Making laundry soap isn’t the most exciting thing to do on a Saturday morning, but in the pantheon of household chores, this ranks in the “very tolerable” category in both time and money. I started to make my own soap out of necessity as our former residence had the hardest water ever which, after washing, left a crummy residue on our clothes when the soaps did not dissolve. I started to do research about natural solutions to this conundrum and discovered that both borax and washing soda work well in hard water. I then found many recipes for homemade laundry soaps using both ingredients and, after some test runs, have settled on the following. This formula is an extremely affordable way to use natural laundry detergent without the steep price of manufactured natural soaps — at pennies a load. Nothing costs a penny anymore, except this!
All you need is washing soda, borax, baking soda and a bar of natural soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s because I like to have a little bit of fragrance in the soap), and a bucket. The first step is grating the bar of soap; I use a cheese grater. Once grated, I grind the soap in an old food processor (it’s missing half a blade so I kept it for this purpose but you can use your regular appliance and wash it post soap-making) with a cup of one of the powdered ingredients until the soap is about the same consistency as typical laundry soap. Place all of the ingredients in a bucket and mix, shaking until everything is incorporated. The process from start to finish takes all of 10 minutes which is about the same amount of time it takes to walk down a couple of aisles in the grocery store. Yep, this recipe is easy peasy lemon squeezy, as my former kindergartner students used to say. The best part is that you only use a tablespoon to do a load of laundry, so your batch will last you at least a couple of few months.
Homemade laundry soap — adapted from many online recipes and tested by our household
- 3 cups of borax
- 3 cups of washing soda
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 1 bar of natural soap (i.e. Dr. Bronner’s), grated
That is really it! All of these ingredients can be easily procured at your local store. As a bonus, this recipe also works well for people with sensitive skin as there are no harsh ingredients. Give it a spin and you will see that making your own laundry soap is loads better than what you can buy.