DIY Laundry Soap – One Year Review & Recipe

DIY Laundry soap & a full review after using it for one year. A must pin for saving lots of money!!!
Last year around this time I made my very first batch of DIY laundry soap. I had researched it online before I made it & combined a few different recipes that I had found to make my own laundry detergent. I really didn’t think that it would last me a year like the posts I read had said, but it did & I loved it along the way! It got me through countless dirty baseball uniforms, stinky gym clothes, paint messes, military uniforms, & stains of all sorts. You can see the original recipe {here}. There were a few things I wanted to change about this new recipe after a year of using it & learning the positives and negatives of my original recipe. I now feel confident in giving a full review & sharing my thoughts a whole year later.

DIY Laundry soap & a full review after using it for one year. A must pin for saving lots of money!!!
My Thoughts on my DIY laundry soap in bullet points:

-I loved the original recipe, I just didn’t like that it was “unscented” so I added the scent crystal laundry softener beads for added
scent and laundry softener features.

- My laundry soap got hard last time because moisture got into the container. I had to use a drill and drill bit to grind up the powder again. Yes, it was that serious. To prevent this from happening add a cheese cloth with rice inside to absorb any moisture. You can also add silica packets as well. Rice works wonders.

-It lasted me one year & saved me LOTS of money. You only need to use 2 tablespoons per load, but I experimented and found the perfect amount to use with each load to fit my needs. I tend to add a little more to each load because that’s just how I roll.

- This recipe removed stains, left clothes clean, & my whites were bright {I do use bleach on my whites as well}

- This recipe is great for sensitive skin. I have mildly sensitive skin & I have never had any issues & from the research I have done on people who have used this recipe I have read that’s great for their family members with sensitive skin. But, as other things you & your families skin issues could be different so do your own research and experiments as needed.

- I do not have an HE washer, but I have read that it works well with them, but I would do my own research to make sure that DIY laundry detergent will work well for your washer.

- You can choose your own soap, scent crystals, & completely personalize this recipe it’s very forgiving and customizable to your needs and wants.

DIY Laundry soap & a full review after using it for one year. A must pin for saving lots of money!!!

DIY Laundry soap & a full review after using it for one year. A must pin for saving lots of money!!!
DIY Laundry soap & a full review after using it for one year. A must pin for saving lots of money!!!
My recipe:

1. One four pound twelve ounce box of Borax. You can use 2 smaller boxes. {Found in Laundry Isle}
2. Three bars of Fels-Naptha soap. You can use any soap of your choice. {Found in Laundry Isle}
3. one four pound box of arm & hammer baking soda.{Not pictured here} {Laundry Isle}
4. one box of arm & hammer super washing soda {laundry Isle}
5. four pounds of Oxy Clean {one small/one large container/laundry isle}
6. Laundry softener cyrstals for scent. You can mix these in to your laundry detergent or add them to your loads as needed.

DIY Laundry soap & a full review after using it for one year. A must pin for saving lots of money!!!
To Mix the recipe:
1. Grate the fels-naptha bars into a bowl
2. dump fels-naptha into a large container {I used a 5 gallon pale with a garbage bag inside}
3. Mix all other ingredients into the bucket & shake it all up together.
4. Place into container of your choice {I used a 4 gallon glass jar from Walmart}

DIY Laundry soap & a full review after using it for one year. A must pin for saving lots of money!!!
DIY Laundry soap & a full review after using it for one year. A must pin for saving lots of money!!!
DIY Laundry soap & a full review after using it for one year. A must pin for saving lots of money!!!
If you have any more questions leave them below or {here} on the facebook page, tag me on Instagram @lizmariegalvan or with hashtag #LizMarieBlog, or you can tweet me. I will do my best to answer any questions you may have. Have you tried a laundry soap recipe? What does yours have in it? Is it different from mine? What are your thoughts? I would love to hear from you!

DIY-Laundry-Softener-lizmarieblog-1
For my DIY laundry softener recipe click {here}.


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  2. I have been using your DIY laundry soap over a year now and absolutely LOVE it!! It gets clothes very clean and bright unlike many homemade soaps! this really is the best!

  3. How much laundry detergent did you use in each load in order for it to last you a year?

  4. This looks very easy to make, how much does this recipe make, does it make more than your 4 gallon jar holds? I have been using liquid detergents for years now, I like that the liquid dissolves well. Have you ever tried making any liquid detergents? Thanks for sharing.

    • Kimberly Croonquist says:

      I love the powder detergent but I also make liquid detergent that I also keep on hand. There are many recipes but here is the one that works best for me.
      A 5 gallon bucket w/ lid
      1 bar Zote or Fels-Naptha (I like to use pink Zote but both work great – from laundry isle)
      1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
      1/2 cup Borax
      hot tap water

      **Grate the soap, put it into a pot and add water. Melt over a low heat stirring frequently until soap had completely dissolved…do not let it boil.
      **Fill your bucket about 1/2 way up with hot tap water, add your Super Washing Soda and Borax..stir until all the powder has dissolved.
      **Pour your melted soap into the bucket..stir well.
      ** Fill your bucket with more hot tap water.. (leave about 1 inch head space)…stir well….(you can add essential oils for fragrance if you like but it is not needed.)
      **Close the lid on the bucket and let it sit about 8 hours or over night.. (it’s fine to let it sit longer)
      **When you are ready, open the bucket ans mix very well. It will be gelled up..this is your concentrate. I like to put my concentrate into Mason Jars and put them on a shelf due to my tiny laundry room, but you can leave it right in the bucket if you like – just mix it well each time you take some out. Just add concentrate to a container of your choice – any bottle or jug will do.. fill it 1/2 concentrate and 1/2 hot tap water. Shake well until completely mixed…you will need to shake it before each use.
      **Just add 1/2 – 1 cup per load….I have found that his is really great for pet odors as well as sensitive skin…plus 5 gallons of concentrate makes 10 gallons of laundry detergent for literally pennies compared to store bought brands! There are no bubbles…just clean fresh clothes. Hope you enjoy!

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  6. Jennifer Sarzynski says:

    How much do you use per (regular) load?

  7. It says up top in the bullet points that you only need 2 tablespoons per load.

  8. Lori Johnson says:

    Hi Liz, I was wondering, about how much did all the ingredients cost for the 1 year amount of laundry soap?
    Thanks, Lori

    • I just made this, and it was 32 and change for everything (but we bought two different unstopable scents…so 25 if you just use one.

  9. I just made this up for my daughter moving to NY City. I got a qt container for her to keep her laundry soap in that she is using. And divided the rest and sealed it in small Foodsaver bags. We are hoping by sealing the rest that it won’t get hard over the year. She will open each bag and empty into the qt container as needed.

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  11. Previously I made this and in the comments someone posted how to make 1/3 of this batch and 1/2 of it. But I don’t see those post and I don’t have enough supply to make whole batch

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this! I will definitely be making it.

  13. Hi, I was wondering what you thought about possibly just doing a couple drops of an essential oil for scent instead of the crystals?
    Thank you!
    Danielle

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  16. OldFashioned says:

    My daughter got me started by giving me a small batch of her home made laundry detergent from this recipe. It lasted forever. I just made up my own huge batch. Buying my own ingredients at Wal-Mart, it cost me just under $30.00 tax and all. And I had to get the 5.5 lb. Oxy Clean, so I have some of that left over. I had always used Tide and hated paying the price. I’ve marked my batch with today’s date and the total cost. Can’t wait to see how long it lasts. Thank you for this recipe.

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  18. Great post.

  19. I just ran out of laundry soap & for a mom of 2 toddlers & 1 teen I wash at least 1 load of laundry every day. I decided I’d run out to the store & purchase the above ingredients. I had to go to 3 different stores to find everything I was looking for (Borox seems to be quite popular)! I spend at total of $32, for half the ingredients (I have left over for next time around). I made half a batch of this (grated the soap in my food processor vs grating it by hand, although I noticed that you can purchase ZOTE soap pre-grated). I placed the ingredients in a small storage container & put rice in an odd sock to help with the moisture issues. Today is my first attempt at washing my toddlers clothes (I have an HE washer). This formula works as good (or even better) than my previous store-bought liquid detergents! I am impressed! I don’t think it’ll last me a full 6 months (using 2 tablespoons per load) but I’ll be happy if I can get it to last for 4 months!!! On thing I did notice is that this morning my detergent is already getting clumpy, so I’m going to put it in three separate ziplock bags instead of putting it in a plastic container. I appreciate you posting this!!

  20. I love this. I’ve been using it a year, and it gets my clothes much cleaner and fresher than brand names. I spent $40 on a year supply, including the jar. I also have stopped having septic tank issues since switching from liquid to powder.

  21. soldiersgirl says:

    I just have one couple quick questions. Do you wash all your laundry in cold? How does the laundry soap hold up in cold water? Also, if you use it in cold, does the grated bar soap dissolve well? With your laundry softener, does it help to reduce static? Dryer sheets only work so well.

    I’ve tried DIY laundry soap before, but you’ve added a few ingredients that I didn’t use. I also like that your recipe all I have to do is mix it up really well in a big container. The original recipe I used, had me using a blender/food processor to blend everything up…. which did help make the detergent into more of a “powder”. However, my food processor is starting to go down hill since I started making my own. And it’s a nice Kitchen-Aid brand that I’ve used gently over the few years. So I hate to see it getting ruined. :( Not sure how the detergent is ruining my processor but somehow I think there’s some detergent granules getting into the main center piece that spins. So, on that note, if you can tell me if you use all cold water or not? I’m looking forward to trying these recipes out. Thank you much!!

    • If you are using fels naptha soap, you can place the bar in your microwave oven for 30 seconds…. let it cool… then repeat 3 more times (i.e. 2 minutes total). The bar will expand to about the size of a loaf of bread. Let it sit for a while to cool down…. the soap will crumble easily and you can use a hand grater with almost no pressure. This will save on the wear and tear on your blender/food processor. I bought a little grater that I use only for this purpose from the dollar store…. works great!

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  24. I made this and finally ran out. I came to get the recipe to use it again and I am disappointed. In your previous comments were from people who did the math and worked out how to half and 1/3 batch this recipe. I can’t make the whole recipe and now I am stuck. Many older comments are not here anymore…..

    • Kimberly Croonquist says:

      I make mine in smaller batches using:
      1 Bar of Pink Zote OR Fels Naptha soap
      1 Cup Borax
      1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
      1/2 Cup Baking Soda (more or less depending on how hard your water is)
      1 Cup Oxi Clean (generic is fine) (optional)
      Scent Crystals (optional)

      I process mine about 1 cup at a time in a blender so it is a nice fine powder but that is not really necessary…I just like it better that way. Hope this helps!

      • I like running mine through the blender too! I feel like the fine powder helps to keeps in mixed better. I use Fels Naptha and I also found that if you microwave the bar (chopped in to about four pieces) for around a minute and a half, it is possible to use your hands to break it into the powder. The option of the Oxi Clean I have not tried yet, but I am getting ready to make a new batch this afternoon and I think I will try adding that in now!

  25. I just recently started making my own liquid laundry detergent and am excited to try your recipe for dry. Do you put this powder right into your barrel with the clothes when you load the washer or in the detergent receptacle to be included later in the wash cycle? I’ve never used dry detergent before. Thanks for your help.

  26. Almost out of this beach that I made last february. It’s saved me soon much money and I’ll be making another one soon. I have sensitive skin plus allergies and this has work perfectly for us.

    Problems – the shredded bar sticks to my clothes and never fully desolves but I don’t see it after its hit the dryer. Also what can I add to make clothes look more white?

    • Cathy Schmidt says:

      Try dissolving the soap with hot water first! And using the “hydrogen bleach” in with your clothes. Liz has it posted in her blogs.

  27. I’ve heard about many different suggestions about DIY cleaners but I’ve never read about laundry soap. Thanks for sharing this fresh idea with us! I will definitely try it!

  28. I already made a cleaner for the bathroom with lemon and baking soda and I can’t wait to try your suggestion for soap laundry. Thank you for giving this recipe! I will try it today!

  29. I use this recipe last year and it worked great and lasted 11 months with using three scoops instead of 2 but its just me and my husband right now. Last year I didn’t put in the out of crystals but I will this time. I feel like it cleans my clothes pretty well. I get hives frequently and I have allergies. I feel that this recipe has helped me a lot with those two. thanks again for creating this recipe and sharing it with all of us I am now off to make my b1atch for year two…

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  31. some of these ingredients are not only bad for our skin and body but just breathing it in while making or doing loads can cause problems to our bodies :(

  32. Been making mine for 2 years now and I LOVE it. I wear white lab jackets and if they get a stain on them I just let them soak for awhile before I put them thru the wash cycle and they come clean!! I use Scentsy Layers bead for laundry in mine and it’s awesome. I use 1/4 cup white vinegar in my fabric softner dispenser and fill it the rest of the way with water. If some clothes have static I use a generic brand of fabric softner sheet! Saving tons of money!!

  33. My husband is in the navy would this formula be safe to use on his uniforms?

    • k8dotcom says:

      No. The Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda has optical brighteners. I was disappointed to discover that.

  34. We are knee deep in transitioning our family to a dye-free home environment. Does this recipe have dyes in it? I’m guessing the scent additives probably do, but what about the standard base of the recipe. Dye free? You will be my hero for the day if you say yes.

    • “Yes, we have no bananas”. In other words, yes it doesn’t seem to have dyes in it, unless you are using Zote..
      That pretty pink comes from somewhere…

  35. I’ve been using your recipe now for a little bit over a year now. I’m so grateful I stumbled onto your blog and recipe. It literally has saved my husband and I close to $200. I follow the recipe exactly as it states. I store the finished product in the used Oxy containers and it works great.

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  38. yvette peterson says:

    I also make my own laundry detergent, but instead of buying expensive Unstoppables, I get the scented epsom salt or the Body Relaxing scented bath soak at Dollar Tree. Serves the same purpose, smells divine!!!

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  43. I saw a question on cold water but no answer, I only use cold water, any experience with this in cold water is helpful.

    • Here’s an answer! It does dissolve in cold, BUT I recommend start filling the tub with hot water with soap without clothes then switch to cold! It just takes a 1/2 a minute to dissolve! And probably use about a cup or two of hot water! I do this to break down the solids and save money! You can also dissolve your soap in a cup of hot water separately, then add to cold water!

  44. Aimee Brunner says:

    I made this 7 months ago following your recipe. We loved it! I am making more today. It didn’t last us a year because we used 3-4 scoops, depending on load size but 7 on the without buying laundry soap has been a true blessing! Thank you for sharing this with the world!

  45. victoria cheaney says:

    Good recipe. Your clothes come out clean. My only comment is that Downy (P&G products) test on animals, so if you’re wanting to add scent.. consider using another product that does not test on animals, #PGCruelty

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  48. “Pail” is the correct spelling for the container – NOT “pale” as you have used.

  49. “Pail” is the correct spelling for the container – NOT “pale” as you have used. also its an “aisle”, not “isle” in the store!!

  50. Borax, though a natural ingredient, is actually very toxic. I would not use Borax.

  51. I didn’t see a reply to the question about cold water. Does this dissolve well in cold? Also- do I just toss this in the drum directly or put in the tray? I have a high efficiency washer.

    • I just posted an answer. If it doesn’t dissolve (in cold) please try putting it in a cup of hot water then add your clothes and wash away ! PS Throw it in the tub!

  52. I am glad to know that I can use natural products in order to make my own laundry detergent. Actually I thought that I should spend a lot of money on naturally made cleaners but it seems that I can make them my own. Thank you for giving so interesting suggestions for natural cleaners!

  53. Does anyone have a problem with this recipe leaving white blotches on your clothes? I have tried rewashing the clothes but it won’t come out. I followed this recipe to a T and I even tried to dissolve it in hot water before adding the clothes but still the white on the clothes. Any help would be appreciated.

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  55. The year-later review was really helpful. (Time seems to be one of the biggest overlooked ingredients in all these different DIY projects.) Definitely gonna try this, thank you. Just one super-quick thing: those Downy Unstoppables are INSANELY toxic. If you want perfumed laundry, consider adding your favorite essential oils onto wool dryer balls. The heat will infuse the fresh scents into your clothes, and totally non-toxic. ;)

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Trackbacks

  1. […] You can find the recipe here. […]

  2. […] drop twenty bucks on laundry soap next time you run out of clean clothes. Try making your own and saving that cash for more important investments. It calls for Borax, Fels-Naptha soap, […]

  3. […] drop twenty bucks on laundry soap next time you run out of clean clothes. Try making your own and saving that cash for more important investments. It calls for Borax, Fels-Naptha soap, baking […]

  4. […] drop twenty bucks on laundry soap next time you run out of clean clothes. Try making your own and saving that cash for more important investments. It calls for Borax, Fels-Naptha soap, […]

  5. […] drop twenty bucks on laundry soap next time you run out of clean clothes. Try making your own and saving that cash for more important investments. It calls for Borax, Fels-Naptha soap, […]

  6. […] drop twenty bucks on laundry soap next time you run out of clean clothes. Try making your own and saving that cash for more important investments. It calls for Borax, Fels-Naptha soap, baking […]

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    DIY Laundry Soap & One Year Review

  8. […] can easily make your own laundry detergent (and scent it as you see fit). All you need for DIY laundry soap […]

  9. […] can easily make your own laundry detergent (and scent it as you see fit). All you need for DIY laundry soap […]

  10. […] can easily make your own laundry detergent (and scent it as you see fit). All you need for DIY laundry soap […]

  11. […] can easily make your own laundry detergent (and scent it as you see fit). All you need for DIY laundry soap […]

  12. […] I found this really great laundry detergent powder recipe from the Liz Marie Blog. It was all dry ingredients that I could ship in and supposedly lasted a year! It was the perfect […]

  13. […] can easily make your own laundry detergent (and scent it as you see fit). All you need for DIY laundry soap […]

  14. […] can easily make your own laundry detergent (and scent it as you see fit). All you need for DIY laundry soap […]

  15. […] can easily make your own laundry detergent (and scent it as you see fit). All you need for DIY laundry soap […]

  16. […] can easily make your own laundry detergent (and scent it as you see fit). All you need for DIY laundry soap […]

  17. […] can easily make your own laundry detergent (and scent it as you see fit). All you need for DIY laundry soap […]

  18. […] can easily make your own laundry detergent (and scent it as you see fit). All you need for DIY laundry soap […]

  19. […] Laundry Soap – This DIY laundry soap is designed to clean your clothes efficiently without the harmful chemicals found in store bought versions. A great way to make sure your families clothes are clean and fresh! […]

  20. […] Tip #5: DIY laundry soap with fels-naptha! Read the recipe here! […]

  21. […] can easily make your own laundry detergent (and scent it as you see fit). All you need for DIY laundry soap […]

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