Jun 11, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap (rebatched)

I love making homemade laundry soap. My favorite *flavour* is lavender, but todays batch is pineapple cilantro, thanks to my friends over at Brambleberry Soaps.
I have been making homemade soap for over 13 years now. It is a passion of the heart.
I had a little business called Heavenly Sent; as God woke me up one night and told me to make soap. I had been asking Him for *something* for me, as I was looking for an outlet for my own mental health~apart from homeschooling and motherhood.
I hardly blog about it, but it is a part of *me.*
I am not much of a recipe follower (my friends are laughing, because this is an understatement). But I will happily walk you through it, in case you want to give it a try. The Internet has loads of recipes, Tipnut has 10 to offer you.
My very flexible recipe for homemade laundry soap:
  • A 2 gallon bucket (with lid preferable, but use plastic wrap if you need to)
  • water
  • 1 bar of soap (Ivory, Fels Naptha, whatever)
  • 1/2 cup of Borax
  • 1/2 cup of Washing Soda
(*Fels Naptha, Borax and Washing Soda are found in the Laundry aisle)
  • essential oil or fragrant oil for scent
  • (if you have skin sensitivities...you can forgo fragrance)
  • large pot...(non aluminum)
  • *plastic or wooden spoon that will be forever only used for soap making projects.
Okay, grate or chop your soap into wee little pieces.
Add grated/chopped soap to large pot. Add water to fill.
Heat on medium to melt soap.
Anytime now, add in your Borax and Washing Soda (I eyeball it...it is not fussy).
Stir occasionally to help it all get melted.
When you are totally melted, dump into clean 2 gallon bucket.
Now as it cools a bit, pour in a bit of your scent...a Tablespoon should be good
(less or a bit more is okay too).
Add more HOT water to the soap...how much? Well about full.
Let rest overnight. It will gel together.
Occasionally you might need to stir it back together before scooping from it...but usually it stays gelled.
Use about a cup per load. But this too depends on your machine or your water (hard or soft).
*I am NOT recommending this for non-sudsing washers; as I don't own one and haven't tried it.
My batch was much bigger....and I didn't measure a thing.
I make it every couple of months and it continues to clean like nobodies business! It smells so yummy, that as I fold the laundry, I often stop to *whiff* the clean clothes.
Happy soapmaking!
some of my soap...not too pretty, so laundry soap it becomes!


one of my *littles* helping to cut...a butter knife if a handy helper!


(*my container is a recycled pretzel container from Sam's Club.)
A lid is a good idea, as it keeps animals and kids safe!


Lindsay-ann said...

Hi Kimmie
I have often wondered how soap is made. Thanks for the recipe. I am sure it smells gorgeous. I would love to have a go at soap making one day.
Best Wishes

Duckygirl said...

I'm going to confess that I stopped making my own laundry soap. I loved doing it, it worked well and it was cheap...but hubs missed the smell of store bought soap. Now I'm intrigued because I never added scent to mine. Does the smell really stay on the clothes?? I had been told it would make the soap smell in the bucket but it didn't really make the clothes scented much....??


Kimmie said...

Hi Laura;

I guess it depends on the quality of your essential or fragrant oils you use.

Our scent is definitely "there," post laundry room time. That's where the *whiffing* comes in as I fold and put it away.

I highly recomment Brambleberry..I've also used Rainbow Meadow essential oils.


Stace said...

Do you find it really is cheaper than say...aldi or more generic laundry soaps? If so, I might give it a whirl...

Kimmie said...

Hi Stace;

I've never priced it out. As I always have soap on hand (from making it)...and I always have pieces that don't cut properly or that pieces after I've cut and shaped each bar...that I always have the supplies. (YOU CAN DEFINITELY SAVE YOUR SOAP BITS AND DO THIS WITH THEM WHEN YOU GET ABOUT A BARS WORTH.)

The washing soda is only a couple of dollars, as is the borax. The box of both lasts many batches.

Essential oil (OR fragrant, which is manmade scent) are a more expensive ingredient. They keeps forever (*well a really loooong time if stored properly). You don't use that much of this either...though Laura if you are still reading...adding more in to your *scent* preference isn't a problem (don't go too crazy or it will float and not emulsify into your *gelled* laundry soap.

Hope this helps. I am betting it still is cheaper than anything you can buy. I love making it.

My 18 year old daughter does her own laundry ...she prefers mine to the *store* made. She also has a lavender addiction thanks to me.

Plus kids can help, which makes a fun little project.


BittersweetPunkin said...

I make my own laundry soap the same way too....I usually use Fels Naptha but this time I used Yardley English Lavender and I like it much better. I will NEVER buy commercial detergent again!!

Have a GREAT weekend!

Melissa~ said...


Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Your prayer brought tears to my eyes and I appreciate it more than you know.

I have so enjoyed reading through your blog this morning. What a beautiful family you have.

I have been wanting to try my hand at making soap, so I *loved* reading your tutorial. I think I will do this when we get back!

Looking forward to getting to know you more!

♥ Melissa~
Pink Paper Peppermints

andrea said...

so just bought the ingredients today...i did forget the scent though...oops...can it be added later?
my sweet friend makes much the same recipe and she has inspired me to make it and you sealed the deal! cannot wait!

andrea said...

oh...my friend's recipe works out to under $3/year to make and over $70 to buy in at the store.

elizabeth said...

I used to make this recipe, too, but I stopped when I started having babies. We use cloth diapers and I was worried about the soap not rinsing out well enough, and consequently, having repellency issues in my diapers. Fels Naptha is a "detergent", right? So, that may actually be better for diapers than a true soap? Don't you use cloth diapers as well? Have you had any trouble using this "detergent" with them?

Kimmie said...

Hi Elizabeth;

I haven't tried it on diaper...but I am sure it would be fine. Do you do a presoak in baking soda? It definitely would be more gentle than regular detergent...which is often 'perfumed'...that is what is nice about essential oils...they are natural and plant based.

We use a diaper service...though originally (prior to us adopting the sibling group of 3) I wanted to do the cloth diaper laundry myself.

With 7 kids, I opted for the service...which we love. Our diaper guy is in his 70's and we have been sharing our love of God with him, as opportunity arises. We all love *Mr. Stein* the diaper guy.

Sorry, I can't offer you more help. I do think it would be fine, as way back prior to disposables (way back), the mamas made the laundry soap themselves...it worked out just fine then, right? Simplier times...with a little more elbow grease needed (no gym memberships were necessary! ;-)


Elisabeth- Truly Blessed said...

Oh YAY! I've always wanted to make my own laundry soap and can't wait to get busy! Thanks for the tips.:)
In Him,

Renata said...

This recipe sounds like fun to try - a few months ago I got all inspired to make laundry soap & bought all the ingrediants & then chickened out - will have to give it a go now I've got some photos to follow.
Is it difficult to make regular soap?

Duckygirl said...

Kimmie~ thanks for all the answers! I think I'll be searching out some essential oils now :)


Diana said...

Kimmie, you totally amaze me. Is there anything you can't do?!

Princess Kim said...

Although I'm not affiliated with either group, I was thinking that you might want to check out Clean The World ( http://www.cleantheworld.org ) and perhaps send the remnants of your used bar soaps to them via Central Care Mission. I'm a big fan of fun bath products, but any that don't suit my fancy, or the last bits of the soap bars, get sent to them to help prevent disease and death in Third World Countries.

Central Care Mission
4027 Lennox Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32811

Thanks, and have a great day!

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