14) now do their own laundry, and my five year old is in training to do his own as well. 

Next up came the frugal factor of the cost of laundry soap, not to mention I'm not a fan of the chemicals in store bought soap. After doing a little digging I came across a homemade laundry soap on the Duggar's blog. I figured if it worked for their giant family, why not give it a shot. I have since adapted it slightly to our hard water. It is this recipe that I wish to share with you today. 


- 1 - 1/12 bars of laundry soap (Sunlight is easy enough to find, but if you want something more natural try your local health food store for bars of laundry soap. This time I tried the laundry bar from Rocky Mountain Soap, and so far I really like it!)

- 1 1/2 C washing soda (This will vary depending on your water softness. Use less for soft water as this amount is set for those of us with hard water)

- 1/2 C borax

*you will also need a 5 gallon bucket with a lid.


1. Grate the full bar of soap (plus half from another if you know your clothing will need an extra boost).

2.  Fill a pot of water with 4 C of water and add your grated soap.

3.  On medium heat, continually stir the soap until it melts into the water

4.  Fill a 5 gallon bucket with hot tap water then add your soap mixture to the bucket.

5. Add in your borax and washing soda and mix until it's all dissolved (be sure to scrape the bottom of the bucket).

6. Fill your bucket to the top.

7. Allow to cool over night.

8. The next morning give your laundry soap a big stir (depending on what type of soap you used it may gel, that's perfectly fine, just stir it extra good).

9. You can now add essential oils if you wish, but we usually left ours fragrance free. Make sure you give it a good mix if you're doing this so you avoid staining your clothing.

To use:

Before I use ours I just give it a quick stir to mix up any separation that has occurred.

Use the same amount of this laundry soap as you would the store-bought.

One final note, it has been really important to me that our laundry always gets an extra rinse, as it helps to wash away any residual soap that may irritate the skin. 

And there you have it! Your own homemade laundry soap!

Know any other good laundry recipes? Drop me a link or share below.

All my love,

Like Grandma Did

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[name=Sarah Slanzi] [description=Old-fashioned homemaking steeped in God's grace] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/hiddenmotherhood) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/sarah.slanzi) (pinterest=https://www.pinterest.ca/hiddenmotherhood/)