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Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe - Gel

User Rating 4 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


homemade laundry soap ingredients

Laundry soap ingredients

David Fisher
Making my own laundry soap has been on my list of "to-do's" for almost as many years as I've been making soap. I knew it was easy...but I didn't know it was THIS easy. Most of the recipes I've seen for it use Fels Naptha Soap, a real soap that's been around for 100 years and is specially designed for the laundry, but you can substitute any bar of soap, though I recommend one that's not got a lot of extra oil (superfatted). Many folks use a 100% lard soap with 0% superfat. You want a good, super-cleansing bar. (Extra oil is good for your skin, not for your clothes.) If you don't mind that it's not a "natural" soap, the Fels Naptha Soap works great.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 bar of fels naptha (or other) soap
  • 1 cup of borax
  • 1 cup of washing soda
  • 1 gallon + 1 quart of water


  1. First, using a food processor or manual grater, finely grate the bar of soap.
  2. Bring a quart of water to a boil on the stove and slowly add the soap, stirring gently.
  3. Reduce the heat and let it simmer gently until all of the pieces of soap are melted/dissolved.
  4. Add the borax and washing soda and stir until they are dissolved.
  5. In a separate pot, heat up the gallon of water or measure out a gallon of very hot tap water.
  6. Pour the soap/borax/soda mixture into a large container and slowly add the gallon of water to it.
  7. Stir until the mixture is well mixed.
  8. Let it sit overnight. It will "gel" together...kind of a custard-like consistency. I've also heard it described as "thick egg drop soup."
  9. Stir or shake the soap each time you use it.
  10. Use 1/4 cup for a front loading washer. Use 1/2 cup for a top loading washer.
Many people who use homemade soap in their washers also recommend using 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the place of the fabric softener. This not only helps soften your clothes, but helps clean out any residual soap scum from your clothes and washer.

Note: Some people have reported having trouble finding washing soda (sodium carbonate) in their city. You can leave it out of the recipe, but it really does help boost the cleaning powder of the soap. Good news though, there is a way to make your own washing soda out of regular baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).

User Reviews

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 4 out of 5
More for Your Money, Member RedIrishRoze

I've been making my own laundry detergent with fels naptha, borax and washing soda for over 6 months and love it!! The recipe I use though makes quite a bit more than the one here. You grate 1/3 of the bar of Fels Naptha into 6 cups boiling water when it is dissolved you pour 1/2 cup each of borax and the washing soda into the water until dissolved. Then you set aside. You add 4 cups hot water to a bucket then pour in the soap mixture and 1 gallon plus 6 cups of additional water. Then stir well and pour into container you will use and let sit overnight. But no I will never buy laundry detergent again!!

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