Southern Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'

Random Rantings about Food and Such

Laundry Soap

on 06/24/2011

You think i’m kidding or have completely lost it, don’t you?  I know, i know.  This doesn’t fall under any category that is befitting a food blog and who in their right mind would make their own laundry soap when you can buy it practically anywhere?  Well, technically, this is a recipe and… have you seen how expensive laundry detergent is getting these days?  Mama mia!  Even the “off” brands keep going up in price.  For several years i’ve heard about people making their own stuff and thought that it was interesting but when i saw “Fels Naphtha Soap”, i lost interest.  Who in the world ever heard of it and where would you find it?  Even the info on the internet claimed it’s not always easy to find (you can get it through and in places like Ace Hardware but it’s more expensive.)

Guess what?  I found all three ingredients needed for this “recipe” at a local (Charles Town) Wal-Mart in the laundry aisle in the area where the stain fighting products are kept.  The Fels soap cost a whopping $.97 a bar; the Arm & Hammer Washing Soda was $2.77 ; and the Borax was $3.74.

You’ll use the entire bar of soap but only one cup each of the Borax and Soda.  That means you’ll be able to get 7 recipes worth out of the box of Soda and 9 1/2 out of the Borax.

A little work is involved–you have to grate the bar of soap with a cheese grater, but in under ten minutes, you have something extraordinary for $1.77.  This is how it breaks down:

A regular load of laundry will only need one tablespoon of the concocted soap (use 2 Tbs for heavy loads.)  Each recipe makes 88 Tablespoons.  That means that for each regular load of laundry you do, it will cost you two cents!  If you use expensive Name Brand X that costs $11.97 for a 52 load (23 cents a load) container, you’ll spend $20 to do the same amount of laundry that $2 of this laundry soap recipe will do.  Even if you use Off Brand X that costs $6 for 66 loads (9 cents a load), you’re still talking $8 vs. $2.  In a year’s time, that could add up, particularly for larger households.


I’ve done two loads now and can tell you this–if you want heavily perfumed laundry, this won’t do it for you.  It just smells clean.  Looks clean too!  So far, i’m impressed.  Just thought i’d throw this out there for anyone who might be game to try!

Laundry Soap

1 bar of  Fels Naphtha soap,  grated–yields about 3 cups

1 cup Borax

1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

Mix together and store in a container.  Use  1 tablespoon per regular load and 2 tablespoons for heavier loads.





4 responses to “Laundry Soap

  1. Leah says:

    Do you use it like this or mix it with water? I have seen similar but it is usually mixed with water and looks like a pain. I want to try this. Is there an alternative for the fels naphtha soap? I had never seen it in the states, I can’t imagine where I would find it here. =)

    • choklitluvr says:

      I saw the ones that you mix with water also but to me this is so much easier! You use it just as you would any dry laundry detergent–no problems! I also read that you could use Ivory soap as an alternative to the Fels soap. Might not have as much stain fighting power since Fels is made for that but the Borax and the Arm & Hammer Soda fight stains as well, so probably not a big deal!

  2. Tracey says:

    Wow! I got a great arm workout AND made laundry soap! I was feeling adventurous and decided to make 2 batches so friends could try it. Anyway…what about for HE washers? I’m guessing half the amount? Loving your blog, April! You are doing a great job!!!! Love ya!

    • choklitluvr says:

      Ha! I hear you! Just made 2 batches here–just easier but you’re right…i gave myself a break in between grating bars to add in the powders. :0) Who knew? I’ve been using it to clean spots on the carpet too. Takes a while to get the Fels to melt (usually have to microwave the water first to get it hot enough) but works well. I’ll bet you’re right about the HE washer amount. Sheesh! Can you imagine how much money you’re saving? 😛

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