I’ve been trying to hold off on posting this until I had a more accurate account of how long this homemade laundry soap is going to last our family but honestly I just can’t resist anymore. As you probably all know by now, if you’ve been following the blog, we are a family of 7 and have recently become a 1 income family. We are always looking for ways to spend less on necessities. You can imagine that we wash a lot of laundry around here so obviously saving money on laundry detergent was something we were looking to do.  We have tried a few variations of homemade laundry soap but this one is our favorite and we have to say thank you to my friend Charity for sharing the recipe with us.

homemade laundry soap

What you’ll need:

  • 1 box of Borax (4 lb 12 ox)
  • 1 box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (3 lb 7 oz)
  • 1 container of OxyClean (3 lb) – this item is optional but is highly recommended
  • 2 bars of Zote Soap (14.1 oz)
  • 1 box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (4 lb)
  • 1-2 bottles of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener – this item is also optional but recommended (save the bottle to put detergent in)
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • cheese grater


  1. Grate the bars of zote soap. We got lucky enough to borrow an electric grater for this process and it made it go by really quickly.
  2. Mix all ingredients into a 5 gallon bucket.
  3. Save the Purex Crystals bottle and fill it with the mixed detergent for easy storage and use. Store remaining detergent in the 5 gallon bucket with a lid on it (bucket will be about half way full)

That’s it! This is not a difficult project at all. We made our batch on January 4th which was 10 days ago and I’ve done 19 loads of laundry since we made it. We have two of the Purex bottles filled with the laundry soap and I’ve just barely used half of one bottle on those 19 loads. We use the cap from the bottle to measure our soap. The total cost after tax on this detergent was about $29. The upfront cost is obviously much higher than our old detergent but we haven’t even begun to put a dent in the detergent so the price per load is going to be far less than with our old detergent. It is estimated that this will last a family of 4 about 6 months. We are keeping a tally sheet to see exactly how many loads and how long this detergent lasts our family of 7.

We really wanted to know how much money we’re saving by using it considering our old detergent lasted about 3 weeks and cost us between $8-$10. That’s the biggest reason I was waiting to post this, I wanted to really “wow” you guys with the savings but I just couldn’t help myself. We have high efficiency machines and this detergent is safe to use and the laundry actually smells clean when we pull it out of the drawer. That’s something our old detergent didn’t do. The clothes were clean, stains would come out but once we put the clothes away, the smell was gone. We washed our bedding in the new detergent and for about a week they still smelled clean. The staying power of the smell is mostly because of the Purex Crystals. These are optional but if you really want the clothes to smell fresh and clean for a long period of time, don’t omit the Crystals.

Once we finally use all of our detergent, I’ll edit this to let you know exactly how many loads we got out of it and how long it lasted. If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it!