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DIY Handmade Home - Natural Wash and Stain Soap Recipe

Natural Laundry and Stain Remover Soap Bar Recipe

DIY Handmade Home - Natural Wash and Stain Soap Recipe

Learn how to make your own laundry and stain remover soap bar recipe!

Since I’ve been a member of Birchbox I’ve had the opportunity to try – as well as discover – a lot of new bath, body and beauty products I’d never even heard of before. One such product I recently found was The Laundress® Wash and Stain Bar. This soap bar is made from a combination of vegetable soap, borax and essential oils and touts that it is not only able to eliminate pesky stains in hard-to-reach places but is also perfect for hand washing or laundering on the go. Six bucks gets a small 2 oz. bar of this soap in most stores, however, if you’re practical and crafty you can make your own wash and stain soap bar for a lot less and customize the fragrance to suit your own needs.

You can make this homemade laundry soap and stain remover soap bar recipe in one of two ways – via a cold process soap recipe or by the hand-milling (also known as rebatching) soapmaking method. I lightly scented mine with lime peel essential oil which is known to help cut grease, however, scenting options are endless. (I have an updated cold process soap recipe for making Homemade Laundry Stain Remover Recipe for Laundry Stains & Delicates here.)

Here’s how to make your own:

DIY Natural Wash & Stain Remover Soap Bar Recipe

© Rebecca D. Dillon


10.8 oz. refined (76° melt point) coconut oil
18 oz. palm oil
7.2 oz. soybean oil

5.2 oz. lye (sodium hydroxide)
11 fluid oz. distilled water

At trace:

.75 oz. borax (sodium borate) – This is NOT the same as boric acid!
.4 oz. lime peel essential oil (or try lemon or orange peel essentials oils which help cut grease!)


This laundry and stain remover soap bar recipe will yield approximately ten 4.5 oz. soap bars (or 12 4 oz. bars) and uses one of my wooden soapmaking molds. You can find 20 Mule Team Borax in most grocery and super stores in the laundry aisle.

To craft this natural stain remove soap bar recipe you will need to follow your basic cold process soapmaking instructions using a digital kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients and mixing with a stick (immersion) blender once you combine the cooled lye-water and oils. When your soap reaches a light trace stir in the .75 oz. (by weight) of borax and .4 oz. of lime essential oil. Mix thoroughly then pour into your lined soap mold, cover and insulate for 24 hours. Finally, unmold your soap loaf and cut into bars and allow to cure for a minimum of three weeks. This recipe makes a super hard bars of homemade of laundry and stain soap so they should last you a long time.

If you prefer to leave your bar unscented, then skip the essential oils. Or add your own favorite essential oil blend or skin safe fragrance oil to the recipe. This recipe makes a light lime scented soap. For more fragrance you can use up to 1 oz. of essential oils in this batch or up to 2 oz. of your favorite fragrance oil.

To craft a handmilled version of this natural laundry and stain remove soap bar recipe:

Finely grate 12 4 oz. (by weight) bars of natural cold process vegetable soap and place into a sauce pan on the stove. Weigh out .75 oz. of borax and dissolve in 18 fluid of distilled water. Then add this water to the soap and heat on medium-low until soap melts. (Photos of the process.) Now weigh out and stir in .2 oz. of your essential oil of choice, stirring to thoroughly combine. Finally, pour into a loaf soap mold and set aside. Once the soap has hardened you can remove the loaf of soap from the mold and slice into bars. Allow excess water to evaporate before using.

To use simply dampen the bar of soap and/or fabric and rub onto soiled or stained spot before washing. For deep set in stains allow to set several hours to overnight.

For more homemade soap recipes and other helpful DIY projects like this one be sure to follow my Pinterest boards. You can also find a collection of all of my homemade soap recipes and bath and beauty DIY’s at Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen.

To keep track of all my new homemade soap recipes and other DIY creations by following Soap Deli News blog via Blog Lovin’ and Tumblr. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Instagram.


  • nicole alexander

    July 11, 2013 at 8:10 am

    i love all your recipes.

    1. Rebecca D. Dillon

      July 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you so much! It’s so rewarding to know others appreciate my diy’s!

  • Marla

    July 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Hey Rebecca!

    Is this a recipe I could use to grate up and wash my clothes in?! I’ve been looking all around the web for a recipe to make my own, authentic laundry soap and I haven’t really found one (except yours). All of the other powder soap recipes I found require a 5oz bar of vegan soap plus borax and washing soda. It is getting expensive buying the vegan soap (I won’t use Fels Naptha or any other petrolatum based soaps)!

    Thank you for posting this one! I haven’t made my own soap yet but am hoping to use this recipe for my first batch! Where can I buy the soybean and palm oil at?!

    Thanks so much!


    1. Rebecca D. Dillon

      July 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      This is not meant to be grated down. This is specifically for hand washing clothes or spot treating clothes before washing. There are lots of soapmaking suppliers online. I link to a wonderful organic/fair trade supplier within the recipe.

  • Marla

    July 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Sorry, I have another question!

    How could I manipulate the recipe to make 5 oz bars?


    1. Rebecca D. Dillon

      July 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      You would simply cut the bars larger from the loaf for 5 oz. bars.

  • jXXn

    July 29, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Hi, I do not wish to use soybean oil for anything. Do you know what I could substitute in this recipe? Thank you so much!

    1. Rebecca D. Dillon

      July 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      You can sub any basic oil of your choice, however, you’ll need to run the recipe with the change through a lye calc to determine the correct amount of lye and water to use.

      1. Donna

        March 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm

        I have been looking for a laundry/stain bar recipe for a long time and was having no luck until I happened on your site. Also, I didn’t have any soybean oil and was trying to figure out what I could substitute. Nice to know that any basic oil will work and that there isn’t anything that makes soybean oil, specifically, necessary for a stain bar. Thank you!

    2. Donna

      March 1, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      May I ask what you dislike about soybean oil?

  • Seattle IT Consulting

    September 15, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I have been meaning to make my own laundry and stain soap for some time now and I am going to try making this as well! Thank you rebecca.

  • cathy wilkerson

    September 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Does the palm oil color the bar orange?

    1. Rebecca D. Dillon

      September 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      No. My bars turned out pretty white.

  • Donna

    March 1, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    If you buy an orange palm oil (at an African food store for example) you will get a colored bar. However, I buy white palm oil – either ordered through a soap-making-supplies vendor or at my local discount grocery store (brand is Spectrum and is called Organic All Vegetable Shortening. Only ingredient is “Mechanically pressed organic palm oil”.)

  • Tusky

    November 21, 2014 at 8:56 am

    What can I use as a substitute for borax or can I just leave it out?

    1. Rebecca D. Dillon

      November 22, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Borax is what helps get the stains out as it’s a laundry booster.

  • Nel Roberts

    December 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks so much for directions to make a stain removal bar. I’ve been wanting to make some. It’s an unusual product.

    What could I substitute for the palm oil? Shea butter or Mango butter (they have some of the same qualities as palm oil)? Or could you use all hydrogenated soybean oil (however it wouldn’t contribute much to the hardness of the bar)?

    1. Rebecca D. Dillon

      February 12, 2015 at 12:24 am

      You can sub the palm oil with lard.

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