Homemade Laundry Soap

This is my most POPULAR “Homesteading Recipe” I have on YouTube. My video on how I make this soap has almost 34,000 views! This soap recipe is AMAZING! Unlike commercial detergents, this recipe is NOT full of fillers. It is extremely easy to make, will cost you the same amount as buying a box of name brand detergent with a box of stain fighter, however this recipe will not leave a detergent build up on your clothing. And best of all, you dont need a “scoop” of about a cup per load…… all you need to use is 2 tbs for each large load or 1 tbs for a small-medium load.  I have been using this recipe for almost a year now and our clothing has never been cleaner. Our darks stay dark, our whites come clean, and it doesn’t leave a “perfume” smell. Our clothes just smell like…. cotton! Clean cotton!  OH, and this recipe is TOTALLY SAFE FOR HE or FRONT LOADING WASHERS! 😀  Now this recipe is a ONE YEAR SUPPLY for the average single person. Here in our house, where I do laundry for 7 people PLUS do wash every 2 days for cloth diapers and this batch lasts us about 4-5 months.  I absolutely LOVE this recipe! So, let’s make a batch, shall we? Here is what you will need:


ALL of my ingredients were purchased at Walmart, in the laundry detergent isle!

1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle.
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle
1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle (You could also get two 2 lb box, we couldn’t find the larger 4lb box when we went)
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap- Found in the detergent aisle (we chose to do pink for the scent but the white would be just fine. You can also use Fels Naptha)

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS: These you can add in, for extra washing power:
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean OR Biz- Found in the detergent aisle.
1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener or Downy Unstoppables, to ADD scent to your laundry powder mix….which can be found in the detergent aisle.
1-Box of Clorox 2…..color safe bleach.

Here was MY cost:
1-box of Borax $3.38
1-box of Super Washing Soda $3.24
1-box Baking Soda $2.24
2-bars Zote $.97/each….$1.94
Total for cloth diaper/sensitive skin safe $10.80 before tax!!!!!

after adding Biz $16.44
adding Purex Crystals, at $8.96/bottle your total would be $25.73

laundry soap

I also purchased my 2 glass jars at Walmart. They can be found in the kitchen container isle. They were $5.47.each. My stainless “coffee scoop” which is a perfect 2 tablespoons, was bought at Walmart in the Kitchen section, near the measuring spoons and sups for $1.97. My plastic mixing spoon, was bought as a set of 5, also from Walmart found in the same isle as my scoop, for $0.88. You can also purchase a 5 gallon bucket and lid for the soap at a home improvement store, like Home Depot for around $5. I prefer the pretty jars. 🙂

ORIGINAL Version of this recipe can be found here but I got this recipe from my girlfriend Sarah who has been using it for years now:

You can find various versions of this recipe online, but this one has worked the best for me. 😀

Here is my original receipt:

laundry soap 2



If you are interested in how we make our soap, watch our YouTube video on how we put it all together here:


16 thoughts on “Homemade Laundry Soap

  1. I have to try your recipe. I’ve tried a couple different ones & didn’t get the results I wanted. Maybe the addition of the baking soda is the trick I need. I also only used the Fels Naptha…I love the smell, but maybe the cleaning power of the Zote is better? I REALLY wanted this to work for our family because the alternative is way too expensive!

    PS – I actually “found” you based on this video. I fell in love with the relationship of you & hubby! <3

    • from what i have researched, the zote is better at working in cold temps….. i have not tried the fels naptha but i think the equivalent is like 4-5 bars to 2 large zote bars.

  2. Don’t use a plastic jar for this. I put my mixture in two big clear plastic containers and it started having a reaction to the plastic after about 3 months. It looked almost like mold but I can tell its not. I’m not sure if its the combination of the different things together. Definitely going to have to get some glass jars instead. I love the detergent mixture though. We like it so much better than the store bought stuff. Just an FYI you can get the Downy brand unstoppables the really huge bottle for about 11$ at Costco sometimes cheaper when its on sale Its double the normal store size.

    • GREAT TIP!!!! I have only stored my soap in glass, so this is great info to know! THANK YOU!!!!! Yeah, now that I have a Sams Club membership, I buy my unstoppables there, so much cheaper! HAHAHAHA I wish we had Costco. 🙁 I hear it’s so much better!

    • I have my soap stored in a giant plastic bear that once held animal crackers. It seems to be holding about the past 8 months. Maybe it is the type of plastic used?

  3. Hi, I was wondering how you like yours? I only use my zote, washing soda and borax. I also use baking soda, but put that in the wash seperatly depending on what I feel I need. (wish I did this when I had cloth diapers) Ive used both pink and white zote and prefer the white – there is a brightner added to it. never had any luck with the fels. I have mine in a container my kids got once upon a time when they brought home a gallon tub of popcorn from a disney on ice show – LOL, and it works great. I dont usally have problems with stains using this, but will if I use another named brand my hubby uses for his work cloths. its a detergent and will strip out the grease from his uniforms. I also use white vinager in the rinse instead of fabric softner. it does have a smell when you pull it out, but it goes away and just smells clean when it is dried. I wont go back to fab softner and it makes them soft even if they are lined dried.

  4. I just found your site and recipe for Laundry detergent. Think I’m going to try it this weekend. I found a similar recipe that only used 2 cups of Baking Soda — will it make a difference? Did you use the whole box? I am recently unemployed and looking for cost cutting ideas. This is definitely a must do! Thank you for doing what you do.

    P.S. I watched a couple of your videos and was totally impressed with the relationship between you and your husband. God Bless you all!

  5. Hey Heather, quick question. With the added Optional Ingredients specifically the Softener is it still cloth diaper safe? Thanks again.

    • yep! I just leave out the scent beads. Altho……. I have not made this in awhile because of my high risk pregnancy. Something had to give. I was just gifted some all natural detergents from a new local company here in my state of Michigan…… and I kid you not, buying from them would be cheaper than making soap myself! And, it is also cloth diaper safe. So I may be making a video on their products, if things end up working out and the products are awesome! So I will keep you posted! It could end up being $5-$8/month to wash all of your laundry and diapers! That would be insane!

  6. Hi there, I’ve used this laundry soap recipe for years, except I grate the soap and liquify it in water, and then add it to water, so I have the liquid version of it. It’s online floating around, just google homemade laundry soap, it’s all the same ingredients. I store it in the green Kitty Litter tubs you get at Costco. They hold half of it, it makes almost 2 5-gallon buckets of laundry soap. It turns to gel overnight, then you mix it with another bucket of warm water and you have 2 buckets of soap.
    Also, fyi, your voice is very healing, I can listen to you talk, and it’s extremely calming.
    Peace out,

  7. Heres how ive been making mine about 3 years. Never had a problem. After grating 1 lg bar of pink zote, I let itsit out on a paper plate or newspaper a few days. It will get dry and crumbly. I add 2 cups each washing soda and borax. I take small amounts at a time in my magic bullet. A food processor or blender will work. It will pulverize it into a very fine powder. Be careful opening the top. Let the powder settle first. I do mine outside. I use 2 tab, or 4 tab for dirty stinky loads. I use white vinegar in a downy ball, and use the affresh tablets to clean the washer once a month. Fels naptha works too, but I prefer the smell of pink zote. Clean, citrisy. Ive put it in pretty containers with a 2 tab scoop, and a bow or ribbon. Makes great christmas gifts. Costs only pennies. I will not go back to the bought detergents.

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