If ever I could get rid of one chore, it would be laundry.  I feel like I do load after load only to find the next day that it all needs to be done again.  I have no idea how large families do it. I applaud you!  I do know though, I am saving a fortune on the laundry detergent I use and that makes a big difference in the 520 or so loads I do a year.  My laundry detergent does not smell like a spring morning, a fresh waterfall or a mountain spring.  My laundry detergent does not smell at all; but it leaves my clothes that way too. 

Here is what you will need.


1/2 C Super Washing Soda ( Not baking soda )
1/4 C Borax
1/2 Bar of laundry soap


A 5 gallon bucket
Bags ( Optional but helpful )
A quart jar ( Again helpful )
Wisk or Spoon ( I like the wisk )
A bottle to store it in.

When I buy the ingredients for this project, I measure them out and put them in individual sandwich bags.  One box of Borax will have enough to make 41 batches, one box of Washing Soda will make 12 batches, and one bar of Laundry soap will make 2 batches.

Prep Work Step one--Grate the laundry bar.

I have a cheese grater that I use just for the laundry bar. You can use a food processor but it is not necessary. I prefer not to mix food appliances with "work" appliances. Shred the bar using the large "cheese grate" side.

Though this next step is not entirely necessary, it is helpful. If you take the time to separate everything out then your subsequent batches go more smoothly and you only have to do this once.

Prep Work Step two--Separate

Take a sandwich bag and fill it with 1/2 c Washing Soda. Fill another bag with 1/4 c Borax. Fill a third bag with half of a laundry bar. Place these three bags into a fourth bag. This will keep them all together and ready to use when you make the next batch of soap.  Repeat this process for the rest of your ingredients. If you buy one box of Borax, three boxes of Washing Soda and 18 laundry bars you will have made more than an 8 year supply of laundry soap. All that's left to do is add water when you need another batch. 

This is what it looks like when I have the Borax and Washing Soda measured and bagged up. In the bag I have the Washing Soda, Borax and Laundry bar soap. 


Get the 5 gallon bucket. Take one of the prepared laundry soap kits and put the entire contents of the laundry bar into the bucket. Fill the quart Mason jar with water, pop it in the microwave and get it hot.  Add the hot water to the bucket with the grated soap bar.  Stir this up and let it sit a minute. Add another jar of hot water at this point or soon after. Time is not imperative in this process.  I am usually doing a few other things while I make up the soap so go load the dishwasher or something and let it sit.  Stir occasionally until the laundry bar is dissolved. I'd love to say I have figured out by now how long it will take but it depends on how well you stir, how old the soap is, how hot your water is, and plain old luck of the draw.  Add another jar of hot water and the final two bags of powder from your kit. Get your wisk and stir.  It will clump a bit but stir through it.  From here on out you just add water and stir, then add water and stir.  When you get it about one third of the way full, just fill the bucket as close to the top as you are can while still able to stir.  Let it sit 24 hours.  At this point it is ready to use.  1/2 cup per load.  It tends to separate so either shake it or stir it up depending on how you store it.  Now you have about 160 loads worth of laundry soap ready to go.

You can add fragrance if you want, or stain helpers like Shout.  None of it is necessary.  Sometimes I end up with free samples that I add in just to switch things up a bit. 

I don't have the space by my washing machine to keep a bucket so I put the soap into 10--2 Liter bottles.  I also have an old detergent bottle and the lid happens to measure the 1/2 cup I need per load so I pour the 2 Liter into it and keep it full to use.  

If you are lucky enough to have one of those fancy HE front loaders then this soap is perfect for you but just use 1/4 C instead of the full 1/2 C.  

Why do I go to all the work to make it myself?  It's all in the numbers. ( These are the numbers as of today and tend to change from time to time. )  I do about 520 loads a year so this is based on my usage. 

I priced my old favorite soap, in its beautiful orange bottle and fantastic scent, online and the best deal I could find on Amazon was $13 for 52 loads. That breaks down to  $.25 a load for a total of $130 a year.

 The cheapest detergent at the store is $2.95 for 50 loads which breaks down to $.059 a load or $30.68 a year.

Including the Washing Soda, Borax, Laundry Bar Soap, and the bags needed to separate it all, I spend $.0133 a load or $6.92 a year.  

I know the savings don't look huge but I am a firm believer that pennies add up to make huge savings.  The other blessing is I have years, or more likely decades, of laundry soap in my house ready to make up taking up minimal storage space.  

  XOXO Mist