The DIY Laundry Soap I've Used for 10 Years!

frugal tips home Dec 31, 2021

Alright, here’s the much-asked for money saver! I’ve used this for so long sometimes I forget how expensive store-bought laundry soap is until I meander down that aisle and about keel over when I look at the price tags! I started making this laundry soap using a recipe I found here: and owe her a million thanks for her post all these years later!

Here are the ingredients:
1 box of Borax Soap
1 4lb box of Baking Soda
1 4lb box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
3 bars of Fels Naptha soap - grated with a cheese grater
3lbs of an oxy cleaner. I use 1/2 a tub of oxyclean (optional but can’t mess around with kid stains)

That’s it! If you would like to add scent to your soap, you can get a container of scent crystals. I do this and I use half of it per batch to keep the scent light.

At the time of writing this post the cost for all ingredients listed above from the Walmart laundry aisle: $22.36 + tax. The optional scent crystals I get (arm and hammer) are $4 but I only use half per batch. That’s a total of $24 per batch.

All these ingredients are MUCH cheaper in the store than they are online so check out your local grocery store to purchase. But maybe with all your savings, you can spring for this adorable pail with a scoop to store your homemade laundry soap. :)


While this recipe does have less fillers and can be made fragrance free depending on the items you choose, I don’t make this to be chemical-free, plant-based or those kinds of things. If you’re avoiding particular ingredients do your homework on these to see if they align with your priorities. I will say it has never been an irritant for my skin or my babies and when my clothes do get washed in store-bought soap I get extremely itchy. So there is some truth to this being good for sensitive skin. Like I said, do your research, decide your values, and make decisions based on that!




Making the Soap
Dump all ingredients into a garbage bag or large tub. Grate the 3 bars of soap using a cheese grater. Close the garbage bag or tub and shake it all up! Store in any container with a lid (I’ve had this jar for years from Walmart. a full soap batch fills this size jar 3/4 of the way.)

Here’s the important part: only use 1-2 tablespoons per load! Yes tablespoons. Store-bought laundry soaps require such large quantities because of all the fillers and water. I keep a 1/8c (2T) scoop in the glass jar and pour it directly in with the clothes regardless of what kind of washing machine I’m using.

Again, I’ve used this laundry soap exclusively for 7+ years, only using a couple tablespoons at a time and our clothes are clean! Dirty linens, towels, baby clothes: it works on all of it. I do notice over long periods of time our whites starting to get dull. When that is the case, I scoop an extra bit of oxi-clean into the load, allow it to soak for an hour or 2, then run the load as usual. It doesn’t always get out baby spit-up stains either, but I haven’t found much that works on those store-bought or otherwise!

Stain Treatment
When we have a particularly nasty stain on clothes, I will pull a few of the grated chunks out of the soap and rub it directly on the stain. I also swear by Spray’n’wash Max! My youngest had to be on an oil-based formula for 8 months and his spit-up was giving us permanent oil stains. I used this spray on all my stains - even washed stains that had set in! - and it saved half my wardrobe!


How Long Does it Last?
When I started using this, it was just Kyle and myself. It lasted well over a year at a time for the 2 of us! As babies and stains have increased, it obviously lasts not as long. Currently my batches last 8-10 months. The current batch I am using I mixed up at the end of July and I have about a 1/3 of it left. So we are a little over 6 months in with probably another 2 or so months left! Making a batch of soap less than twice a year?! Sign me up!

I have even given this as a gift before! I make a full batch, buy 2 of the smaller glass jars at Walmart, paint a cute stencil design on the jar and it becomes 2 practical, homemade gifts for about $40 total! Perfect for a baby or wedding shower if there’s no registry or the registry is picked over.