Saturday, January 7, 2012

Super Thrifty Liquid Laundry Detergent

1/3 bar of Fels Naphtha, 5.5 ounce bar.
1/2 cup of washing soda
1/2 cup of borax powder
2 Gallon jugs, recycled vinegar jugs are great.

Grate the soap and put it into a large saucepan with 8 cups of water over med. heat. Heat the mix until soap melts.
Add washing soda and borax. Stir constantly until dissolved. Let it sit for 5 minutes over the heat stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and let sit another 5 min.
Use a funnel and put 1/2 of the mixture into each gallon jug. Fill each jug 1/2 way with hot water and shake well.
Fill the jugs all the way with hot water, and shake again. let sit for 24 hours. This gels up and looks like egg whites.

Use 1/4 to 1/3 cup per load.

I like Zote soap better than Fels Naptha - but it is harder to find. That's why my picture is pink.  If you use Fels Naptha your detergent will be slightly yellow.  I grate up four or five bars at once, and seal in a Tupperware or Ziploc container.  Then I use 1/2 cup of grated soap per recipe. Four or five bars will last me about six months.
I look for antique grinders at yard sales, and buy any I find.  These make great bridal shower gifts with the recipe and ingredients!
Resist the urge to use too much detergent per load.  You really only need 1/4 cup for a front-loader and 1/3 cup for a top-loading machine.  And YES, this detergent works in H.E. machines.  That's what I have.
If your whites start to look a bit grungy, you are using too much detergent.  Add 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide to your white loads if this happens.
I use gallon vinegar jugs and old gallon jars for my laundry soap.
Working out the cost of the ingredients - this comes to about 2¢ per load!


  1. This is great! I like all your extra info. with ratios and what not. Thanks for sharing!! :)

  2. On the Fels Naptha (though I am using Zote) - is that 1/3 of a 5.5 ounce bar, or is the 5.5 ounces 1/3 of the bar that you used?

  3. The Fels Naptha bars are 5.5 ounces. I used 1/3 of a bar. Thanks for asking!

  4. Thank you! The Zote bar I bought through Amazon is 14.1 ounces so I wanted to clarify. Though I did make the recipe using 1/3 of 5.5 oz last week (hoping that was the correct ratio, lol), and now I am converted forever! Thank you for sharing this!