Monday, November 14, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap - A Video Tutorial

Apron up girls!
It's Monday - a fresh new start, on a fresh new week.
I have two loads of wet sheets, and it just thundered - loudly.
Not a good day to hang laundry I'm reckoning.
But - alas - it 'tis laundry day, and I love it so.
I love the sound of the machine, the smells, the restoring of order.
I loves me some laundry.
Here's a video showing you how you too can be frugalicious like me - make your own laundry soap - impress your friends, save the environment AND your pocketbook. 
Does anyone really call it a pocketbook anymore?
I didn't think so.

I use about a half a cup per load, a little more on heavily soiled clothes.

My friend Debby sent me this after reading the blog today:
I make this laundry soap and it is THE best! And not because it is so cheap, it gets my clothes cleaner than any other laundry soap I have used. It has gotten out blood, mustard, mud, grass stains, and even set in stains. Here is the calcu...lations I made with how much it costs to make this soap compared to other soap. Prices are based on about a month ago from Town and Country.

Price comparisons
All calculations are based on the national avg. of 400 loads of laundry per family per year, or 7.69 loads per week

Tide $12.99/64 loads .20/load=$80/yr
Gain $5.99/32 loads .19/load=$76/yr
All $4.29/32 loads .13/load=$52/yr
Trend $2.49/38 loads .7/load=$28/yr
(generic brand)

Fels Naptha soap $1.19/bar
Arm&Hammer Super Washing Soda $2.99/55oz box
20 Mule Team Borax $4.49/76 oz box
One box of the washing soda will make just under 7 batches of soap, and the borax will make exactly 19 batches.

One batch of soap calculates out to:
$1.19/Fels Naptha
.49/Washing soda
$1.92 per 10 gallons

10 gal (64oz) divided by 2 oz./load=320 loads/batch=.006/load

Final cost per year=$2.40!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Pocketbook???? What is that????

    I have never tried to make my own but this looks interesting. Will have to check it out.

    LOOKIN' GOOD Girl!

  2. i made my own in powdered form. i used 10 bars of fels and a whole box of each of the borax and washing soap. i think i would like it better as a liquid....but i just haven't taken the time to figure out the math to make it into a liquid. if you like math let me know :)

  3. I've made the powdered, but I grind the soap to a fine crumb in my food processor. I do like the idea of the liquid, though. I'm going to try it this week. And everyday is laundry day in my house. I do sheets and towels on Saturday and random loads all week long! (family of 6) I like everything but the putting away!

  4. I was thrilled to see this post today! I just made this soap over the weekend for the first time -- I have 3 kids and 1 husband so I made the full recipe (Dugger style). I was wondering though, my liquid turned into a gel overnight, is this normal or do you think I cooked the mixture too long? I think it will be fine to use, I just shake up the jug before using.
    Thanks for any advice you have!

  5. I LOVE this homemade soap! I use it ALL the time now. I too love love the smell of freshness and it cleans the clothes very well. Frugalistic yes! Great video.

  6. I love this kind of post from you! This was fun to see, and I love making my own, I've been doing it for a few years. Thanks for sharing the fun, frugal stuff you do at your house.

  7. Well WOW...impressive...this is so simple I'm going to have to try it! No clotheslines allowed in the apartment complex where I live so I'll have to use the dryer. And I have one question...does this laundry soap work in cold water?

    Great video by the way ;-)

  8. AWESOME! My momma and I make our own laundry soap too!

    And I TOTALLY agree about the smell of laundry day...excellent!

  9. You are so cute! I actually kinda enjoy laundry day too... but shhhhh, don't tell my family. Sadly, I won't be hanging any to dry outside for many months now.

  10. Love your video, thanks so much!

  11. Pocketbook... if ya think about it, what the heck does that word have to do with the purse that you stick all your "stuff" in. How is it a book in any way? and.. the ones I carry sure as heck aren't pocket size.

    Did you know phels naptha (sp?) soap is really great for getting poison ivy oil off your skin if you think you just encountered it out in the garden?.... for reals.

  12. You know, I have this recipe & was hesitant to try it since my front loader calls for high efficiency detergent. But, for $2.40 I could be convinced to give it a try?!

  13. I do love a good frugal method of doing something, and laundry soap prices are OUTRAGEOUS! Here is the thing...I've heard a vicious little rumor that homemade laundry soap makes your clothes dull in color. Have you noticed this being the case? Please say it ain't so. I want to make some of this liquid money saver soon.

  14. Yep, I love being a homemaker too! So nice to hear someone else say it.
    You convinced me, I'll give the homemade a try next month when my Gain runs out.
    I'm doing laundry down in the dungeon of our rental home (yucky, dreary room in the basement) and it gets pretty chilly down there. Does the soap harden up when it gets cold?

  15. hi there. would love to hear if any one has tried it out in a high efficiency washer? want to be extra sure that it will not mess up the washer ...because the hubby would NOT be happy if i messed up an appliance. but he would be SUPER excited if it would work wonders on our clothes & a cheaper price detergant is totally wonderful sounding as well. (:

  16. I love the idea of homemade and cheap, but I am afraid of using it in my front load washer.

  17. I've been teased for saying's purse now. Who knew.

    I might give this a try after I find a good container to put it in.

    Great post.

    LOVE, your orange would match my 'rust color streak' granite counter tops. It's adorable that you wore a pin with it. So cute.


  18. I've been using this recipe for years. I love it. I also have spray bottles with vinegar in them for my household cleanser. I use baking soda and spray it with vinegar on the tougher areas.

    Cindy Bee

  19. I say pocket book more often than not. I think it sounds refined. I do not why this is...
    I think I will try this soap recipe. I just need a container.
    You look wonderful too!
    Thank You,

  20. I LOVED this post! And I hope you didn't have your laundry hanging out at the time you posted this...b/c it got W.E.T.!!! Ha! But later this afternoon?? Well, 'twas beautimous!

    I've made my own laundry soap...the dry kind. I will make yours next time and see if I like it better. I think the liquid might be the key.

    I'm roasting coffee tomorrow! Finally! And doing laundry and cleaning the house and washing those stinkin' LR windows again.

    I'm feeling much better today. Fever's gone! hallelujah!!

  21. Now you have gone and made me miss you even more. You look loverly my friend. I make my soap too, but I do the dry kind. I miss thee. The end.

  22. And of course I echo Janie Fox, seeing you just makes me miss you even more! ..waah. I just showed Stace your video. She loved it (of course) and it made her miss you too! But now it's settled. We're making our OWN laundry soap (how fun!). And, yah, I too, love saying "Fels Naptha". What's up with that? lol (and I love how it looks all retro/vintage and all!) :) GREAT gift to us all Jaym, thanks for sharing!!!

  23. Hi Jayme! I purchased all the ingredients over a year ago, but have yet to make the detergent. I am hesitant to try it because I have a front loading HE washer and sensitive skin. Even some of the "hypoallergenic" detergents make me break out in hives.

    BTW: I do not understand the calculations provided. You made 2 gallons and use half a cup per load, which would yield 64 loads I believe (4 cups/qt; 4 qts/gal). You used half a Fels bar, which would be $.60. Using her other cost calculations, 64 loads would be .60 + .49 +.24 = $1.33 or approx. .02/load. 400 loads would be approx $8.31. Either way, that is still way cheaper than the Tide I use.

  24. Thanks for sharing...I'm glad to find a liquid version of homemade soap that's tried & true! And thanks too for saying that you love caring for your home &'s sweet to hear in today's world.

  25. Going to have to try the liquid stuff next time. I make my own powder already. Thanks for the recipe!!!

    Have a great day!!, sounds better than 'purse' (say it out's a weird word!)

  26. Okay, you got me. If the homemade detergent can do all that, then I'll copy down the recipe. All for saving some money.

  27. You are lookin' svelte and sassy, girl!! ;) Great video. I must say.. after using the liquid for a long time, I started using powdered because.. I am lazy :) Liquid takes longer to make (slightly), but the powdered is more expensive to make/use. Still, both are great money savers. And I do love the homemade the best.. definitely cleans better! -Tammy

  28. Love the videos. I just wish I could sit and drink a cup of coffee while you do that! What a blessed life you have!
    Love ya, girl!
    xo, Cheryl

  29. I've been meaning to try this, but I'm going to have to find a container.
    I have been mixing 1/3 tide to 1/3 super washing soda to 1/3 20 mule team borax and using about a quarter cup in my front loading HE machine and it works great. Someone told me to mix half and half the borax and washing soda and after a while the clothes were pretty dingy, so I added in some tide. Using 1/3 each is still a great bargain, but I'm going to try this and see how it goes.

  30. Good LORD! Standing in Giant and this stuff just jumped in my card. It's crazy. Can't wait to make the laundry concoction! I have to hit Goodwill for a pot I can use...not using my good stuff...hahaha

    Hubs thinks I'm nuts....altho the Borax reminded him of his parents and Uncle Mort! ;)


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