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Make Laundry Detergent


Before you immediately write me off, let me just say a few things about making laundry detergent! I’ve thought about it and researched it for several years, but never got around to actually doing it. I kept assuming it was messy or tricky or more expensive than it was worth.

Here’s the thing: I WAS WRONG. I just made a 5 gallon bucket of the stuff, and it took me less than 30 minutes. There was no mess, it wasn’t tricky, and when all is said and done, each load of laundry will cost me LESS THAN 1 CENT.

Let me say that again. ONE CENT. Per load. I’m serious. Without coupons, I find that Costco has the best prices on laundry detergent. Based on the current prices, one load of laundry with Costco detergent costs 52 cents. Math was always my worst subject in school, but even I know that it costs 52 times as much to use store bought detergent instead of my own.

I’m going to show you exactly how to do this, so that you can see it is more than worth it!! Let’s get going!

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

1 cup Washing Soda

1 cup bar soap, grated (I used Fels-Naptha. Other good options are Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, and Zote. Avoid any highly perfumed soaps.)

1 cup Borax

1 quart boiling water

Large bucket: my suggestion is to get a 5 gallon paint bucket with a lid. This will keep the detergent free of dust and other particles between uses.

??First, gather your ingredients. These can be found anywhere. I purchased mine at Walmart. The total cost for the ingredients should be less than $10, and each box of Washing Soda and Borax will make several batches of detergent.

Next, grate your bar soap. This will be the only “tricky” step of the process. I’m super lucky to have a friend with a magical machine that uber grates things, so it was very simple and quick for me. It’s completely fine to grate it by hand with a box cheese grater. This’ll take a bit of elbow grease.

Boil 1 quart of water on the stove, then add the grated soap one scoop at a time until completely dissolved.

Fill your bucket about halfway with hot water. I do this using my shower head. Then add the Borax and Washing Soda and stir well.

Stir in your melted soap mixture. Mix well. Fill bucket the rest of the way with hot water.

YOU’RE DONE. no kidding. well, there are some additional things you CAN do, if you wanna be fancy. One way or the other you’ll need to leave the detergent alone overnight to allow it to set. When it has set, you’ll need to mix it up again…I mean REALLY get in there and mix it up… If you’re a super free spirited  mama, maybe you’ll invite your kiddos to come and and squish it around with their hands…if that makes your blood pressure sky rocket, you can just use a big paint stirring stick, or some such device.

?Use 1/4 – 1/3 cup of detergent per load of laundry

Gettin’ Tipsy:

  • You can add scent to your detergent with essential oils. This is one of the best ways to make this really delightful: you can portion out your detergent (we’ll discuss containers in a minute) and add different scents to each one. Start with 5-7 drops per gallon. Maybe your husband loves citrus? You can wash his clothes in detergent personalized to him? I love washing my towels and sheets in lavender scented detergent! You can give detergent as gifts, and tailor the fragrance to suit the recipient.
  • Containers: if you have the space, it’s absolutely acceptable to leave the detergent in the bucket next to your washing machine and just pull out enough for 1 load at a time. You can also use the following: laundry detergent bottles from when you were still paying WAY too much at the store, empty bleach containers (well rinsed), milk jugs, vinegar jugs (you’ve got plenty since you read this post right?) , potato salad containers, cat food jars, bulk shampoo bottles

You’ll be delighted at how simple this whole process is, and how AWESOME your house will smell while you’re making it! Spending 30 minutes making this detergent will yield upwards of 320 loads of laundry!!!

Stay tuned! Over the next few days I’ll show you how to use these same ingredients to make your own dishwashing detergent, all purpose cleaner and liquid hand soap!

first photo via Jo Jakeman

This post may contain affiliate links or other sponsored material. Opinions are 100% the author's.

96 Responses to Make Laundry Detergent

  1. ginger johnson says:

    Very interesting —

    • Lou says:

      Can this be used in washer that has to have He detergent?

      • Breanna says:

        I haven’t done that personally, but lots and lots of people have and all report success!

        • Lori says:

          I’ve used this recipe for over 8 months—love saving money and clothing gets cleaner with this mixture than with Tide! I also use it to scrub down my shower tile, bathroom sinks, and for use in my Hoover Floormate (I add a bit of salt to keep from any sudsing).

      • Elanor says:

        The only differentiating factor between HE and non HE detergent is 1) the amount you use and 2) it’s strength.

        So long as you don’t use more than 1/2 a cup for even your largest loads, I don’t see it causing an issue in an HE washer.

        I use plain old ordinary cheapo detergent in my front-loader, I just don’t use very much (think about 1/5 of what the manufacturer suggests).

        Better yet, save your old bottle, pour half your new bottle into the old one and cut both with water. Use the amount the manufacturer recommends, once its been watered down. You’ll be fine.

  2. heather says:

    This is fabulous, Breanna! Now, I would love to have a review of how well it works when you wash with it!

  3. Great idea! Can’t wait for the review.

  4. Nicolette says:

    Wow! Awesome! And since I’m hooked on essential oils, I love the idea of using them for this. Do you know how this would fair with a high efficiency washer?

  5. Angie says:

    I make this, but i don’t use the water. I use it as a powder. It takes grease stains out of Hubby’s and Son’s clothes. I made the powder kind and washed my son’s coveralls and it took out old grease & oil stains that i had tried everything on. The Fels-Naptha bar smells a little weird, but it works!!

    • Breanna says:

      Great point! This is great used as a pre-treatment too…just rub a little into a stain directly and let sit for a few minutes.

  6. susan says:

    My Uncle in New Mexico does this! he got the recipe in an email one day and decided to try it out he uses Ivory Soap and he LOVES how it cleans! He was extremely excited to test it out and says it was the best move he has made, he has been using the recipe for about a year now hth someone…I have yet to try it myself, but I’m going to at least give it a shot heck, what do I have to loose

  7. nichole says:

    I have been making laundry soap for almost a year now but just powder, not liquid…much easier and less mess 🙂 Same ingredients though!

  8. Nancy Morrison says:

    Very cool. I’ve made a dry detergent before and I loved the smell of the Fels-Naptha. I like the idea of it being a liquid. Definitely gonna try this one, just gotta go buy a bucket.

    • Breanna says:

      I totally agree about fels-naptha! one of my favorite parts of all of this is how WONDERFUL the house smells for a few hours after I’ve made a batch!

  9. Tina Barbour says:

    Is it ok for HE machines too?

    • Snarky says:

      Works perfectly in HE machines. Been using it for a long time.

      Wanna really save $$ by doing this and keep everything neat and tidy ?

      1) Buy 2 buckets at ACE Hardware with lids ( One is for the actual detergent, the other is your “Detergent Kit” bucket. You will store the ingredients for your next batch in the “Kit” bucket)

      2) Fels-Naptha is going out of fashion at some stores,but its Mexico to the rescue ! Go to a mexican grocery and get a bar of ZOTE soap (the all carry it,without exception) and shave it up in place of Fels. It will be the most mild ,but effective laundry detergent you ever use.

      3) GNC stores FREQUENTLY sell essential oils BOGO ,if you need freagrance.

      4) Colgate’s “Octagon” soap works in this recipe also.

      5) You can buy a grater at Dollar General or Family Dollar for $2.Grate the soap several bars at a time while you are sitting down or need to keep your hands busy. Put the shavings in a 1 quart ziploc bag to save a step next time. Put the shaved soap ziplocs in your “Kit” bucket. ( Important- LABEL the ziplocs so that they are obviously inedible…The look like grated cheese when you use Fels Naptha)

  10. Pumpkinbear says:

    I’ve been making my own powdered detergent for a while, and I LOVE it. Powdered is a little more expensive, since mine costs a little less than a nickel a load (I also have baking soda in mine), but it’s way more convenient for me–so fun when stuff can be frugal AND just the way you like it!

  11. blue says:

    See my 7 year old boy make a huge batch of Laundry Detergent on his on at

    It really is easy!

  12. Breanna says:

    I’ve been using this for awhile now, and it cleans splendidly! I don’t have a HE washer, so I can’t speak to that personally, but I’ve read plenty of reviews from HE owners who also use and love this.

    After writing this post yesterday I found myself hyper aware of my clothing and towels…examining them to see how clean they were! But I’m just as pleased as I’ve ever been, and I sure love getting out of a hot shower at night and having a gently scented lavendar towel at the ready! It’s just a little bit of luxery added into the mundane!

    I prefer liquid detergent generally in life…always found the powdered stuff I bought in stores would clump and not rinse thoroughly, so I’ve only ever used liquid since I started buying my own stuff in college. Plenty of people use and love the powdered version of this recipe though! I don’t find there’s any mess at all one way or the other.

  13. mary says:

    Thanks for posting. One point however, you do not want to cook this in a good pan. I used a calphalon pot and it ate the finish right off!! My hubby was not happy with me. Cast Iron should be okay or use a throwaway pot from a garage sale.

    • Nancy says:

      I’m concerned about the safety. I’ve heard Borax is also an insecticide – something I don’t want my kids around (or on their clothes).
      And you say it ate the finish off a pan; if it does that, I’d imagine it’s pretty harsh on your clothes (microscopically anyway, and over the long run that would add up to damaging your clothes).
      I’d be especially concerned about irritants in your laundry to irritate your family’s skin.

      • Breanna says:

        this is a much debated topic I the world of homemade cleaners. I
        feel that every family must decide for themselves. there’s a lot of good information on both sides. tipnut is a good place to start:

      • Rahere says:

        Equally, be careful with those aromatics, they would also be prime candidates on sensitive skins.

      • Johnny says:

        I believe borax dehydrates the little varmits. Borax is in many detergents and hand cleaners. I’m sure you don’t want to eat it.. but it’s everywhere. It’s also part of a recipe for slime that is used in pre-school and the like.. for kids to play with…

        • matt says:

          Borax is less toxic than most things found in your house, but it does kill bugs. Borax forms microscopic, sharp crystals. Even your most sensitive skin is too thick to be bothered by them, but bugs’ feet are a different matter. To them, it’s like constantly walking on broken glass. Eventually, they bleed to death. And since it’s not a poison to them, they can’t evolve resistance. Therefore, it’s one of the best things for cockroaches and bedbugs. Sprinkling it on the carpet, then vacuuming, gets rid of fleas. And the residue is non-toxic.

      • Barbara says:

        Boric acid is for insects not borax…

    • Breanna says:

      the only thing going in the pan is water and the shredded soap, which shouldn’t cause any reaction in the pan. another commenter suggests that you can simply shred the soap and put it directly into the bucket with water and allow it to sit several days to dissolve before adding the remaing ingredients as a way of avoiding use of a pan altogether.

    • Brian says:

      Don’t use cast iron. You should never put any sort of soap or cleanser on seasoned cast iron. You’ll strip the seasoning and have to start all over with it. A well-seasoned pan can take a long time to develop.

      Cook this in stainless steel or an enameled iron pan.

  14. Tammy says:

    I use the powdered version in my HE washer, I use a T. or less, per load,
    and it cleans very well, disolves really well, and no clumps or residue.

  15. Condo blues says:

    I make the powder version. It works in an HE machine. That’s why I started making it in the first place. I think it works a bit better if you use laundry bar soap instead of bath bar soap.

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  17. Ann says:

    When you are putting this into smaller bottles or jugs, be sure to leave some room. You will need to shake it up before use because it sorta gels. Once you shake it, it is a lot easier to pour into a measuring cup.

  18. Brooke says:

    I have a question… I made this recipe but my fels naptha seemed to turn back into a solid and float on top of the liquid. Did I do something wrong?

  19. CASSIE ILTEN says:

    I don’t think she put the borax in the pot, just the bar soap. Hasn’t borax been around forever? I can’t imagine it will do that much harm. I mean I’m not going to feed it to my kids or anything. Really looking forward to making this. 1 cent per load when you do a gazillion loads a day sounds pretty good to me.

  20. Meg says:

    I have been making my own detergent for a while. Just a couple of helpful tips: Microwave the Fels Naptha for about 30 sec to soften it and help with grating-so much easier. Also, try melting the soap in a giant glass mixing cup. Then there is no way for it to react with your pot. If you have very hard water like we do, adding a scoop of oxy clean (Dollar General sells a generic) really helps. My son’s allergies at 100% gone since switching detergent. I had even tried free and clear products.

  21. Jessica says:

    Question…since the essential oils are, just that, oils, does it leave any kind of oily spots on clothes?

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Breanna says:

      no. there are only 5-7 drops per gallon, so it’s quite spread out. also, I’ve never found essential oils to stain any fabric I apply them to directly.

  22. natasha says:

    I made this from a recipe the Duggar family has posted on their website. This recipe seems a little strong.

    • Breanna says:

      you’re right! I mistakenly posted the recipe for a double batch. thanks so much for bringing that to my attention! I’ve corrected the recipe in the post.

  23. Breanna says:

    here’s a great resource for lots of FAQ’s about making your own laundry detergent:

  24. amy says:

    few questions:
    can u use frangrance oils instead of essentails oils??
    i have seen a post that the liquid detergent can get bacteria in it if left for to long…. how long would that take and how would you be able to tell??
    thanks for your time,

  25. Condo Blues says:

    I make the powdered version for my HE washing machine for several years. Basically since I got the HE washer. I think the laundry bar soap works a bit better than using bath bar soap. Although I have used bath soap when I can’t find laundry bar soap at the store. It’s also a great way to get rid of the deodorant soap my husband insisted buying and I got him to stop because that’s what was drying out his (and my) skin!

  26. Danielle says:

    I have been making my own Laundry soap for about 3 years now and won’t go back to the store bought stuff. I also use a cup of clorox 2 in my soap.

  27. jason says:

    Would regular baking soda work as a substitute? I can’t find the washing soda

    • Roy says:

      Nope; they are different things. You would have to use washing soda.

    • Dax says:

      Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate whereas washing soda is sodium carbonate. They are similiar, but not the same.

      It does work as water softerner though, and it can be baked at 200-500F to produce sodium carbonate by thermal decomposition.

      The hotter it is, the faster baking soda turns into washing soda. Just don’t confuse it with baking powder which usually contains some sort of acid, which will make a lot of bubbles when you dump it in water.

  28. JBB says:

    Comment I’ve made elsewhere: Microwave a bar of soap, and it “foams” as the air bubbles in it expand. for a video.

    When it cools, it crumbles easily into fine particles. (Too dusty if anything. Add a touch of water as you crumble it to settle the dust.)

    Also leaves the microwave smelling fresh. 🙂

    I’ll never grate soap again. Cleaning the soap off the grater was too much work, and for days things tasted soapy after grating them.

  29. Sandy says:

    A quick math question…I buy laundry soap at Costco as well. It costs $13 for 120 loads, that works out to $0.10/load. A penny a load is still cheaper but…

    • heather says:

      @Sandy, yes, you’re right. We made a mistake in the Costco load calculation. The store brand Costco liquid detergent is about 10 cents per load, and the Tide liquid detergent is .15 a load.

  30. Kim says:

    $0.01 a load is great, but I don’t agree with you on $0.52 a load being the cheapest. I use BioKleen which is natural, chlorine and phosphate free as well as free of dyes, brighteners and fragrance and my cost per load is $0.11-$0.15 per load. Even Seventh Generation is $0.20 per load. The most expensive I’ve seen in my area is Zum Clean and that is $0.50 per load.

    I only need to use an ounce or less of my detergent and the homemade detergent uses 2-3oz a load.

    Be careful when you use the washing soda. It’s quite caustic and you should wear glove to protect your hands. You may even consider wearing goggles to protect your eyes too.

  31. strato man says:

    I suggest that you take some adult math classes before you do anymore articles like this.

    I can buy laundry detergent at any grocery store that will cost me far less than 50 cents per load. 10 to 15 cents per load is more like it.

    And do you really expect us to believe that you can do 320 loads using materials that cost just $3.20??! I’d like to see you break it down for us in detail.

    Or maybe this article was meant to be an April Fools joke? Afterall, it was published on March 31st.

    • heather says:

      No need to be rude, strato man!

      We made a mistake in the Costco load calculation. The store brand Costco liquid detergent is about 10 cents per load, and the Tide liquid detergent is .15 a load.

  32. jimstoic says:

    I wonder how hard it would be on a Cuisinart to use it to grate the soap…

  33. EmA says:

    WHOA!, math doesn’t add up. 52 cents is waaaaay to much per load. As mentioned before Costco is about 10 cents per load. Did you mean 5.2 cents per load?????

    • heather says:

      That sounds more likely. We made a mistake in the Costco load calculation. The store brand Costco liquid detergent is about 10 cents per load, and the Tide liquid detergent is .15 a load.

      And, the cheapest Costco powdered detergent (the kind in the huge, heavy bucket) is about 5 cents per load. I think you figured out the mistake for us!

  34. Elgog Partynipple says:

    This article says it’s a recipe for laundry detergent. But the ingredients are soap (Fels and Ivory are both soaps). Soap and detergent are 2 different things. Soap will clog your washing machine with soap curd. Detergent rinses away clean with little or no residue. If you are going to use a bar “Soap” use Zest, it’s actually a detergent not a soap. Detergents also don’t foam the way soap does. The cleaning properties of soap depend on the foam to capture the dirt. It’s the main component of the soap curd (soap curd is the nasty stuff that so hard to clean out of the shower and bath tub). Detergents use a property called “Emulsification”. Half the detergent molecule binds to the dirt the other half binds to the water and carries the dirt away. With soap the dirt becomes entangled in the sticky foam or curd then you try to wash the curd away. But the curd sticks to everything, even the washer tub.

    • Veganman says:

      Use an animal free soap.

      (Sodium Tallowate is cow fat, that’s why it sticks to everything and leaves a residue. It’s like bathing in lard. Most major brands contain it, including Zest.)

      I’ve made this with castile and glycerin soap, no curds, no residue, excellent cleaning.

  35. Wait What? says:

    I buy my own laundry detergent at Home Depot.

  36. Dave says:

    Naptha is a petroleum solvent – it’s the same thing as lighter fluid – if boiling the soap is eating the finish from the inside of a pot I’d bet it’s the naptha that’s doing that. I don’t think I’d use it for this purpose.

  37. Alicia says:

    Question… what is the consistency supposed to be? Mine seems little thicker than plain water. I know I followed the directions correctly, just want to make sure I have it right. Thanks.

    • Breanna says:

      With this recipe I find that it’s significantly thinner than store bought, but not quite so thin as water…maybe cut down a bit on the water you use, though I don’t think you’ll find that your clothes are LESS clean with this batch you’ve made that’s a bit thinner!

  38. Tricia Hicks says:

    I’ve been making and using a version of this powdered laundry detergent for about 2 years. Because of skin sensitivity, I was buying fragance free of the national brands and where I live it it is more expensive! I will never buy store bought again! It is SO easy to make and I bought a grater at Goodwill for a quarter that I only use for grating the soap. I keep all the supplies in my laundry room and can whip up a batch in less than 10 minutes. Try it! You’ll love it.

  39. melanie says:

    whooo, ok, first she made a mistake in her calculations, she has stated that several times, let it go!
    i may not not know much about soap/detrgent issues but people have been using fels naptha to clean their clothes fo generations
    washing soda, no to be confused with baking soda has also been used for years.
    also you have probably already been using borax
    i make a dry detregent with the washing soda, baking soda, borax, fels naptha
    it works great, i grate my fels with my food processor
    if i could fid the pink zote i would probably use it instead because it smells better.
    it is cheaper and i know what is in it and it works well

  40. Elizabeth says:

    I have been making my own laundry soap for well over a year now. I love the stuff! I have a HE washing machine and this type of laundry soap is SO GOOD FOR IT! It has no real sudsing so it doesn’t ruin the washing machine. I use 1/4 cup on regular laundry and 1/2 cup on real dirty stuff. It works great. I will never go back!

  41. Dharlee says:

    I can’t wait to try this! This is really smart and I think will be well worth it!

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  43. feathercurls says:

    I really enjoyed making this. THANK YOU for posting and fielding questions. I love being a do it yourself-er person and this helps me add one more thing to my list 🙂

  44. Marsha Crom says:

    You should never use a pan you use for making soap for food. Have a specially designated “Soap pan” and keep in in the garage or basement so no one accidentally uses it.

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  46. Jessica says:

    Hi. I know you said there is no mess, but I am pretty good and making anything messy. Can you please show and tell me how you get the detergent from the large bucket into something smaller or what you use to scoop it out of the large tub to put it into the machine without making a mess. i want to make some for myself to use and then I’m hoping to make some as christmas gifts. Any ideas on containers for the liquid? I’m thinking the pwdrd dish det. will be cute in brown paper bags with ribbon and tags.
    thanks so much!

    • Breanna says:

      to get the detergent from the big bucket into smaller containers, I just used a measuring cup, the glass kind that hold about 2 cups worth and have a handle and “spout.” You may still have some drips, but it’s no big deal, you just grab a towel from your dirty laundry pile and wipe it up then throw it in the wash!

      I included a list of container ideas in the post…basically anything that’s plastic with a decent lid! A friend of mine just puts the big bucket next to her washing machine with the bucket lid on it, and scoops out what she needs for each load. If you’re wondering about containers for gift-giving, I’d say (of course) to hit up your nearest dollar store! they’re sure to have plenty of plastic container options…maybe even a plastic water bottle with the “sport top” type spout, then you could use a cute homemade label on the bottle, and the recipient just has to pop the top and squeeze out what they need per load! I like your paper bag idea…especially if you can include a little scoop of some sort to go with the powdered soap!

      Thanks for visiting!

  47. Jessica says:

    OK THANKS for that response – and so quickly. I’ve gone through many phases of trying to make my own homemade cleaners, but haven’t tackled detergents. My goal is to find a balance of using something that is better for the environment and better for my budget.
    I’ve been testing out the dish detergent and the laundry detergent. Turns out I love the smell of Fel-Naptha! I am still very skeptical about the whole use of bar soap thing though. I had a repair guy here a few months ago and he talked about build-up but I didn’t really pay a whole lot of attention. The other comments about solids not dissolving reminded me. Plus, I noticed a film or waxy build-up on my sink when I was experimenting making the soap. Anyway, this plus the separation of the laundry soap (floating white stuff on top of the watery part) has led me to wonder if you have tried using a liquid soap of any kind in place of the bar. Maybe a Seventh Gen or Earth detergent detergent. Also, and this may be totally crazy, would gelatin or cornstarch be a way to thicken up the liquid?
    Also, the dishwasher detergent left a powdery covering that I can feel on the plates as other Eco dishwasher detergents have. It makes me worry that some of the detergent is then being consumed by me and my family. I used Vinegar in the rinse aid thingy too. Maybe a liquid would rinse off better? Any thoughts? thanks again

  48. Michelle says:

    Has anyone used this detergent for cloth diapers? I made a batch several months ago and LOVE it. . . but I am afraid of build up in my diapers so I still have been buying All for them. Anyone?

  49. Sarah says:

    How long is this good for? I followed this step-by-step back in January and am now finding a greenish tint to the leftover jars (about 5 of them).

    • Breanna says:

      I’ve not had any trouble with it “going bad”or turning greenish. Have you kept it tightly covered when not in use? could there have been some kind of residue in any of the jars from whatever was in them before the detergent?

      it may be just some kind of oxidation, which shouldn’t have any effect on it’s ability to clean your clothes safely and thoroughly. Maybe try it with a load of towels to be sure before washing any clothes, but I think it’ll be okay.

  50. Karen Morrison says:

    I’ve been looking at alot of these sites to make laundry soap.. I use Ivory soap because that is what I have on hand.. alot of these recipes.. they say gel up.. and mine.. doesn’t!… mine looks as liquid as can be.. 5 gallon bucket.. 1 cup of washing soda.. one cup of borax and grated soap.. help!

    • Breanna says:

      the laundry soap should clean just as well whether or not it gels up…so i’d say don’t worry about it! may have to do with the weather (depending on where you live…rain or humidity or very warm temps could be preventing it from thickening up a bit…). But as long as you’ve included all the right ingredients, it’ll clean your clothes!

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  52. Bobbi Lanham says:

    I love using this detergent ,but I have notice some of my dark colored clothes has white spots on them,any hints on how to keep this from happening.

  53. Solfire says:

    I read so many how to do’s that I didn’t really pay attention to the part after you make it. It becomes hard jelly soap again. My problem is that I put it in a 5 gallon jug!! My smart husband used a drill with a hand scratcher, fly swater gadget (he made it)to be able to stir it up. No I did not want my jug broken. The whole idea is to save money not waste it. I really am looking forward to washing my clothes. Several people invluding my husband told me,”why make it when you can buy it?”

    • Breanna says:

      I’ve never had that happen with my laundry soap…it’s always stayed very liquid-y! Are you in a very cold climate? I’m not sure what would cause your soap to solidify…what recipe have you used?

  54. LeighAnne says:

    I finally started making my own but melt a bar of Ivory soap in the microwave for 2 minutes on a very large plate — it puffs up and when it cools, it powders completely! No grating needed. I mix that with 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda. That’s all, and it takes about 5 minutes, start to finish, to do a batch that will last about a week for us. I try to mix this outside because the Ivory powder does tend to become airborne, lol, and irritates my sinuses! I use about 3 tablespoons in our HE washer and it works great. BTW, we had odor issues in the past with our HE washer when we used liquid “high-quality” store brands (read: $$$) and found out that the petroleum stuff was sticking to the rubber tubing and building up and causing the odor. (This was confirmed by a salesperson and some web research). When we switched to powdered Tide or Gain, the problem went away. It also helped to use vinegar in the softener cup frequently, so I do that now as well. Haven’t had any odor problems in the washer and the clothes seem to be getting clean, too. 🙂

  55. Anita says:

    Been using the one The Duggar Family uses and we have never had a problem with anything. It’s been 3 years now and we love saving money! Family of 7.

  56. Jeanie says:

    I use a square bucket, like the ones that kitty litter comes in, it’s easier to mix it, by holding the handle and rotating back and forth.

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