Homemade Laundry Detergent

Old Fels-Naptha soap packaging, photographed a...
Image via Wikipedia

I have sensitive skin.  I guess my kids do, also because several years ago they started breaking out in hives.  I only thing I could find that was different was the laundry detergent I was using.  I had bought a different type of the brand I had always used.  I

went back to the old type and the hives went away.  Between them and me there was . only 2 kinds of laundry soap that we could tolerate without breaking out.  I started researching about homemade detergents.  I started making my own & never went back.  Not only is it cheaper, but no one has broken out in hives since!  I thought I would share the recipe I use.  I have a front loading washer, by the way.  This works in place of he detergents.

20 Mule Team Borax
Image via Wikipedia


  • 1/2 cup Washing Soda
  •  1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/3 bar Soap (grated) – I use fels naptha, but any bar soap would work if you do not have sensitive skin


  1. In a large pot, heat 3 pints of water.
  2. Add the grated bar soap and stir until melted. Then add the washing soda and borax. Stir until powder is dissolved, then remove from heat.
  3. In a 2 gallon clean pail, pour 1 quart of hot water and add the heated soap mixture. Top pail with cold water and stir well.
  4. Use 1/2 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).

I like to double the batch & leave it in a five gallon pail on the floor by the washer.

You can use a powdered (dry) recipe as well.

Dry Laundry Soap

  • 1 cup grated Fels Naptha Soap
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup 20 mule team borax

Mix and store in airtight container or bag. For light or small loads, use 1 tablespoon. For normal loads, use 2 tablespoons. For heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons. Cost per load is about 15 cents.

To make a large batch, grate 6 bars of Fels Naptha Soap and then add 3 cups of Washing Soda and 3 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax. Mix well and store in covered container.

The above recipes will not make suds in your washer so don’t be alarmed. Fels Naptha Soap is a pure soap and typically makes little or no suds in the water. This makes it perfect for use in the new HE washers as well as traditional washers. You will also notice the need to either reduce your laundry softener, or in most cases, you can even eliminate the use of softener completely.


One thought on “Homemade Laundry Detergent

  1. Pingback: A Clean Recipe « Simply Charming

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