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Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap — The Grow Network Community
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Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

B. L. CorleyB. L. Corley Posts: 4
edited May 2019 in Around the Homestead

I just made my first batch and thought I’d share as Marjory & Jim suggested. Found the recipe online at prepsteaders.com. It’s good for use in all washing machines including front loaders and for prepper hand washers. Makes 5 gallons of concentrate (or 10 gallons total after adding water to concentrate); this adds up to about $1 per gallon. Save an old container, and give it a try.

Ingredients (all available at Walmart):

1 box Zote flakes

1 cup Borax

1 cup Super Washing Soda

A few drops Lavender/Eucalyptus oil (optional)

Pour whole box of Zote flakes into 5 gallon bucket. Add 1 gallon hot, nearly boiling, water and stir. Add the borax and washing soda. Stir. Add 2 more gallons of hot water from faucet. Stir. Finally, fill to top with hot water. Stir and let dissolve overnight. Fill a clean bottle half full of stirred solution and half full of water. Shake well before each use. May add a few drips of essential oil to each bottle as prepped.


  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 580 admin
    edited May 2019

    Thanks, @B. L. Corley !

    A few questions:

    Do you have a suggestion for how much should be used per small/medium/large load?

    Will this work for HE washers?

    And ... would also love an update on how this works for you, if you wouldn't mind. My young kids can sure do a number on their clothes, so I need high-powered laundry soap and find that Tide Free works decently well for us. But I'd sure love to save some $$$ on laundry soap if the homemade stuff can handle my family's dirt! :)

    Thanks again!

  • Desire’Desire’ Posts: 32 ✭✭

    I've tried making liquid soap with borax twice and it turned to crystals within a couple days. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I've followed 2 recipes and they each did it. I'm curious if your soap will still be liquid in a few days.

  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 849 admin
    edited May 2019

    Hi Brenda, so glad to see you posted!

    Hey @Jimerson, check this out - that soap recipe we were talking about today.

    THis is so good - and super cost effective. Yup, a reason to save those old containers 🙄

  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 849 admin

    Here is a challenge is there ever was one LOL

    I am fresh from the lambing barn. A complete mess! I wonder if this soap would work on this?

    @Jimerson was with me too.

    I still don't know why my photos get uploaded sideways or upside down....

  • JimersonJimerson Super J Pilot Point, TXPosts: 243 admin

    Haha, you're right Marjory! If this detergent can clean jeans after lamb wrangling in muck, it can clean anything.

    I am interested in Desire's concern about it turning into crystals before I go out and try this! @Desire’ , did either of your recipes involve all the ingredients in @B. L. Corley 's recipe?

  • Desire’Desire’ Posts: 32 ✭✭

    The laundry detergent recipe that I tried that crystalized had all the same ingredients except the Zote flakes. Instead my recipe had grated Fels naptha soap.

    The dish detergent I made that crystalized had castile soap, washing soda, hot water, 10-20 drops essential oil. So maybe its actually the washing soda that is the culprit.

  • B. L. CorleyB. L. Corley Posts: 4
    edited May 2019

    I made my solution up a couple of days ago, and it’s still a gelatinous mass (needs stirring again before putting in containers) - no problems crystallizing. I do keep it closed up in the 5-gallon bucket. Also, I did stir very throughly after each addition.

    I was told this is a strong solution that should work well on most anything Tide would handle (not sure about Marjorie’s situation, lol) and is safe for ALL washers.

    Regarding amount per wash, I’m using an old liquid detergent bottle and just use the cap to measure out the solution.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,091 admin

    My experience...

    I made a dry version in the past...not liquid. I can't get either fels naptha nor zote in Canada. Castile soap is very expensive. I used Sunlight, which is a laundry bar. I used this for a long time when doing my wash.

    I found that large flakes (I grated it) didn't dissolve well, small ones did better. However, with our very hard water, it started not cleaning as well and clothes didn't smell as clean.

    I tried a dishwasher version (slightly different recipe), and it left a film on everything.

    A vinegar rinse didn't help much and us said to wreck rubber seals.

  • MissPatriciaMissPatricia Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    I make my own laundry detergent. First time, it turned out fine. Since then, second time I made a mistake so that doesn't count. Third time, it hardened up in the bottom of the jar, but I did not dilute it according to directions. I added water and let it sit; then used it, just used a bit more. When I get home, I'll add my recipe because it is supposed to be a detergent, not a soap.

  • AnAn Posts: 42 ✭✭

    I have had problems with every version I have tried to make. Our water is very hard as well and I end up with scum, film, and dirty clothes. We also are trying to use our water in a grey water system and I was told that borax and washing soda would be too high in salt if used too much.

    Anyone have hard water and a successful recipe?

    Anyone have thoughts on greywater systems and borax and washing soda?

  • DianaAndersonDianaAnderson Posts: 1 ✭✭✭

    I have made my laundry soap for YEARS. Tried using the Zote and found if things are greasy it won't clean them. So I switched back to Fels Naptha and have been happy ever since. I do only make Dried Laundry soap. Equal parts Washing Soda, and Borax.

    For a single batch I use 2 cups Washing Soda, 2 cups Borax, 1 bar Fels Naptha grated. have mixed it by hand, and also used my food processor to grate the soap and mix the dry ingredients. I use 1/4 cup per load unless very Large load or very greasy. Just add laundry soap in washer start water load clothes and walk away.

    I do pretreat any blood stains with Hydrogen Peroxide to help with it setting. I also use a sliver of wet fels naptha bar to rub on greasy stains.

    I have used it in my HE front load washer, Top Load washer, The nice part of the laundry soap is it doesnt suds so this is what makes it great for an HE Washer. We have had 2 different septic tanks we have used this soap with no problems.

    I tried a couple of times to add OxyClean and/or Baking Soda but it dilutes the soap so I just add them separately as needed.

    I have very hard water from our well and so I add Vinegar to everything! It really helps with the hard water build up! Spray it full strength on everything. Hope this helps!!

  • Karyn PenningtonKaryn Pennington Posts: 71 ✭✭✭


    I've made laundry detergent for years (but don't currently) with the Borax, Washing Soda and Fels Naptha. However, I would leave it in powdered form until I was ready to use it. I would add about 1 cup (dry) to an empty container and top with boiling water and then shake it like it's a work out! My guess is you're letting air get to it somehow. It has to remain covered/sealed, but making the powdered batch all at once and then just making a gallon (or so) at a time is MUCH easier. You still need to shake it before each use, but I've only seen in crystallize on outside of the container (where it comes in contact with air).

    I would still do it if I had the time, but I work full time and spend any spare minutes at home in the garden/yard. It's cost effective and does the job, it's just time consuming. I have several full bars of Fels Naptha should the urge ever return.

  • louis2001louis2001 Posts: 1

    Interesting and seems not difficult to make. I think I'll try making a batch in a couple of weeks or so.

  • cre8tiv369cre8tiv369 Posts: 70 ✭✭✭

    Wow... so I was curious about this and it seems like this is as much fun and as complex as making homemade toilet paper (the last thing any pepper wants to be forced to do).

    I found some websites online that warn against these exact formulations for laundry detergents, they offer all sorts of reasons and data and proof. But to be honest, I'm not sure it's real or if its industry sponsored propaganda or something... Take a look and let us know what you think. http://butterbeliever.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-soap-diy/

    I kinda get part of what they are saying and that is that modern washing machines are not designed to clean fabric by way of detergents and that they are designed to work via surfactants and that hand washing would be better suited to a detergent. (just like modern dishwashers don't have brushes or scrubbers and they recycle the water through a lousy filter and they basically do a final wash/rinse/sterilize but your dishes should be clean going into them and sanitary coming out).

    Regardless, I would like some opinions from those that are actually using diy detergents. Have to tried a "strip" to see if you get the gross results they show in the pictures? Also, if this strip is so good, then can that (or part of it) be worked into the diy recipe somehow?

  • Karyn PenningtonKaryn Pennington Posts: 71 ✭✭✭

    I read most of the article. I used DIY detergents for quite a few years. I don't any more. Mainly because of the time it takes to make, but also, there did seem to be a "residue" of sorts left on towels and jeans/khakis, dark t-shirts, etc. I religiously used (and still use) vinegar as my fabric softener, which is supposed to help remove the residue, which many people (perhaps the author) do not do.

    I currently use something like Mrs. Meyers or another more natural brand. But I do still use vinegar in the rinse and I also use "softening crystals" homemade of epsom salts and whatever essential oil I choose (usually lemon, some other citrus or peppermint).

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 83 ✭✭✭

    I make my own as lol but prefer to use Kirk’s Castile because they make an unscented one so my clothes have absolutely no smell

  • JimersonJimerson Super J Pilot Point, TXPosts: 243 admin

    For your homemade laundry sauce, is it ok to wash all clothes together or do they tend to leech colors?

  • MissPatriciaMissPatricia Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    My detergent recipe comes from ONEessentialCOMMUNITY.COM. It calls for super washing soda, salt, essential oils, Sal Suds and filtered or distilled water.

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