Homemade Laundry Soap, with bonus dishwasher soap recipe!

In reading up online about green alternatives to household cleaners, I kept coming across recipes for liquid laundry soap. Boiling and then storing liquid soap was not appealing to me, so I would skim over these ideas. Then, a friend of mine found a recipe for a dry homemade version, which she loved so much that she gave me two loads worth to try. I was hooked, and so proceeded to make my own and then give a bunch away to interested friends who also all really like it. It smells great, cleans wonderfully (better than anything I’ve used before) is environmentally friendly, and wow, is it cheap compared to commercial brands! (estimates are about 2-4 cents a load for this stuff…compare to your current brand!) I’m running low so made some today. You need the following:

Grate your Fels Naptha. This yields a little over two cups. I use it all, though the recipe only calls for 2 cups, so you can save the little bar left if you want to use it as needed for other things. Then mix it with 1 cup Borax and 1 cup washing soda. Wala! Done. You only need 2 tablespoons per load to get everything really clean and fresh smelling. Now, here’s a bonus…the dishwasher soap recipe. Recently I tried out Seventh Generation’s dishwashing detergent by ordering online from Gaiam.
I liked it, it worked great, but it’s a little pricey and hard to find locally. So, I looked up homemade dishwasher detergent and what do I find but recipes calling for 1 tablespoon Borax + 1 tablespoon washing soda per load. Sold! Apparently you can also add some distilled white vinegar to the anti-spotting receptacle instead of a gel, but since I never used that anyway I’m going to happily skip that part (I’m not too fond of the smell of vinegar, which is proving to be something I’ll have to try and get over as it’s used for LOTS of cleaning endeavors.) I just found out about this dishwashing bonus today, and there are still are few 7th gen loads left to go, so I won’t be trying it for a few days. When I do, I’ll post back how it works, but I’m feeling optimistic based on the great results from the laundry soap.

Just wanted to add that you can get all of the ingredients solo, mixed, or just the Fels Naptha alone grated, from Soaps Gone Buy. I found all of the ingredients at my local grocery store.

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4 responses to “Homemade Laundry Soap, with bonus dishwasher soap recipe!

  1. ritesofpassage

    I’m using this laundry soap too, it’s working out really well. I’ll have to try the dishwasher concoction next.

  2. Luckily my kids eat a lot so I’ll probably be using this pretty soon. I’m actually so interested in trying it I may save the last of the 7th gen soap for back-up (and I also think I might be under-loading the washer to move things along…kind of defeating the point, I think! ;))

  3. Just a note: I use vinegar for cleaning daily, and the odor does not last long. You should get used to it. In the dishwasher, it is used like Jet-Dry would be. I use that as well. Also, once a month, I run an empty washing machine with 1 cup of vinegar to “clean” it out.

  4. I have the vinegar in-house…now I just have to brace myself to use it. I have heard before that it evaporates quickly, leaving no smell. I just have to get used to the initial smell. I really want to use it on some grout in our bathrooms…heard it works so well you really can’t leave it on too long or the grout starts to disintegrate.

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