Homemade Household Products: Liquid Laundry Soap and Fabric Softener

I’m back y’all and I’m going to be running a new series of posts, among other topics of course, called Homemade Household Products.  I’m on a new mission to see just how cheaply I can make fabulous natural household items such as cleaning products, pet care and pest management ~ just to name a few.

Today I’m starting with Liquid Laundry Soap and Fabric Softener.

I’ve seen this recipe around on so many different websites and blogs that it’s difficult to give credit to just one.  So this is my version of what I’ve been reading about for months now.  I just finally ran out of soap to use so finally took the plunge into making it myself.

This recipe calls for only 4 simple ingredients:

1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1 bar of soap, grated (I used Fels-Naptha, but you can use Zote or any other natural bar of soap.  Castile is a good natural choice.)

Plus a 5 gallon bucket for storing it in.  You can usually find these for free, just ask the bakery department at your local grocery store if they have any empty ones.  I’ve read that you can get these from restaurants too, but I haven’t tried that route yet.

I found all the items at Walmart, all next to each other in the laundry products isle.  I spent a total of $7.59 plus tax on these items.  BUT notice I’m only using 1/2 cup of each of the Borax and Washing Soda.  I’ll have plenty of that left over to make future batches or to use for other things in the meantime.


1.  Grate the entire bar of soap and put it in a medium saucepan with a few cups of water.

Slowly heat, stirring quite a lot, until all the soap flakes are melted. Remember to use low to medium heat since you do not want this to boil ~ you’d end up with a bubbly mess all over your stove.  Just use enough heat to melt the soap.

2.  Add the Borax and Washing Soda and stir until dissolved.

3.  Pour this into your bucket and add additional water to fill to about 3/4 the way up.  Give it a stir and let sit over-night.

4.  In the morning give it a good stir.  I had to reach my hands in to mush it up since I found that it was a bit unevenly clumpy.  I found it to be sort of the consistency of jell-o.  So squishing it up in my hands worked pretty well.


Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup to your laundry depending on the size of load you are washing.  Basically, use this as you would your regular, store-bought laundry soap.

VIOLA!! It’s as easy as that! After working my calculations, figuring up how much the amounts I used cost ~ it’s a grand total of $1.41 for about 4 gallons of laundry soap.  Not too shabby if you ask me.


This couldn’t be easier.  Simply add vinegar to either your rinse cycle or to your washing machine’s fabric softener compartment.  You can even add a few drops of any essential oil you like to give it a nice fresh scent.

Don’t worry ~ your clothes will not smell like vinegar!  The scent of it dissipates pretty quickly.


3 responses to “Homemade Household Products: Liquid Laundry Soap and Fabric Softener

  1. Good post…and Welcome Back!

    This is pretty much all we use for laundry now. My wife is pretty happy with the results, so I”m VERY happy!

    The fabric softener is new to me though, I’ll have to give that one a try.

    Thanks for the post!


  2. Thanks db! The vinegar thing was a new one on me as well. Being since we have no dryer I’ll try anything to soften up these line dried clothes. So far it seems to be working pretty good. 😉

  3. Pingback: The Dreaded F-Word! | TheHippyGardener

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