Sunday, February 9, 2014

Natural Home Recipe: Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap

While I was pregnant I found that I had very little time or energy (or let's be honest, desire) to make my own laundry soap. I began buying Charlie's Soap and used that throughout my pregnancy and immediately after. While I love that soap it is a little pricey. 

I also hadn't been completely happy with my original homemade laundry soap recipe; it just wasn't doing a great job on our whites.

I tinkered. I came up with this:

DIY Powdered Laundry Soap
2 Cups Borax
2 Cups Washing Soda
2 Cups Baking Soda (No, I'm not picky about the type of baking soda for this recipe. Questions about aluminum and baking soda? Crunchy Betty has a great post on that here.)

 Yep, that's it. 

Scoop ingredients into your container and then put the lid on and give it a good shake. I sometimes mix it with a fork as well just to be sure the ingredients combine completely.

I use a Tablespoon as a scoop. (If you have an old Charlie's Soap container and scoop they will work perfectly).

Use 2 to 4 Tablespoons per load depending on the size of the load and how soiled it is. 

I have only ever used this in warm or hot water, so I cannot say how it would fair with cold water washes. Also, I only have a top-loading machine, so I cannot say how it would do in a front-loader. (If anyone tries this recipe in cold water or a front-loading machine please let us know how it does in the comments!)

I have used this recipe for about 5 months on all of our laundry except the cloth diapers. It may do fine for diapers, but I'm just not brave enough to try it (I'll share my cloth diaper wash routine in another post soon!).

 It does amazingly well! Even Baby O's white bibs come out great.

My laundry routine using this homemade soap recipe:

  1. Pre-treat with Fels-Naptha. Any spots/stains that look like they may be a problem I pre-treat with a bar of Fels-Naptha. I simply wet the garment, scrub with the bar, and let sit a couple of minutes. Then add to the load.How to pretreat stains with Fels-Naptha
  2. Add the powder and let washer fill 1/4 to 1/2 way with warm or hot water before adding clothes. 
  3. Add white vinegar in the rinse cycle. I used to make homemade fabric softener for this, but find that I don't really smell the vinegar or the essential oils once the clothes are dry. It seemed a waste of essential oils, so now I simply keep a gallon of white vinegar in the laundry room and add 1/4 to 1 cup to the rinse cycle (depending on what I'm washing, for example, hubby's work clothes get a full cup).

Have you tried making your own laundry soap? I'd love you to check back in the comments if you try this recipe!

Feel free to share links to my posts or to pin them, but do not re-post my full recipes on your blog, Pinterest, Tumblr, recipe sharing sites, or any other website (or publication). Please understand that blogging is my livelihood. 


  1. At first I was like WOAH, wait a minute. There's no Fels Naptha in your mix?! No Zote, either?! :-) I would have never though to pretreat with the soap if needed, and then use the remaining typical ingredients as a dry mix. I'm currently using a dry mix that is 2 parts Borax, 2 parts washing soda, and 1 part finely grated Fels Naptha. I always wash in cold water unless I'm washing bedsheets, and everything seems to dissolve just fine. The current mix seems to be working well, but I can see how adding baking soda might help with whites, too. I'll have to add that next time!

    1. It seems like it shouldn't work, but it does for me! lol. Let me know how it does in cold. I just never feel like cold gets anything clean for me. Could be my old clunky washer! I've never tried Zote soap, will have to look into it...

  2. What's washing soda????

    1. LOL, it's the yellow box in the pic above. The one I get is by Arm & Hammer and I think it's called Super Washing Soda. I usually find it at Walmart or King Soopers

  3. Replies
    1. You should be able to purchase Arm & Hammer washing soda in the laundry detergent isle of Walmart or your favourite grocery store.

  4. Replies
    1. :) It was only a matter of time until you came to our side. #hippiecookies


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  7. Washing soda is available in Canada. I buy mine from health stores or green/natural stores.

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