Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap

It’s laundry day, and long overdue. Of course, Murphy’s Law also dictated that we’d be out of laundry soap to, y’know, actually wash clothes today. Sigh. Time to make soap.

Today was a day of firsts – first, I saw a rototiller in action in my yard! We only managed to get one bed completed since the soil is so rocky and dry from weeks without rain, but a bed is a bed, so I’m pleased. Today was also the first time I mowed anything, ever. Like, ever ever. Don’t laugh. Or laugh – I don’t really care. I somehow went over thirty years without ever having touched a lawnmower, and I think I did an okay job. No pictures for proof either way, so you can’t be the judge. Hah!

Anyway, working in the yard means sweaty clothes, sweaty towels, and just a general desire to get things clean. Something close to a year ago, perhaps more, I realized I was spending a buttload of money on laundry detergent that was, frankly, doing a mediocre job. Not only that, but I was having to throw out (or attempt to recycle) plastic containers still coated with soap, despite my best efforts to use every bit.

And then, I discovered homemade laundry soap. Perhaps it’s cliche or overkill to say it’s a life-changer, but it is pretty great. It’s cheap, it’s easy to make in small or large batches, and you use a hell of a lot less of it than the commercial stuff, so it goes even farther. The recipe is super simple, and you can customize it with fancy stuff like drops of essential oil for scent, or double or triple it or multiply it by a thousand – I don’t know how much laundry you have. Anyway, I ramble.

Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap

I’ve been making mine in small batches in a quart-sized Mason jar, but I’ll likely be making larger batches soon. I’ll also post a liquid laundry soap recipe when I get around to trying that, as well.

You will need:

  • 1 c borax
  • 1 c washing soda (NOT baking soda, although I use Arm and Hammer brand currently. Just make sure the box says “washing soda.”)
  • 1 bar soap. I use Ivory or whatever’s on sale similar to it.

Making the laundry soap:

  1. Combine borax and washing soda in a large bowl.
  2. Shred the bar of soap using a fine grater. Make sure you get fine shreds – I did my first batch with a regular cheese grater, and all of the shreds just sank to the bottom of the jar and didn’t dissolve in the washing machine. Don’t be like past me. You can also use a food processor, apparently, but I’ve never done this, so I can’t recommend it personally.
  3. Mix soap, borax, and washing soda thoroughly with a whisk. Pour into a jar or other container.

That’s it. Seriously. And it works just as well, if not better, than anything you’d buy in the store. Use up to 3 tablespoons, depending on how big/soiled your laundry load is (I just keep a shotglass in the jar for measuring).

Happy laundering!


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