DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent + Liquid Soap Recipes

One of the most time consuming things about making handmade soaps is the wait. The wait for your oils and lye water to cool down enough so you can mix your soap, the 24hr. waiting period before you are able to unmold your soaps, and the wait for your soaps to cure. As I was making more of my unscented goat milk soap and a new White Chocolate Raspberry goat milk scented soap yesterday, I decided to utilize my time and finally get around to making some much need homemade laundry detergent. There isn’t really waiting time with this project, however, grating the soap for the detergent is time consuming, so it made for a great way to pass the time!

I decided to make an all natural homemade laundry detergent using a bar of my own handmade lemon mint soap. As it’s scented with only lemongrass and peppermint essential oils it was a great choice as a base for my detergent! Not only does making my own detergent save money over buying commercial detergent brands, but I like that’s it’s also eco-friendly! You can also use an unscented soap and add a few drops of fragrance or essential oils to your recipe before mixing.

1. To make my own handmade laundry detergent, first I finely grated one 4oz. bar of my handmade soap. This is the most time consuming part of making homemade laundry detergent and your hands definitely feel the work by the time you’re done. However, the end result is worth the half hour or so it takes to do.

2. After grating the soap, I added one measured cup of Arm & Hammer brand All Natural Super Washing Soda and one measured cup of 20 Mule Team brand Borax All Natural Laundry Booster to the grated soap into a glass container. (Both of these products can easily be found in most major grocery stores in the laundry detergent aisle.)

3. I then mixed all of the ingredients with a spoon, then poured into a blender and and mixed on the highest setting until the detergent reached a powder consistency. I did remove the blender several times to shake the ingredients before blending again to insure everything got mixed and blended completely.

4. Once my homemade laundry detergent reached a powdered state, I poured it into a 5″x7″ resealable bag. You can also use a mason jar with a lid to store your laundry powder. Once packaged, you can label your bag or jar for future storage or use. Or give your freshly made, homemade laundry detergent as a gift by affixing a label to the bag or jar and tying off with some ribbon and a tablespoon sized scoop. My batch made approximately 1lb. 3.5oz. of homemade laundry detergent.

5. To use your homemade laundry detergent, simply scoop one Tablespoon of detergent into the washer for small loads or two Tablespoons of detergent for large loads.

Looking for other uses for grated handmade soap? Make your own homemade liquid soap! Simply grate two 4oz. sized handmade soap bars of your choice and add to a pot filled with a gallon of distilled water. Place the pot on the stove and add two Tablespoons of liquid glycerin to the finely grated soap shavings and the distilled water. Heat over medium/high heat and stir until your soap dissolves. Once your soap mixture dissolves, remove it from the heat and let stand for 10-12 hours. After your soap has completely cooled, beat with a hand mixer to mix thoroughly. If your soap is too thick, you can mix in a small amount of distilled water at this point until your soap is the consistency you desire. If it’s too thin – as this can happen depending on the recipe of the soap you choose to use – simply reheat the mixture and add in more grated soap. Once your soap is complete, use a funnel to pour the soap into containers of your choice. (Note: You can purchase organic vegetable glycerin for this project from Mountain Rose Herbs.)

Comments

  1. Thanks for the great info. I think I’ll have to try this.

  2. running it through the blender is a genius idea! i hate to use powder laundry detergents because it creates little balls all over my clothes. i hope this prevents it from happening. :) i’m gonna try it out.

  3. @Harmon2005

    To prevent that I only use 1/8th of a cup(trust me they still get clean), run the hot water first, sprinkle in my soap, make sure to swish it a bit then change the temperature to whatever I’m using to wash(often cold) and THEN add the clothes.

    Another cool trick with homemade laundry soap like this is to use vinegar in place of laundry softener. It helps rinse out the soap, soften the clothes, and it can’t be smelled after the rinse and drying.

    I’ve been able to wash out cat spray with one load using my own homemade laundry soap(same basic recipe) and the methods I’ve just told you.

  4. I also make my own laundry soap. But I made some modifications. I grate my fels naphta soap in my food processor and then melt it on the stove in about 4 cups water and then in my 5 gallon bucket I fill about 3/4 full of hot water and add 1/2 cup borax and 1 cup arm & hammer washing soda and then I add a 24 load of gain to add my favorite scent to it. I tried the essential oils but couldn’t get a good scent so I done this and it works. (It just doesn’t gel as hard as without it.)

  5. I never thought to run it through the blender either, GREAT tip!

  6. Have you ever tried cutting the soap into chunks and running that through the blender instead of grating it? Would that work?

  7. question I used my own laundry soap I love the way the clthes were clean and soft but all the oder did not get out???

  8. I make my Laundry Detergent but I too made changes… first one is the thought of Animal fat on my clothes was not even an option so I do not use fells. I use handmade vegie based soap and it works like a charm, I grate soap leave it sit until I can grab a hand full and not have it stick, with cold processed soap it has to cure for weeks, even when you take a bar that’s been cured for 8 weeks and grate it the inside still has a bit of moister but does not take that long to dry out… once it’s ready I put it back in my food processor and turn it in to powder. from here I mix it up and I have not had any trouble with it sticking to or leaving residue on my clothes..even in cold wash. I use Lemongrass tea tree essential oil soap, lemongrass for scent, tea tree for it’s antibacterial effect, but if you don’t like your soap to have a scent you want to use a vinegar rinse if there is odor in your clothes after washing you can also place some essential oil of your choice on old wash rags to toss in the dryer this may also help

  9. The link for the lemon mint soap bar isn’t working. I’d love to have the recipe! Thanks!

    • This is a much older post and that soap is no longer being offered for sale. There was never a recipe for it. Thanks.

      • What would you use as a soap base for the ground up laundry soap? Do you a have a recipe for a bar that could be used? Thanks.

        • I don’t have a recipe for that particular bar. You can use any basic homemade soap recipe and if you want to add fragrance it’s best added when you grate it as you’ll be able to use less. Otherwise add 2% essential oils to the weight of the soap. For lemon mint I use half lemongrass eo and half peppermint eo.

        • I made an all coconut oil zero super-fatted hot process soap for my laundry soap applications. I use Rebecca’s recipe adding 1/2 oz of my favorite fragrance oil, grinding everything up into a fine powder in my food processor. . My laundry has never been cleaner and my towels seem to have new life! I use two tablespoons of the resulting powder in my front loading HE washer. I’m thrilled to say I’ve never had the soap not dissolve or perform perfectly!

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