Saturday, April 21, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

     We have been making our own laundry detergent for quite some time now and thought we would share how we do it today.  Our recipe is just slightly different then most you find online though.  Most use a different soap then we do but in our past experience, the other soap has caused skin allergies or sensitivity.  By using Ivory soap, we can even use it on baby clothes without having to worry.   Also, Ivory bar soap is so much easier to find in a store.  Double plus!


     My mother-in-law recently asked for some of our homemade laundry detergent and is thrilled with it.  She tried an experiment of washing whites with my homemade detergent and then washing some with her old brand.  She could not believe how much whiter my soap did compared to her "store-bought" brand.  It thrilled me to death to know this too.

   Okay, so here is what you will need:
  • 1 bar of Ivory soap
  • 1/2 cup washing soda 
  • 1/2 cup borax
    The washing soda I purchased online from  For shipping and all cost me less than $10 and the box will last a LONG time.
Countrified Hicks, country life, frugal living, homemade laundry detergent, homemade laundry soap, how to make homemade laundry soap, simple living

The Borax I found at Walmart in the laundry aisle.

homemade laundry soap, homemade laundry detergent, how to make your own laundry soap
This is what it looks like after you add the soap shavings and water.   
        First thing you need to do is grate the Ivory soap.  I use a vegetable peeler that I purchased for this purpose but you can use what ever you desire.  Once it is all grated, put it in a large pot.  Now add 6 cups of water and heat it up until the soap is all melted.
Then add in the washing soda and the Borax.  Stir it up until it is mixed well.  Remove it off the stove and set aside.  
    Take a HUGE pot or bucket and pour in 4 cups of hot water and then pour in the soap mixture.  Stir it again then add a gallon of water and an additional 6 cups of water and stir it up again.  Now just put the bucket out of the way somewhere overnight.  After about 24 hours it is ready to use.

      The detergent turns into a gel like mass.  Do not expect it to be totally gelled though.  Another thing to note about the detergent is that there will be very little suds when you wash.  Do not panic.  It is okay.  With this soap, it is the ingredients that do the cleaning and not the bubbles.  Trust me.  :-)

   Use 1/2 cup per load.

   Besides making our own detergent, we also do not use a standard washing machine.  We do the laundry by hand (well sort-of).  We actually do it with a plunger, a five gallon bucket, and tub.  If you want to see how, you can view how we do laundry country style here.  I also make our own fabric softener and dishwasher detergent.  Check back soon to learn how to do it.

Be sure to check out my post about line drying in the winter time!

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  1. Thank you for doing a post over this. It is great and I am eager to try it out. I have seen other people's recipe and I can never find the soap that they use but I know I can go to my local Kroger store and pick it up. :-)

  2. Love making my own laundry soap, as well! Thanks for this great post, and for linking up at Little Natural Cottage.

    1. Thank you for allowing me to link up with you. I hope to do so again next week!

  3. Can you share your fabric softener. I made my laundry detergent the same way and I really like it other than my whites get dingy at times. Any suggestions?

    1. Thank you for your comments. If your whites are getting dingy, just put a little lemon juice in the water and hang them in the sunshine. That usually works for me. As far as the fabric softener goes, I need to make up some more so look for the post in the next few days!

  4. Okay, I don;t know how many folks I've told to use Ivory soap instead of Fels Naptha I mean its over a $1 difference in price. Anyhow when we move I may have to go back to making my own again! Thanks for linking up with us at Friday Frugal Fiesta! :D

    1. Hello! I love using Ivory soap and it works so well. I am glad to hear that you did it that way too!

  5. I was just thinking I have to use this recipe for washing the laundry with a plunger and you do it too! I wil ltry to locate the ingredients. It is a hard thing in this country.

  6. I hope you can find them. Good luck and thank you so much for dropping by. By the way Nihal, what country are you from?

  7. Hi Melody, this is Pati Gulat, you can save alot of elbow grease if you cut the bars into thirds and put them on the microwave till they puff up. You can turn into POWDER when you take them outand just crush them in your hands. ;)


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