DIY Laundry Soap and Softner

DIY Laundry Soap and Softner

I started making my own laundry soap three years ago, and I will NEVER go back!  I also recently started making my own fabric softener, and we love it too!  I think the soap works just as well as any other brand name detergent, and my little boys have definitely “tested” it out for me.  I figure, over the past three years, I have been able to save $1000 in laundry care products!!  For my family of five, I spend about $20 per year!

Here’s how you can make your own:


You will need:

  • Borax
  • Washing Soda
  • Fels Naptha Bar Soap
  • 5 gallon bucket

I am able to find all three at Walmart.

 Liquid Version

  1. Shred bar soap with cheese grater
  2. Put shredded soap into a small sauce pan with one cup of water and melt.  Stir OFTEN!
  3. In a large 5 gallon bucket add 1 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax
  4. Fill the bucket half-way with hot water and mix powders in.
  5. Add melted soap and fill the rest of the way.
  6. Mix again
  7. Put lid on and let it sit overnight…it will turn into a gel!
  8. Pour into a smaller container and shake a little before each use.

Use 5/8 cup (HE) to 1/4 cup per poad.   150-350 loads of laundry!


Powdered Version

Combine 1 bar of Fels Naptha, 1 cup borax, and 1/2 cup washing soda into a blender or food processor and blend.

 Use 1 to 2 Tablespoons per load.  Aprox. 40 loads.


It is SAFE for HE washers.  In our HE washer we get about 350 loads with each batch (liquid)!!!

Also, for stains, I keep an extra bar of Fels Naptha on the laundry counter and rub the bar right onto the stain…works great!


Fabric Softner

you will need:

  • Vinegar
  • Hair conditioner (cheap, and in a scent you like:)

Mix together 1 cup of conditioner, 2 cups of vinegar and 6 cups of HOT water.

Easy Peasy!

I love that I am able to save hundreds of dollars a year and keep my family {mostly} clean!

I would be happy to TRY and answer any questions you may have…just leave a comment in the comment section!

Also, please take a second to “like” us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog for updates…next week I am going to post about all of my other DIY cleaners!  Thanks!


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20 Responses »

  1. Pingback: DIY Laundry Soap and Softner A Lighter Journey | Soap

  2. Grandma Bonnie was trying to convince me that Fels Naptha is the best soap ever. Maybe she’s right!

    Question – there are different kinds of vinegar. Can you tell me exactly what kind yours is? I assume it’s a white one. I’m excited to try it out. Thanks!

    (I’ve had friends tell me about homemade laundry stuff before, but apparently I trust you more. Hehe.)

  3. That’s funny, I remember my (other) great grandma using Fels Naptha:)
    I use distilled white vinegar. I buy the big jugs at Costco.
    Good luck, I think you will like it:)

  4. Great directions! I’ve heard people talking about making their own laundry soap, but hadn’t come across any good directions before now. Thanks so much, gonna pick some of these things up and try it out for myself!

  5. One question: what would happen if you didn’t use Fels Naptha?

    I work with seniors & 3 out of 3 of them smiled & said “OH MY! I haven’t heard Fels Naptha for YEARS! They still sell it? Your friends are VERY smart for using that. It is like a laundry MIRACLE.”

    Then they told me stories of the sweaty farm-boys and their mothers and 10 siblings…

  6. Quick question–how is it that you use the same quantity of ingredients for mixing the powder or liquid, yet you get vastly different usages out of each one? Am I missing something? I have been making that exact powdered recipe and I like it. I have wondered if the liquid might perform better, though. Have you tried both?

    • I think {think} that by using the liquid version, you are able to dilute more. I have never actually used the powdered version, but thought I would post it anyway. My mom uses the powdered version because it isn’t as messy:) I hope that helps!

  7. I found your post via the Homestead Barn Hop. I make my own homemade laundry powder, too. It’s fabulous…cleans great, and is so cheap!!! I like your recipe for fabric softener :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  8. Courtney – I am so glad you are sharing all of this with the world. You have such great ideas. I just made my first batch of the powdered detergent and can’t wait to try it out. I just wanted to leave a comment and say thanks!

  9. I have been using the same powdered version of laundry soap for a year now and I LOVE it! It has saved my family SO much money and it works great. I’ve been searching for an alternative to using dryer sheets and am going to try your recipe for fabric softener. How much of the softener do you use in a load of laundry?

  10. So I just made the fabric softener and it cost me roughly 2 dollars to make 4 ( half gallon) bottles :) and my husband who is a brand snob just said wow that smells just like the snuggle :) I am One happy momma/ wife. I cant wait to make the detergent thanks so much for sharing!

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