Saturday, April 30, 2011

Make Your Own Laundry Soap

After seeing several posts on the blogosphere recently about DIY laundry soap, I decided to give it a whirl for 2 reasons. Namely I'd read that it was much cheaper and second the smell of our current detergent makes me slightly nauseated. The Mrs. Meyers soap recently that I bought smells great but was pretty spendy. As far as the actual process, it wasn't very time consuming and the end product seems to work well.
The Ingredients
I used a recipe I found on several different sites.
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
2 cups grated soap (~1 bar)
There were several different soaps that people had used. The most popular seemed to be Fels-Naptha and Zote. I was unable to find zote at any of my local stores. I found Fels-Naptha at Fred Meyers (in laundry aisle) for $0.99 and at Rosauers for $1.49 (with other bar soaps). The washing soda and borax were on the laundry aisle.
The Process
First you grate the soap, I found one bar was equal to approximately 2 cups. Then I added the powders and mixed it in as well as I could. Then I ran it through my food processor in batches (I have a tiny one) until it was a sand like powder. Then give it a test run! The soap has a kind of strong smell but we both like it. Since you only use 2 tablespoons per load, it doesn't come out with a very strong smell. Also it doesn't make a lot of suds.
Cost breakdown per load of laundry
5 cents - My Soap. With the more "expenisve" bars it would be 7 cents a load.
12 cents - Ecos Liquid. This is the cheapest "green" soap I found
20 cents - Tide Original Powder soap
22 cents - 7th Generation Liquid soap
25 cents - Mrs. Meyers. Liquid soap
25 cents - Tide Original Liquid soap
28 cents - 7th Generation Powdered soap
30 cents - Method Liquid Soap
** Prices based on largest bottle available (ie cheapest) from


  1. The soap looks all pretty with the different white and yellow layers!

  2. What a great idea! Great to see your cost breakdown.

  3. Very cool! I would love to try that!


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