One of the easiest ways to save money for your family is to make your own laundry soap. You can do the math a couple different ways, but in my area, regular liquid detergents range in price from 7.3 cents per load up to 22.6 cents per load. Hypoallergenic liquids cost anywhere from 10 cents per load, all the way up to 27 cents per load! Even the least expensive warehouse brand costs 8 cents per load. I can make my own laundry soap for just 4.3 cents per load!
If you’re worried that it won’t work as well as your regular detergent, don’t be. I’ve been using the recipe I’m about to share with you on our family’s laundry and I haven’t noticed any difference in the cleaning power.
If you’re worried that it’s going to take a lot of time to make, don’t be. It’s quicker than whipping up a batch of cookies – even if you use the refrigerated dough.
If you’re worried that it won’t smell like detergent, you’re absolutely right! There’s no overpowering laundry smell, which is great for people with sensitivities to fragrance.
Ready to get started?
First, you’ll need to obtain the following items:
- 1 bar lye soap (needs to be 0% superfat, made with pure lard or coconut oil) – if you don’t make your own, I can humbly suggest that you try mine. It’s made with Orange Essence.
- 20 Mule Team Borax – you can find this at Walmart or in the laundry aisle of your local grocery store
- Arm & Hammer Washing Soda – NOT the same as baking soda! Not available at Walmart, but I found some in the laundry aisle at my grocery store.
- OxiClean (powdered) – or the generic version is available at Dollar Tree (this ingredient is optional)
Second, collect the following items from your kitchen:
Food processor, cheese grater, 1 cup measure, and ¼ cup measure.
Third, grate up the lye soap with the cheese grater:
Or, you can try using the grater attachment on your food processor – since you have it out anyway. I ended up with this last piece of soap floating on top of the attachment, which had to be grated manually.
Finally, insert the chopping blade in your food processor, add 1 cup each of borax and washing soda, and ¼ cup oxygen cleaner (along with the lye soap):
Give it a whirl until it’s chopped and mixed nice and fine:
Store in an airtight container. Use 1 tablespoon for light loads, or 2 tablespoons for large or heavy loads. I have a front loader washing machine, and it works just fine! You can also use ¼ c. of vinegar in the rinse cycle to remove the last bits of soap and reduce static, but your clothes won’t smell like vinegar! Add some essential oil to the vinegar if you prefer (20-30 drops per gallon). What I noticed was that our clothes were softer after the first time I used homemade laundry soap.
Which is why I’m offering free samples of this laundry soap, pre-made, to anyone who places an order at GreatCakesSoapworks.com over the 4th of July weekend only. Mention “laundry soap sample” in the Special Requests area of the shopping cart to receive yours! While supplies last. (Pre-made laundry soap is not available for purchase, but the Orange Essence Lye Soap is.)
Thank you, Jo, for the opportunity to share my recipe! I hope it has inspired your readers to try it out! If anyone has experience making their own laundry soap, I’d love to hear it! I know there are other recipes out there…