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This is the ORIGINAL homemade laundry detergent recipe, all others only imitate what you’ll find here.


This is a fun project that will save you money and help you rid your home of toxic chemical cleaners.

When you’re done making this check out these other related articles:

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Note: No time or desire to make your own laundry detergent? You can always purchase natural brands like these.

When we first set out to make our own homemade laundry detergent we thought it would be difficult and time consuming – turns out it’s neither. Making your own laundry powder is fast, easy, and inexpensive.


We opt for powder over liquid in respect for opportunity cost, storage, and simplicity (the liquid variety takes longer to make, requires more storage space, and is more complicated). And now, years after making our first batch, thousands of others have tried it and loved the results.

This powdered detergent recipe requires just three simple ingredients and takes only a few minutes to make:

Note: This soap/detergent works in all HE front-load washers; read more below.

Soap Recipe

Each batch yields approximately 32 ounces (between 32-64 loads based on how many Tbsp used per load).

Ingredients

Directions

Thoroughly stir together for 5 minutes and enjoy the results! You can take this a step further and blend the mixture in a blender or food processor to create a powder that will dissolve easily even in cold water. (Just be sure to let the dust settle before removing the lid of your blender or food processor so you don’t inhale the fine particles.) Store in a sealed container with a small scoop.

To Use

Use 1 Tbsp per load (or 2-3 Tbsp for large or heavily soiled loads).

Laundry Ingredients

I purchased all these ingredients at my local grocery store:

Note on ingredients: use whatever ingredients you are comfortable with. Many people cannot afford natural soaps, while others make their own. Brands of commonly used bar soaps include Pure & Natural®, Fels-Naptha® and/or ZOTE®. Both ZOTE® and Fels-Naptha® are made for and sold as a “laundry bar.” If you’re looking for a pure, natural solution you’ll need to go with a handcrafted soap so you can be sure of its ingredients.

All items can be found in the laundry aisle of most grocery stores.

Continue reading pages 2 and 3 for the pictorial instructions, cost savings breakdown, notes on HE washers, septic tanks, and borax safety.


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Comments

  1. Janine says

    Hi! I just tried this for the first time and WOW! I used it to hand wash some hum, hum, unmentionables and I can’t believe how clean they are! I usually just use some detergent but everything usually feels kinda residuey (not a word but it should be;)) I actually had to do a few more washes than usual cause it got out more dirt than the other stuff too!
    My only problem is that I can’t get the soap to incorporate into the powders like you did. I stirred a whole lot more than 5 minutes and even got in there with my fingers to squish it up. I cam back to the article and it looks like you may have a smaller size grater than I do. I used the smallest holes but maybe they weren’t small enough? Maybe next time I’ll try to zest my soap. Either way it still works wonderfully chunks or soap or not!

    • Sandie says

      You might want to try mixing it all together in either a food processor or a Ninja blender…makes the particles all very fine.

      • Ginny says

        I agree. I first used my food processor to shred the cheese – err, soap, using the shredding disc. Then poured it into a bowl with the other powders, and put in the regular blade and poured everything back in and ground it for about a minute or less until it all turned into minuscule pieces.
        Worked great – no need for freezing, microwaving, or grating by hand. Actually, the clean up took longer than the actual making of the washing machine soap.

  2. Karyn says

    I have tried this recipe before and my husband asked that i stop using it because he could still smell old body odors/clothes did not feel fresh. Any suggestions on what to add to up the fresh ness?

    • emily says

      try using straight vinegar as a fabric softener along with this recipe….the vinegar smell goes away after the clothes r done in the dryer and the vinegar is wonderful at taking away stains and brightening colors too…

    • jackie says

      Have not made this soap yet but have added 20 Mule Team Borax to laundry to get body odor smells out of clothes.

    • Liz says

      I use Yardley lavender or lemon verbena, no complaints from the hubby so far on the smell! You could try that:)

      • Patti says

        Liz or Matt,

        Do you think the Yardley lavender or lemon verbena work well to clean the clothes? As well as the Fels-Naptha? Just wondering. Thanks.

        • Liz says

          I have only ever used the Yardley soaps, so I have no basis for comparison, but I haven’t had any complaints yet!

    • Tabatha says

      It probably doesn’t wash as well because you have harder water. You can try using more washing soda in the mixture, that should help. When I use this recipe I usually just use more detergent, but the next time I make it I’m going to add more washing soda.

    • T says

      There are some different recipes out there. I do a liquid recipe using the same ingredients. It’s my first time using it, and it seems to be working well. There are no to low suds, so it’s safe for HE machines.
      Grate 1/3 (2 cups) of a bar of your choice laundry soap.
      Dissolve grated soap in 4 cups water in pan over medium heat on stove.
      I use a “mop” bucket for the next part…
      put 2 cups WASHING soda, 2 cups Borax, the 4 cups dissolved laundry bar liquid & 16 cups warm water into the bucket. Stir until washing soda and borax are dissolved. Mixture will begin to gel quickly.
      I then use a funnel to pour the laundry detergent into two empty detergent containers (this recipe makes 2 gallons of detergent – perfect for two empty detergent containers). I put the lids on after the mixture cools. You can add essential oils after it cools if you want more scent. You will need to shake the mixture before each use. It resembles a sort of “egg soup” consistency. I think the liquid might work better than the powder because it doesn’t have to dissolve in the wash. Just my opinion.

    • Wanda says

      Hey you may have your answers already but what I do is grind it all together in my little processer for about 10 mins or more. Seems like the longer you grind the better the bar soap becomes covered in the washing soda and borax. I use Zotes I got at save-a-lot grocery store it was 99c for a huge bar. I band ivory soap from my house years ago because it was to drying for our skin. Happy washing. Oh an important thing to remember is to use straight vinegar to the rinse for a reall clean chemical free laundry.

  3. Carol Christian says

    Can soneone tell me where to find these items?? I went to 5 stores yesterday and no one had Borax, Zote, OR washing soda. I want to try this, but I cant waste days and gas looking for this stuff. And I won’t order off line. Thanks.

    • Patti G says

      I get mine at WalMart also. I’m in NE Oklahoma. I can find the Zote but not the Zote flakes there (so far anyway).

    • Sandie says

      I found 20 Mule Team Borax, Ivory and Fels-Naptha at my local Albertson’s market – I had trouble finding the super Washing Soda, but have since realized that it is just “soda ash” which can be purchased at any local pool supply. Our local Walmart also carries Zote (but not the flakes here either). I live in Anaheim, CA

    • emily says

      depending on where u live…walmart and target in my hometown sell the borax and super washing suds in the laundry isle…each r under 3 bucks for a big box

    • Amy says

      I got borax at target, Zote at the .99 cent only store
      And washing soda at ace hardware.

    • Wanda says

      Save a lot has it all. I use the Zotes I like the smell of it over another. However, you smell nothing after the vinegar rinse.

    • Holly says

      Try any Ace Hardware for the washing soda. I got all the other stuff at my local grocery store.

  4. emily says

    if anyone is interested i order alot of my natural soaps and ingredients to make my own natural products off iherb.com…..i searched for awhile for an online company to get good quality products at a reasonable price…if u spend 20 bucks the 3-8 day shipping is free and if u spend 40 bucks the 1-3 day shipping is free, can’t beat that…they also have really good prices on Now Foods essential oils…hope this helps out

    • says

      Yep, I washed my son’s diapers using this detergent. I used 2 TBS of detergent and vinegar for the rinse. They always smelled clean. Other than having to sun bleach some bm stains (gonna happen…) I never had any issues with stains or smells.

      • Sandra says

        Thanks! I saw another recipe that involved boiling the soap so I’m glad to have this alternative. FYI one suggestion made on the other site was to use regular old school Dawn liquid to strip diapers when needed.

  5. Jess says

    Yes! I just have to make sure I do an extra rinse if I use vinegar ory little one gets a little rash. Ive used Dawn to strip them and it worms great. My favorite soap is Kirks Castile. I cut it into thirds, freeze it for about a half hour, then pulse it in my food processor. Works like a charm!

    • Janie says

      When my sons were small, I would rinse the diapers twice. I would add one cup of apple cider vinegar to the final rinse. They never had diaper rash.

  6. Kate says

    I’ve use this formula because of my allergies and to save money. I also ran into the musty smell problem that just wouldn’t go away no matter how many times I washed my clothes with this soap. This issue is that this recipe is soap only. It will get the clothes clean, but it won’t remove some of the bacteria that produces the smell. That’s actually what detergents are for. Vinegar will also do that to a point, but you can’t use it on rayon or any other delicate fabric. What I’ve done to solve the problem is to use detergent once a month on all my laundry while I use this soap formula the other three weeks of the month. It still comes out cheaper and the smell problem is gone.

    • says

      That’s weird, we’ve been using this recipe for the better part of four years and never had a single problem with musty smells.

    • Kim says

      Thank you! I have the musty smell too & stopped doing this. I will try your suggestion :)

    • Holly says

      It has taken me years to train my family to leave the washer lid open anytime the washer isn’t running. My OCD husband used to close it every time he passed by, and our clothes started smelling bad. Finally, I just posted a sign on the lid that had an angry emoticon on it that said “Open me!” and it reminded everyone to keep it open long enough to make it a habit. Never have had another smell problem.

  7. Julie says

    It is from ur washer you need to add 2 cup vinegar to hot water run empty load then add 2 cup vin to the rinse this should clear up the issue also on a top loader u should always keep the lid open my friend keeps her front loader door cracked open too for they get smells real fast

  8. Patti G says

    My parents have a front loader and all their towels and clothing have a musty smell and they do not use this recipe. It is their washer. I agree, you have to get it cleaned up and get rid of the mold that is growing in your machine and leave the door cracked so it can air out and dry properly.

    I use this recipe with a top loader and have had no problems either.

    • susan says

      patti,

      I had this problem too. thought it was my machine but found that I was using Gain. When I switched back to Tide the smell went away. And the smell was in all of my clothes. It really made me sick.

      -susan

  9. Sandie says

    Oh my! I just made a double batch of this laundry powder in a matter of moments. I took 2 bars of Ivory soap, cut into 8 squares each bar and froze them all for an hour or so. I tossed that into my food processor with 2 cups of Soda Ash to start and it whizzed up so quickly and easily. I then added the 2 cups of Borax and pulsed for a few seconds to blend that in. I can’t believe how much easier this is than using the microwave on the ivory first! Another user posted that they had frozen the fels-naptha and that had worked well, so I gave it a try. Thanks for the tip!!!

    • Sandie says

      Actually, it was probably more like 2 hours that I froze them. Next single batch I made I only froze them for just under an hour and, while it worked, it worked better and faster frozen longer.

  10. says

    Just wondering if only a Tbs really works for ordinary laundry? I have tried the liquid or gel’d soap and have found that on the really dirty laundry I have to use more soap or an additive (Oxyclean) to really get them clean. Caudia

  11. Julie says

    I have a top loader super size I can wash a king size quit in it so I use 2 Tb spoons in a front loader u use less as u have less water then a top loader

  12. Carol says

    I use only 1 Tbsp. in very hard water and it works fine. Can’t tell any difference in the storebought liquid I used to use and 1 Tbsp. of this recipe. I use the Fels soap. Somehow, at least in my mind, that would work better than just plain bathsoap. But, I’m no chemist! :-)

  13. MBeth says

    I didn’t read all the comments so this may have been mentioned but if you microwave a bar of ivory soap it turns into a “cloud”. You can break that up and it turns into very fine flakes. It perfect to use instead of grating! And kids love to watch the “cloud” form and break into flakes!!! Only microwave half a bar at a time if you have a smaller microwave!!!

    • Sandie says

      The ivory soap “cloud” has been mentioned…I used that method on my first several batches, then decided to cut the ivory bar into 8 squares, freeze it for a couple of hours and then put it into my food processor…sooooo much easier. Definitely worth trying if you have a food processor.

  14. Kimberly says

    Has anyone tried this with lye soap? My mother makes her own lye soap and has been for years. We are wondering if she did a bar with scent but no colour if it could be grated and used? We have already been using the soap as a stain remover…better than anything on the market truth be told…so thinking it might be good. Any thoughts?

  15. Victoria says

    It doesnt mention if this is good to use with Cold water wash, so I was wondering if you knew if it would do the same job in cold or warm washes, as I usually wash in cold water to save $$ :)

    • Sandie says

      Hi Victoria – It works great in cold water – just dissolve the powder in a cup or so of warm water first, then add to washer.

      • Victoria says

        Thats fabulous and thanks for the tip, I cannot wait to try this! My sister-in-law has used it for a while and loves it, so I’m excited to give it a go :)

        • Sandie says

          I’m sure you’ll love it too. I’m having a hard time convincing my mother to try it – she can’t get used to the idea of no suds…LOL. I’ve almost got her convinced, though. My daughter loves it!

  16. says

    Hi there!

    I started making my own laundry detergent a couple of years ago with almost the same exact recipe you have above, and, in time, I had people approach me/let me know that since Ivory was meant for skin, it contained oils that you don’t necessarily want on your clothes. It doesn’t do much harm, but your best bet is to go with Fels Naptha, since it’s formulated specifically for laundry (and it’s a natural stain treater, too). After that, I also had someone share this tip with me: place your bar of soap (regardless of what kind) on a plate and put it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes (all microwaves are different, so just watch it). The bar of soap will expand 3-4 times its normal size. Leave it to cool in the microwave or place it in a ziploc and set it aside to cool (you won’t just want to leave it on the counter, the smell will be STRONG). Once it’s cool, you can crumble it into pieces with your hands and then throw it into a blender with all of the other dry ingredients. Not only have you saved yourself the time you would’ve spent grating the soap, but you also have a true powder detergent. Now you can run the washer with cold water (saving energy!) and not have to worry about pieces of grated soap sticking to and melting on your clothes in the dryer!

    Those two tips improved my detergent and I LOVE it. Love you blog–keep up the good work!

    • Sandie says

      Great tips. Even better than using the microwave on the soap, cut the bar into about 8 pieces, freeze for a couple of hours (or more) and then put into a food processor. This works great!

  17. Rachel says

    I have a question and I’m not sure how long this post has been here so I’m not sure if anyone will answer, but can I use different bar soaps? I bought several different kinds and was wondering if the color would mess anything up or should I stick with the white or pink colored ones. I was really looking for more of a fragrance to my laundry since we don’t have any allergies in my household.

    • jackie says

      It has to be true soap. Make sure it says that on the label. A lot of what you see in the stores will say ‘bar’ instead of ‘soap’ and the bar won’t work.

  18. Audrey says

    I have a question. I am going to use a borax free detergent because I am doing cloth diapers and I am currently pregnant. But can I add a soap to a detergent that is Washing Soda, baking soda, and oxygen cleaner? Or is it even necessary? I am new to this, but I just can pass up the savings and how much better it will be for my kids.

    • Jess says

      I use this recipe, borax and all with my cloth diapers and have no problems at all. I used it all while I was preggers and just as with anything, dont breathe it in when you mix it ( I still try not to).
      Occationally to strip the diapers I add a tsp of Dawn dish detergent instead of bleach. Good luck!!

  19. Sabrina says

    Does anyone know if this type of laundry soap can be used on Lululemon and Under Armour (workout) clothing without ruining them or the wicking ability?

  20. Julie says

    Works great on my under armoire if u use ivory soap then they only issue u will is any pure soap will get ride of the fire retatdency that is put on children’s clothing and also fabric softener will actually kill the elestiac on stuff but worst if all bathing suits and any compression garment like under armour

    • Patti says

      Please help me with what was said about swimming wear and under armour type gear.

      I make this laundry soap recipe with Fels-Naptha. I also use vinegar as my fabric softener.

      Did I understand the comment from Julie to mean it is damaging on swim wear, etc. unless you use Ivory?

      Just need some clarification. Thank you.

    • Sandie says

      Hi Charity – I think the vinegar is both cost effective and better to use. It removes any residue that might remain and softens as well.

  21. charity says

    Thanks Sandie very helpful. One more question…How much do you put in the downy ball?

    • Sandie says

      I don’t use a Downey ball. I fill the softener dispenser on my machine, so I’m guessing 1/3-1/2 cup. I would fill the Downey ball with whatever amount it holds. I also use the 2nd rinse option on my machine.

  22. Jessica says

    Has anyone tried a different bar soap such as Dial? It is an antibacterial soap. I have never made the detergent before just thought if there is a musty smell problem if this would help:) I clean my front loader regularly by running a bleach cycle. It seems to help just a little bleach does the job.

    • Sandie says

      I understand from others with front loaders that using vinegar (about 1 cup) in a cycle will get rid of the musty odors that can accumulate. Also, it is better to leave the door ajar after finished washing. I do this with my top loader as well to avoid moisture retention in the machine.

    • Jess says

      I have used the “Dial Naturals” soap with no problems. My skin.is sensitive so thats what I use in the shower too. Kirks is my favorite though :)

  23. Julie says

    Sorry in a hurry when I posted fabric softener destroys
    Electric and high nylon content like swim suit
    Compression garments like body armour pure soap like ivory
    Will destroy on children’s sleep wear the fire retardemcy that is put in the
    Clothing the vinegar actually help preserve clothing
    Longer cus it pulls out let over soap and other chemicals that r on our clothing

  24. charity says

    I must say that I am surprised that the vinegar doesnt leave a smell. I washed and dried my first load. However I still had a little static when they were dry…am I maybe not using enough vinegar or do you still use a fabric sheet?

    • Sandie says

      Hi Charity. I don’t use softener or dryer sheets anymore. The vinegar seems to take care of the static most of the time. However, here’s a trick I read about that I’m going to try. Put a ball of aluminum foil in with the wet load and it’s supposed to take care of any and all static. Just leave it in the dryer all the time.

  25. says

    Hi, I just wanted to comment. I have been using this laundry detergent recipe for several months now and I LOVE it!!! I make it in large quantities to last longer and I add a bottle of the Purex Crystals just for scent. Also, a little trick I learned about the Ivory soap ( and this only works with Ivory as far as I know) If you put it on a paper plate in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds it will expand (it looks like a science experiment) but take it out and let it cool. after it cools it will crumble into a powder. This makes it perfect to add to your laundry detergent. No shredding! I love that! Hope this helps.

  26. Cherri Gullickson says

    I have been making the liquid version of the homemade laundry soap and using is in my HE front loader. My last batch, I doubled the soda and borax, and for some reason I had a solid form on the top of the bucket about an inch thick. I tried mixing it in, but hard to break up. Today my washer was oozing water, I checked and the soap has not been dissolving and left all the chunks in the top of the washer. Has anyone ever had their soap do this, and how can I prevent it. I do not want to waste ingredients and ruin another batch. Any suggestions???????/ Thanks

  27. wendy says

    I finally submitted to making the recipe but instead of making it a powder, I make it a liquid by using the same recipe but adding 3 gallons of water to the mix. I initially started using Zest bar soap, it was ok but not a fresh enough smell. So my next batch I tried Dove bar. Not a good idea as I had everyone in the household complaining of a stinky smell, not a fresh smell. So I went to a local Big Lots store and bought the Big pink bar soap Zote. This is an actual laundry soap bar that is soft and glycerine like. It had a pleasant smell and was easy to cut up and melt on the stove. I added the water and within 5 hours it solidified to a soft form. Oops. Well, I should have guessed that. BUT, all I needed to do was add more water to the bucket and stir it up. It had the best smell, very clean and fresh. Amazing. $.90 cents for the bar and I can get 10 gallons from one bar. My first load came out smelling so wonderful. I cant believe it took me three batches to figure it out, but has been very fun making it. I have told everyone in the laundry isle at wallmart how to make this. I wish I had this recipe when my kids were little. But never to late to learn.

  28. Renee' McCullough says

    My co-worker makes her own powder detergent and was using it in her HE washer for about a year, it broke down the repairman came out and told her that she cannot use this in her HE that it will void the warranty. That he sees this problem all the time. The HE washer instructions specifically say not to use powder detergents.

    • chuck says

      OK my Personnalphshlizemn it say like this../. its the bubbles that soap creates ,,the inflimas soap. /.make’t ‘do’t try it ?
      can’t breck it if it’;s allready. broke??? works for me i also make a spray and wash? but because washers are not as it seems .they way your clothes. yea they do which i make of hair clip .BUT that will be an xxxtra /`100.00 $ buy low cost the same FIX confussiss say???????????????????????????

  29. Colleen says

    Our HE washer has different sections in the dispenser for liquid soap or powdered soap so it must depend on the brand of machine. I’ve made two batches of this soap with borax, washing soda and sunlight bar soap ( they don’t sell fels naphtha or zone here in Alberta Canada ). We have several bars of Ivory soap so I will try that next to use them up. The first batch I tried microwaving the soap with not wonderful results. The next batch I grated the soap first, then put it in the food processor with the other ingredients to blend it well and found it mixed well.

  30. adhaincroi says

    We use what you call HE washers in the UK exclusively and have only had side load washers or many years (a top loader is considered old school lol) and for the whole of my childhood in the (70′s and some of the 80′s) we only had powdered detergent or soap. I personally think this is yet another area where the repairmen are pulling your leg…you do need less powder than the horrid liquid…but considering side load HE low water washers have been around before liquid detergent was marketed to us..I would say its likely a crock…here goes the big corporations tied in with Tide making sure you cant do the green economical route

  31. Ashley says

    I was wondering how it works only using 1 tbsp. On both the washing soda and borax it calls for adding a 1/2 cup to enhance cleaning of laundry. I am starting to make all my stuff but an skeptical of it’s cleaning ability on a full load.

  32. jose Coelho says

    From Brazil I make your model . Fantastic, It is cheap and natural. Congratulations !

  33. Kelly says

    I have a question and am kind of confused. If the liquid recipe is the same as the powder with the exception of 2-1/2 gallons of water, and you use about the same amount, wouldn’t a tablespoon or 2 of powder be too much. Just wondering. I want to be sure I am understanding this correctly. I have an older model front loader, (HATE it) but until something happens this is what it is, and yes, it get’s musty smell. (told the new ones don’t) ~ appreciate any answers or comments ~ powder would be easier in my laundry area, but if it is cheaper/better for liquid I will do that. My family has sensitive skin issues so I have to be very careful as well. Thank you!!!

  34. Robin says

    Forgot to say this: Any suggestions for how to improve this recipe naturally would be great. Thanks!

    • Steve says

      I add 1 cup of sodium percarbonate/sodium carbonate, which is the same thing as OxiClean, but costs about 0.05/ounce versus 0.20/ounce for OxiClean. I have very hard water, my Mother in Law tried it and found no difference, but she has soft water. I also use vinegar in the rinse cycle, which gets out any residual soap.

  35. Kate says

    I have been doing some research so I can begin making my own homemade laundry detergent. I am concerned to see so many recipes include Borax which is considered a toxic poison…..why isn’t anyone else on this site worried about using this product?

    • Patti says

      If you read previous comments you will see that this has been cussed and discussed earlier.

      There are varying thoughts on the subject so you will need to read Matt’s comments and decide for yourself.

      • julie says

        Ok people stop using google you can find nothing but negative stuff if you google . So this is not met to sound rude but probably will. Borax is a salt that is used in boriac acid now boriac acid is a nasty one BUT it is one of the best antifungals out there mix it and soak you toes in it it works way better then taking a pill the dr gives you that will kill your liver.
        Everything has good and bad sided to it .
        Do you eat cucumbers?? did you know that you can use the peel of a cucumber to rid your house of ants and other insects?? it is VERY toxic to them but not to humans unless u r allergic then that is a different subject.
        Sometimes you have to take the lessor of the evils Borax is safe enough for cancer centers to use around cancer patients. and as a cancer survivor I must tell you I would much weather watch my clothing in this then use a store bought product if ya really wanna scare yourself google them ingredients!
        The amounts of Borax used is very little and with a vinegar rinse you get rid of the build up it can cause try getting rid of a build up on clothing from Tide! Tide I loved it used it put its ingredients pollute our waters and if you have a septic tank OUCH
        There are lost of stuff we eat and drink daily that can be toxic to others
        I have a dog who has seizures from chemicals I would not sprinkle borax on the carpet to rid it of fleas with him but I have and if ya have bed bugs this will kill them too
        even all natural products have toxic issues i nature the cure grown next to the cause in out over used to chemicals to rid the world of the cause we have killed the cure Poison ivy with in 3 feet of it you should find the plant to cure it but we have killed it with the use of chemicals this is one reason why saving rain forest is important so we can go and replant the cures .
        BUT even the cure for ivy has issues of it own and what it will kill.
        So you have to weigh the good and the bad and make informed decision based upon facts and not google web sits. or even this web sit and what we say. the finial choice is up to you. are you going to stop eating cucumbers cus it kills insects? now but you use this knowledge to plant crops betters and to rid your house of them pesky insects .
        There are a lot of “green” people out there who do not know what green is.
        So the only option that counts os what is right for you and your family weight all the options yourself and then you decied.

  36. Wanda says

    Quick question??? We have a 5lb tub of soda ash we use in out pool is that the same thing as washing soda? Can I use it (I have an bunches) instead of buying more Washing Soda? I Love this stuff and I use straight vinegar in the rinse cycle our clothes look, smell and wear much better without all the extra additives. I use to use Downey like crazy but now I would NEVER use it in the rinse for my Ella’s (18mth old granddaughter) clothes.
    THANK YOU for this site. I use many of your recipes and I love love LOVE the all purpose cleaner using the everclear. I had never heard of everclear until I signed up for your updates.

    • Sandie says

      Hi Wanda…We purchased a large tub of soda ash and that is what I’ve been using. It is the same as the washing soda and so very much less expensive. Like you, I use the straight white vinegar in the rinse cycle and love the results. It removes any residues that might be left from washing.

  37. Ashley D says

    I was wondering if you can use any bar soap, or if it has to only be 1 of the 3 that was mentioned? My sons skin is highly sensitive, and therefore he cannot use Ivory at all. Thanks!

  38. Toni says

    I’ve been using Dr. Bonner’s, with success. Just don’t try the microwave method of drying out the soap. It doesn’t work because of the oil in it. Others have used Kirk’s Castile with success.

    • Sandie says

      Hi Toni – you might try cutting the bar into 8 pieces, freezing for a few hours and then putting it in the food processor. I’ve had amazing luck doing it this way. No grating and no need to use the microwave.

  39. Nicole says

    I love this recipe! I haven’t used it yet but I just made some. Walmart didnt have any washing soap so I used unscented hypoallergenic dove soap with moisturizer. The hand grate I had was small enough but it took wayyy too long so I ended up taking a metal spoon and scraping the soap. I got longer but thinner pieces and it still ended up powdery. I can’t wait to try this out!

    • Jess says

      I have heard the moisturizer leaves build up. Walmart normally carries Zote or Fels Namptha in the laundry isle. The build up from dove can make things look dingy. I would make sure to put vinegar in the rinse to help remove the residue. Good luck!

    • Sandie says

      Hi Nicole – I agree with Jess regarding the moisturizer leaving a build up on your clothing. Fels Naptha is even available at my grocery stores here and normally at Walmart & Target as well.

      Also, rather than grating your soap (whichever you use), first cut it into about 8 squares, freeze for a few hours and then put in a food processor if you have one. Sure saves a lot of time.

  40. Rebekah says

    Can you make up as much as you want at a time? I thought it would be nice to make a a few batches at one time and throw it all in together. Is it okay to do that with this? Will it stay fresh as long as it is in a sealed container?

  41. Rebekah says

    Oh one more question! Has anyone tried using a meat grinder to chop up the soap? I have a grinder on my kitchen aid mixer and was curious if that might work…

    • Jess says

      I have 4 kids and hubby builds lawn mowers and other equipment ( lots of grease) so I typically make a tripple batch. My container isnt air tight and I have never had problems.
      As for the grinder, I use my food processor. I cut the bar of soap into chinks and freeze it for a few.hours. Works great. Let us know how the grinder works! Good luck :)

  42. Ginny says

    I just made a batch and all I did was use the shredding disc on my Cuisinart, and grated the Fels Naptha soap, then took off the disc and put in the regular blade, and mixed the grated soap with the washing powder and borax. Worked perfectly! I also added Oxi Clean, so I will use 2 TBs in my wash.

  43. Patti says

    I have been wondering about the adding of the Oxi-Clean agent. Does it fade out your color clothing? Has anyone added a bluing agent for whites?

    Just wondering.

    • Ginny says

      This is the first time I have used the Oxi Clean. Some people have suggested it, so I decided to try it. Some people have used Baking Soda too, but have found that it has bleached their clothes somewhat in spots. Next time I will just stick to the three main ingredients.

  44. Jo says

    I see that this works great for High Efficiency front-loading machines as well as regular machines… but I happen to have a HE top-loader. Any difference?

    • Ginny says

      That’s what I have too. Personally, I don’t like them. Not enough water for my taste! And it seems the top article of clothing doesn’t get washed very well. Anyway, there’s no difference on which machine you have.

  45. Jenn says

    Ok I was so excited to try this…Here is what I got clothes looked ok smelled fresh , actually smelled like Naptha but the problem is most of the Naptha is still sitting in the soap dispenser ( I have an HE machine)

  46. Colleen says

    Jenn, does your HE machine have a different ‘section’ for liquid and for powdered detergent in the actual dispenser? Our machine has a plastic piece that can be slid down in one slot for liquid and another for powder. When I first tried this detergent, I too found a lot of the soap left in the dispenser. Once I changed the plastic piece to where it showed for powder, the leftover soap was not a problem. Hope it helps!

    • Jenn says

      Thanks Coleen when I took the soap dispenser part out to clean it,( it had stamped on it ” remove when using powder” LOL I have always used liquid. I am sold on the Naptha bar. I had a pillow sham that was dingy looking in my downstairs bedroom we always seem to lay on that side of the bed. I had washed it before but it still looked the same , even moved it to the other side of the bed to even them out :) I rubbed it with the Naptha bar and let it soak a little then threw the other in with it didn’t rub the other one cause it looked ok. When they came out of the wash I was comparing them and thought well it still looks dingy but this one is nice and white , then I realized the dingy one was the one I had not rubbed with the Naptha, it now looked bad next to the other. The laundry detergent is Great now!!