inspiration from a small farm with a big heart

Laundry Soap {- the suds}



There are some things in life that are so simple that we just suppose they aren’t as good as the more complicated, expensive, and artificially made.  I had this recipe for laundry detergent for a long, long time but just kept waiting to take the plunge.  But once I did I can’t tell you how excited I was to be able to save on detergent and stop lugging those huge containers in on grocery day!

Here’s the recipe.  Warning:  please do not eat.

5 Gallon Bucket

Three Gallons Hot Water-straight from the tap

1/2 cup of Borax

1 Cup Washing Soda

1 Bar of Soap (you can use scented or scent free)

Step One:  On your stovetop heat 4 cups of water and shave the bar of soap slowly into the water until it is dissolved (keep the water below boiling).

Step Two:  Add this mixture to three gallons of hot water using your 5 gallon bucket.

Step Three:  Add the Borax and Washing Soda

Step Four:  Let it sit overnight. 

Use about 1 Cup per load.  You can also use 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (added to the fabric softener dispenser) to rinse water for a squeaky clean wash.

Cost:  3 cents per load (compared to 30 cents for store brands)

Don’t have a 5 gallon bucket or a place to store one?  Don’t want to cook soap on your stovetop?  You can also try this super quick and easy dry soap method.

Just combine 4 cups of soap flakes, 2 cups of washing soda and 2 cups of Borax in a glass jar with a lid.   


Want to make up a Free & Clear detergent for towels, cloth diapers, children’s clothes but need some “good” scent for your husbands work clothes?

Just add a small amount of sweet or spicy essential oils to detergent for that load!


And just a side note:  this detergent will not be sudsy like store bought detergent.


5 responses

  1. Andria

    I think I might have to give this a try! 🙂
    Hubby has sensitive skin (don’t him I told you, lol) and this might really help with the breakouts he gets on his back.
    We’re big on clothes smellin’ good and bein’ extra soft, so my question is does this leave the clothes feeling as good as when I add in some Downy? The idea of oils instead of the fragrances they put in commercial detergents might be just the ticket to helping his skin Plus I can make it smell how I want (which is an AWESOME IDEA. *ahem*). Now to tell me on the softness issue… 😉

    October 5, 2009 at 4:34 pm

  2. Maggie

    How does this work in a high-efficiency washer? Do you just change how much you put in?

    And as the above poster mentioned… how IS the softness? :o)

    October 16, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    • freshfloralart

      I have hard (via the internet) that you can use it in a high-efficiency washer, but you may want to google that yourself. I have a great tip for softness. Put a fabric softener sheet in a spray bottle and let it sit for at least 24 hours. Then you can either spray individual clothes or spray directly into the dryer several times. It adds just enough softness and doesn’t break out my three year old with sensitive skin. It also makes one fabric softener sheet go a lot further. I have also sprayed clothes directly out of the dryer and it works great.

      October 19, 2009 at 1:19 pm

  3. Dana

    It doesn’t say how much of the dry soap to use per load??? I made the wet this weekend and love it. I would like to be able to carry the dry soap when we go out of town since it’s a little less messy.

    Thanks for posting this!!! 🙂

    November 16, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    • freshfloralart

      I use around 1/2 cup of the dry detergent. I am not really a measurement kinda gal so there are probably times I should use a little less or a little more. Come back and let me know what works best for you!

      November 20, 2009 at 7:35 pm

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