Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tutorial: No Grate Homemade Laundry Soap

I have been making my own laundry detergent for about a year now, give or take. In the beginning I went with a traditional recipe where you have to boil and grate and stir and babysit your detergent. And, honestly, it didn't take me long to decide that I would either have to find an easier way or go back to buying it.

I'm all for saving money, but not at the expense of an unreasonable amount of time. So I merged a few recipes and came up with this one.

Before I tell you how to make it, let me tell you how much it costs.
It includes three ingredients (four, if you count the water). It contains: Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda), Borax, and Dish Soap. I paid $3.24 for the Washing Soda, $2.83 for the Dish Soap, and $3.38 for the Borax. That is a total of $9.45. I have made a total of 12 gallons so far and I am still on my first box! I also have enough left of each to last me about 3 more months. (Longer for the Borax). So, I have spent less than $10 and have been making it for almost a year.

At less than a dollar a month - and about 15 minutes to make each batch - I would consider this recipe a winner!!

Now, on to the fun part: Making it! :)


As I already said, you will need:

  • Borax
  • Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda!)
  • Dish Soap
You can find the Borax and Washing Soda in the aisle with the Laundry Detergents.

In addition, you will need:

  • A container to hold it (The size will depend on how much you want to make. My recipe yields 1 gallon, but I always triple it.)
  • A whisk to stir it
  • Water

Don't mind the writing all over my soap. Those are just my notes.


  • Fill a gallon container (I just use a pitcher) with hot water. Not boiling... just as hot as your tap will go.
  • Add 3 Tbsp of Borax and 3 Tbsp of Washing Soda to 1 gallon hot water. 
  • Stir until mostly dissolved.


Washing Soda


  • Add 2 Tbsp Dish Soap (I use Dawn New Zealand Springs Scent, just because I love it!)
  • Stir until dissolved


  • As I said, I make mine 3 gallons at a time - and I also add an extra Tbsp of Dish Soap per 3 gallons.
  • Once it is in my container, I stir it again until it is completely dissolved. 
In the picture here it looks cloudy, but that is just from the bubbles created from pouring/stirring it. That will go away and it will be clear.

So there you have it. Simple, no grate Laundry Soap. I use about 1 cup per load and I have to make a new batch about once every 3-4 weeks. 


Do you have a recipe for your own laundry soap? Leave me a comment or link to yours! :) I'd love to see what you all do!

NOTE: For my Fabric Softener I use Vinegar. Yep... Just plain old vinegar! It works great and leaves no smell afterward. I just put about 1/2 a cup into the Fabric Softener Tray of my washing machine (or you could just add it to the rinse cycle) and that's all there is to it. If you are worried about the smell you could add some regular Fabric Softener if you wish. If that's the case, all you need is 1/4 cup softener to 1 cup vinegar when you are making a batch.


  1. And you find that with just these 3 ingredients your clothes come out clean, stain free, soft and youre 100% satisfied??? Just wondering because I see so many other recipes that require more ingredients!

    1. Yes. This simple recipe seems to do the trick for our family. :)

  2. Trying this with liquid castile soap!

    1. Please let me know how the Liquid Castile Soap works! :)

  3. How freaking cool is this!? im going to try and and add some tea tree oil for scent.

    1. Have you tried it yet? How was it? Did the scent last?

  4. Do you use this in a standard washer or HE? A cup sounds like a lot to put in. I've been using a grated soap and cooking it version for about 8 months and I use a 1/4 cup in my HE washer. I was going to make this because I'm tired of scraping my fingers all up on the grater!

    1. I use it in a standard high-capacity washer. You may have to read the label on your washer and see what they suggest, but I've found that it's the amount that works for me. For HE I would assume that you would use less. Please let us all know what works best for HE washers! :)

  5. BTW an mandolin works grate for the soap.

  6. Try turning the bar in different positions I grate my down to nothing. No bloody fingers. Add a little patience too. :)

    1. I'll have to give it another go. :)