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Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe

I am so sick of paying for laundry soap. It’s expensive, it’s full of fillers and chemicals, and it just doesn’t last that long!

I’ve been researching and pinning various recipes for homemade laundry soap for a while now, I was just waiting to get the go-ahead from my husband to try it.

When it came time to buy laundry detergent the other day, I told him I was going to buy the ingredients and make it myself. Reluctantly he agreed, and later that day I was making our soap!

Why Use Homemade Laundry Soap?

For me, I wanted to make our laundry soap because it will save us money in the long run and I love saving my family money!

All of the recipes and blogs that I have found that have made their own laundry detergent said that it lasted for 9-12 months.

I also really loved that the price point of making your own detergent is comparable to if not cheaper than buying just two containers of laundry soap from the store.

Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe

Supplies You Will Need

  • (1) 4 LB Box of Borax
  • (1) 3 LB 7 OZ Box of A & H Super Washing Soda
  • (1) 4 LB Box of A & H Baking Soda
  • (2) 7 OZ Bars of  Zote or (3) Bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle
  • (1) 2 LB 3 OZ Containers of  Oxy Clean (optional, but good to add if you have kids and/or lots of frequently stained clothing)
  • (1) Cheese Grater (You can find a cheap one at the Dollar Store)
  • Large Container to Store Soap In

homemade laundry soap


I decided not to use the cheese grater that we had because I wasn’t sure I wanted to mix the one I use with food with the one I used for soap! I picked this one up at the Dollar Store for $1.

I’m glad I did too! When you grate the Zote Bars, it gets all over the cheese grater!

homemade laundry soap

The recipe yields approximately 8 dry ounces of laundry detergent. I’ve found that two of these 4 oz “shoe boxes” from Walmart (priced at just $0.97) are the perfect size for storing the laundry detergent.

They aren’t too heavy or bulky for storage. I found a glass jar that I thought would be super cute, but I couldn’t justify buying a $10 jar for a recipe that was hardly going to cost that much!

This “shoe box” container worked out just fine!

Homemade Laundry soap

How To Make Your Own Homemade Laundry Soap

Grab your stock pot and line it with a plastic grocery bag. I did this to eliminate having to wash the stock pot after I used it as a big mixing bowl.

homemade laundry soap

Next, grate both bars of Zote and put them into the stock pot. Your arm may feel like it wants to fall off by the time you are finished, but trust me, it’ll be worth it!

Make sure you grate your Zote on the finest grate available, this will help it break down better in your washing machine.

Homemade Laundry soap

When all of your Zote is grated, you will then have to add the other ingredients. Combine all of the ingredients in your stock pot lined with a plastic grocery bag and use a large spoon to mix it up!

Make sure you evenly distribute the Zote! That’s it!

homemade laundry detergent

Here’s a photo of the homemade laundry detergent in action! Makes nice suds!

I’ve been using this homemade laundry soap for a few weeks now and it works great! I’m very pleased with the results I’ve seen!

Homemade Laundry soap

Use 1-2 tablespoons of this homemade laundry soap mix per load, depending on load size.

How much did everything cost?

  • (1) 4 LB Box of Borax: $3.38
  • (1) 3 LB 7 OZ Box of A & H Super Washing Soda: $3.24
  • (1) 4 LB Box of A & H Baking Soda: $2.66
  • (2) 7 OZ Bars of  Zote: $1.20 ($.60 each)
  • 1 LB 3 OZ containers of  Oxy Clean: $7.72 ($3.86 each)

Total: $18.02

Compared to the $17 I normally spend on a large container of Tide, I would say that this is a pretty good savings on laundry soap that will last up to 4 times as long!

Important Notes

Now, one thing to make note of before you try this for your own family is that I have read a LOT of feedback on the recipe I’m using and the majority of people who tired this out absolutely loved it.

However, there were a few who said that they were allergic to the recipe. I would make a tester-sized amount if you have sensitive skin.

Also, because of the baking soda, this recipe is not cloth diaper-safe. This is how I wash cloth diapers.

Use this recipe at your own risk.

Yes, this does work in HE washing machines!

As a bonus, many of the ingredients in this recipe you can also use to make your own homemade dishwasher detergent! Just make a half batch of this laundry soap and save the rest for dishwasher detergent!

Related Posts

I have a post with helpful tip about age-appropriate laundry chores for kids. And if you’re curious, I have also written about what laundry is like in a large family.

Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe

*A big thanks to my friend Alex (her blog is Mommy’s Craft Obsession) for sharing this recipe with me! *  

Tina F

Friday 4th of August 2023

I definitely pinned this idea. I have wanted to try making my own soap for a while.

Judith Bayer

Thursday 24th of December 2020

Who knew you could make your own laundry detergent? This was a very interesting article and I wish I had it a 2 decades ago when I had three teenagers in the house. I'm not sure I will make it as it's just hubby and me in the house now but I will definitely share with my three children as they each have two kids each and do plenty of laundry and are conscious of environmental concerns.

monique s

Friday 31st of January 2020

I didn't even know you could do this. Wow to the money saving. Laundry detergent is expensive and with lots of loads of laundry to do, it goes quickly.

Alice F

Wednesday 18th of September 2019

I have been wanting to try a homemade laundry soap. This looks like a recipe that I can use that will be less expensive than store bought.

Marlys Gregg

Friday 22nd of June 2018

I wondered if it was the bar soap choice or the well water, cold is very cold.