Yesterday I was taken over by a need to try something new, so I decided to try making laundry soap. I had purchased the ingredients a few weeks back and was planning to make it when my tub of “environmentally friendly” detergent from Costco ran out, but it appears that this tub of mediocre washing goo has broken the laws of physics and is somehow bottomless. I am tired of waiting to run out of so-so stuff to try something more interesting! (I promise I’ll use the rest of the “environmentally friendly” goo for towels, at least, because I don’t want to be wasteful).

Grating the Fels Naptha took a while, but it was easier once I switched from the microplane grater to the box grater.

Grating the Fels Naptha took a while, but it was easier once I switched from the microplane grater to the box grater.

I have seen a few recipes for liquid detergents that look gloopy and icky, but then I found a recipe for a dry version at Debt Free Adventure. I modified this a bit to make use of the Fels Naptha bars I had already bought rather than using Ivory bars. I tested this recipe on three loads, two of which were darks and one lights (which included a white T-shirt smeared with guacamole). The clothing came out really clean, except for the guac which needed a second run, though to be fair that was a lot of green fatty stuff on white which would be hard for any detergent. Everything smelled clean but not perfumed, which is nice.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

  • 1 bar Fels Naptha
  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  1. Grate the Fels Naptha bar. I tired using a microplane grater, which took forever and made little curls, and the fine side of my box grater, which was faster and produced fine soap powder.
  2. Stir together borax, washing soda, and grated soap until well combined.
  3. Dump it all into a container for storage and seal. Use 1-2 Tbs. per load of laundry, depending on the size of your machine.
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