No-Grate Homemade Laundry Soap


Despite all the enthusiasm over making homemade laundry detergent recently…I continue to hear murmurings from those who just can’t bring themselves to grate soap and cook it on the stove.

It apparently just isn’t going to happen. :-)

I’m not naming any names…but my older sister would probably freely admit she didn’t decide to even attempt making her own laundry detergent UNTIL I told her about this “new” recipe I was testing out.

(I know it seems like I’m always “picking on” her…but she called me a “brat” on her blog recently…so she pretty much deserves it. lol).

Once again I have to credit the incredible readers of this blog for my inspiration.


Tiffanie posted this on February 4th….
A close friend of mine has been making laundry soap like this one for years, until just recently she found an easier one to make and passed it on to us.

3 Tablespoons Borax
3 Tablespoons Washing Soda
2 Tablespoons Dawn Dish soap

Put these ingredients in a one gallon jug. Pour 4 cups boiling water into the jug. Swirl until ingredients are dissolved in the liquid. Let liquid cool. Then fill almost to the top with cold water. The bubbles will overflow out of the bottle.
I love this because you can pick an awesome scent with the Dawn dish soap. This dish soap works the best because it gets grease out. :o)

February 4, 2012 8:59 PM

homemade laundry detergent

homemade laundry detergent

As FOND as I am of the soap I’ve been using for over 8 months now…I felt I needed to at least give this version a fair shake. Sooo…I made up a gallon of it and have been using it for almost a week. I’ve used almost the entire gallon and despite my initial skepticism…I have not noticed any difference in it’s ability to get my clothes clean from my current recipe. I use approximately 1/2 cup to 1 cup per load. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s pretty thin and since it’s SO easy and inexpensive to make, it doesn’t bother me.

Of course there are still those items of clothing that will need an extra boost with some Homemade Shout or Homemade Oxi-Clean….but overall I honestly haven’t noticed any difference in it’s cleaning ability.

For those of you concerned with HE washers…I haven’t noticed any more soap suds with this “recipe” either. On a small load I will notice some sudsing…but on a large load…it appears to me to be as low-suds as my previous version.


homemade laundry detergent

So….today I offer up this “new” version of homemade laundry detergent to those who have to this point been reluctant or unwilling to try making their own. A couple of things that might convince you to try…no grating of soap…no cooking…and you can make one gallon at a time in just a few minutes.

If you DO decide to try it…I would love to know what you think. :-)



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  1. Dawn P. says

    Only the original "blue" Dawn has the best grease dissolving formula. I've tried the other colors but discovered they didn't work as well as the original blue. Upon reading the labels I discovered that only the blue says "dish soap" while all of the other colors say "hand soap". I'm sure it won't make much difference in this recipe (which I will be trying this week).

    Just thought I would share a bit of knowledge that I have recently discovered. Needless to say I only buy blue now.

    • Rebecca says

      Ive been using this in my HE machine for months and it cleans the clothes well and does not create any residue in your machine like commercial detergents. Very low suds

    • Ann says

      FYI – My husband works with a former appliance salesman…he told him HE is hog wash…they feed you BS about HE so you will purchase the more expensive crap to go with them. He told my husband there is not much difference between a front or top load, like the others said, if your concerned about suds, use a little less. I hope that helps :)

      • Karen says

        except that if you don’t clean, clean, clean all the pull out filters and drawers in the front loads they will stink to high heaven. I got rid of mine and went back to a top load. I used regular detergent in mine too after I found out the HE was just a sales gimmick and it never was a problem.

        • Lee ann says

          I’ve not made any homemade laundry soap but have a lot of friends that do. I too have a front loader for about 11 years now. I can tell you that soap either he or not can affect your front loader!! I used regular soap when we got because honestly I don’t recall knowing about HE. Well if you use too much soap, you will create Build up on door and behind rubber seal, also if u don’t let door stay open after wash, you will have mildew grow behind that seal. Oh so nasty! I use less soap and switched to he and knock on wood no more issues!! Also you can run hottest cycle with bleach in soap dispenser to clean your machine. Top or front loader.

        • Alicia says

          I have been using this recipe for over 6 months. Before I started using homemade laundry detergent, I did give the washer a good cleaning, as there was mildew and a horrible smell coming from it. Once a week or so, I wipe down the seals and run a HOT bleach wash to clean the insides. I haven’t had any issues with mildew and smells since!

        • Laurie says

          You can run a wash with vinegar to cut most if not all of the soap scum. Also keep a spray bottle of vinegar to clean seals and sides. Works as well as bleach even better. Healthier for you too.

          I use 2-4 Cups of white in hot water. Cleans and freshens your washer.
          White vinegar for exterior cleaning and cider vinegar for internal health is my rule.

        • Ash says

          If you do not leave the door open after washing with an HE front loader, then you get the smell. The washer needs to air out, the door is watertight so breeds mold if you leave it closed.

    • Tracey Tilson says

      Jillian wrote in her post above: “I use approximately 1/2 cup to 1 cup per load. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s pretty thin and since it’s SO easy and inexpensive to make, it doesn’t bother me.”

  2. Carmen C. says

    I recently discovered your blog through pinterest and am just amazed at the wealth of information shared here! I HATE grating the soap so I will definitely be giving this a try:D thanks for all the wonderful tips & recipes here!!!

      • Lisa B. says

        Use a food processor……no “hand grating” and you get a perfect fine powder that mixes well with borax and washing soda. Also…..I have found the best place to look for the ingredients is an “old fashion grocery store”. Stay away from box stores….go to the little man you will haven’t w luck with the ingredients.

      • Lisa B. says

        Use a food processor……no “hand grating” and you get a perfect fine powder that mixes well with borax and washing soda. Also…..I have found the best place to look for the ingredients is an “old fashion grocery store”. Stay away from box stores….go to the little man you will have more luck with the ingredients.

      • karen b says

        one of the best ways to grate bar of soap is in the grater attachments for a kitchen aid mixer. or if you happen to have the same version in a hand turn grater. my kids “fight” over who is grating so they take turns. I usually grate & mix up about 3 recipes @ a time works great they each get to do a bar:)

      • Cathy W says

        I alternate between liquid and powder! Just Whatever the whim strikes me. And sometimes if I’m doing whites with bleach. Really like both!

        However, grating a bar of soap just plain WAS a bloody awful chore. (Literally!) Leaving a bar of soap open for a week before is a great start Then cutting it up into 2″ chunks and microwaving on a PAPER plate for a minute or two, Puffs them up like marshmallows! Let the puffy soap cool, you can crumble them up in your hands (yes, fine enough for wash). This works for Fels Naptha, Zote, Dr. Bonner’s bar soap or Kirk’s (found in bath Aisle). All are green with the exception of too much Fels. I put powder in washer (top loader) and run Hot water before adding clothes then switch over to cold water. When using bleach with this powder, I do a long wash with a Prolonged Soak and 2nd wash and rinse. (This to accommodate Hubby who still thinks we’re using Arm and Hammer Detergent!)

        Now back to liquid, Made in already empty Arm and Hammer container. He still hasn’t a clue! :-) ! And I use Blue Dawn because it is the best grease cutter around! If bleach isn’t used, I use on whites and colored.

        Now if the wash REALLY needs bleaching, I keep the water level lower and long wash (and soak) and hot water wash and cold water rinse. I use this for kitchen curtains, pillows etc. Those articles aren’t washed but twice a year, so concentrated liquid or powder and water is necessary.

        One thing I did notice, there are NO more Octopus suction spots on darks with Jillee’s liquid soap. What I found on Hubby’s black slacks when using commerical detergent. That’s a big HOORAY! And I’m saving money too! Been making my own soaps for 8 months now! Happy Dance!!!!
        Thanks Jillee!

    • Andi says

      I have been using Ivory soap for my dry laundry soap. I put the bar in the microwave for 90 seconds. It’s mushrooms out. From there, I rub it between my hands to powder it. Then mix it with the Borax and Washing Soda. It does send off a LOT of “dust” but it beats grating soap. It does not work with any other kind of soap.

  3. Jamie and Shane says

    I'll bet you are getting a slew of followers through Pinterest….that's how I found you! Love your blog, btw. Your "voice" is very friendly and you seem to really want to connect with your followers. That is rare these days. It seems that once somebody becomes "big", they seem to have a disconnect. Anyway, thanks for the awesome entries… I think I have pinned almost every one myself! Jamie in AZ

  4. Lisa says

    I started my homemade laundry soap quest when I started researching cloth diapers for our future family. Though we don't have and reason to wash diapers now I'm curious if this is "cloth diaper safe" anybody know?

    • Sarah says

      It depends on what diapers you use. Borax is too abrasive for PLU diaper covers ad will wear them out and cause them to leak. It’s perfectly safe for inserts, liners or prefolds. I cloth diaper and have used RockinGreen detergent. It’s the only thing that got my diapers smelling good. I tried several homemade detergent recipes without borax but they just didn’t work for me. I LOVE homemade detergent for our family’s clothes, though :)

      • says

        I have done cloth and occasionally had to “strip” them due to build up. The methods of stripping that I found on the internet all called for Dawn dish soap! I never had a problem with the pul breaking down, in any of mine, but I also didn’t cd for four years straight using the same diapers…that being said, the only diapers that fell apart on me were the Kushies brand. The flannel on the outside wore thin to the point of holes. The inside of the dipe was vinyl! NOT pul. I was very disappointed by that. good luck!

    • Heather says

      I have never had a problem with using it on my diapers as far as build up, but my 4th son is more prone to diaper rash with it, so my diapers get All free, and the rest the clothes get homemade.

    • JennyDee says

      Only toilet water goes into our septic tank. All other water (from the showers, tubs, sinks, and laundry) goes into the “gray water pond” and our two lab mixes love to play in it. Added benefit: the dogs bathe themselves!

    • Susan says

      I made mine the lazy girl’s way. I had a bit of left over regular liquid detergent in a bottle (about a half cup). I just added the washing soda, Borax, and water. This seems to be another good option so far.

      • says

        Great idea!! I have small amount of my favorite store bought laundry soap left (Tide White Lilac scent – its awesome! ) and I think I’m going to try your way of doing it. My husband is especially fond of scented laundry products so I think this may solve the issue of “bleh” scented homemade laundry detergent :) Thanks! !

          • Melrose says

            The best way to microwave the soap is to first take out the round plate in your microwave and lay down a sheet of wax paper. This will help keep the soap from getting all over. Then just place the soap in the middle and hit start! Each microwave will take a different amount of time, but you should see the soap start to expand after only a few seconds. I let mine go until I see no noticeable expansion, which usually takes just one minute. Just don’t walk away! Nothing like the smell of burning soap in your kitchen. ;)

              • WhimsyMom says

                After you microwave the soap, you just crumble it into the pot like you would the grated soap. It will literally be dust, so be prepared! I use a worn out flexible cutting board to form a funnel into whatever pot I’m working with :)

  5. Anonymous says

    I woke up this am after ordering bunches of the ingredientsfor original recipe from amazon only to find at Walmarts after calling & they said they did not have(another story). My first thought was oh no! I have a bunch of this bar soap coming in the mail. But after grating (so easy) and heating on stove (so easy) I love the smell of the Fels-Naptha soap! It is heavenly I am so happy. I might add the dawn & the bar soap! Thanks

  6. Rosemary says

    My mom and I both made your detergent recently and I love it! She followed your recipe to a "T" but I only had Ivory soap on hand. We found out the difference pretty quick. Ivory soap is the only one the floats. They have a patent for the process to make it extremely airy. This makes it very easy to grate and it doesn't clump together after sitting a day or two. Although I think hers works a little better with the 'cooking' recipe. Mine didn't gel or disperse as easily throughout the 3 containers, but I love it for cutting the recipe in half for a single jug. And it's awesome for an HE washer. We also tried the lemonade flavored kool-ade to clean once a week instead of buying the pricey Tide packs and a big difference in the infamous mildew smell. Thanks so much for all the info and recipes…I constantly brag about your blog and send links to everyone I know :)

    • Lauren says

      The mildew smell in your HE washer is from using commercial liquid detergent. We had the same issue until we switched to commercial powder detergent. I now make my own powder thanks to this website. :)

      • norma says

        Interesting. I have had my HE for about 4 yrs and never had a mildew smell prob. Maybe cuz I prefer powder and leave door open. I wonder if using this homemade liquid soap will cause odor problem?

  7. Jill Nystul says

    Oh dear…So many questions about how much to use! lol! I apologize for not adding that little "tidbit" of information that might be helpful. ;-)

    While Tiffanie didn't specify how much to use I have been using roughly the same amount I used with the original recipe. Roughly 1/2 cup for LARGE load. Hopefully this helps!

    Since we are all kind of trying this out together….make sure and let us know how much works for YOU!

    Thanks everyone for all your input. I knew I could count on you! ;-)

  8. Anonymous says

    Can we add the purex or downy scent crystals directly to the homemade detergents and just let them dissolve – giving the detergent a great scent and skipping the step of adding it to the drum? Or is there a specific reason we are asked to add it seperately? Thanks

  9. ruth says

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I finally had my food processor set up last night (for something else), and before I put it all away, I decided to grate some Fels Naptha and make your laundry soap recipe. I spent a bunch of time finding that old post and reading the comments and figuring out what I was going to do.

    I made 1/3 of a recipe in a recycled ice-cream bucket and added hot water from my teapot until I had, basically, a full gallon (didn't see why I would wait until morning to add liquid if it was all warm and dissolved then).

    This morning I put it into a recycled gallon-sized laundry detergent bottle and set it on the shelf in my laundry room. Haven't tried it yet, but it looks pretty good and smells nice.

    Incidentally, I thought everything from the process of making the laundry soap cleaned up really well… it was just a matter of washing SOAP off things in the end. How hard can that be? :)

  10. ~ Laura says

    Wow, I will have to try this when I run out of the other version I learned here!! :) I'm loving the "cooked" version very much, but can understand the desire to just mix and go!!

    I love your blog….you are so amazing!!!!!

  11. Becky says

    I would recommend Quick n Brite if you've never tried it. Just google it…pink and AMAZING! There are no words to describe this cleaner. Made with seaweed? Or something natural like that…lol…

    • Brittany says

      I was just looking up the Quick n Brite website, and its amazing how much you can get from one bottle of that stuff. Now my question is this: Are you suggesting Quick n Brite instead of this recipe? or Are you suggesting it in place of the Dawn dish soap?

  12. Michelle says

    I would think that you could use liquid castile soap in place of the Dawn soap. It may be a bit more expensive, but it is natural, so no chemicals! Also, it's non sudsing, great for those concerned about HE machines!

  13. Amber says

    @Lisa who asked about cloth diaper safeness. I found that the employees at Babyworks (, and especially the owner who has 20 years of experience with all types of cloth diapering systems, are great at answering questions! It probably depends on what type of diapers and wraps you are planning on using as to whether or not this recipe would be "safe" but the key is to make sure the wash rinses out completely when it comes to sensitive baby skin! I always washed mine with a scent-free, dye-free detergent and often baking soda! I have not tried this recipe on diapers or wraps however, as we're past that stage. If you don't have a cloth diapering resource try giving Babyworks a call!

  14. Anonymous says

    I use the grate method but leave it dry. (and I add Downy Unstopables) It only takes a spoonful per load and takes up less space.

    It doesn't disolve well in cold water so I add it to a a cup full of hot water first, then put it in the washer.

          • spitefulilsprite says

            Nothings wrong, that’s how it is. Looks like water but feels like….bubble solution. If you want scent you definitely have to add something. Essential oils weren’t working for me even after adding half a bottle (I don’t recommend that btw) the clothes just smelled like clothes. After using this for several weeks and trying different things I have finally given up on the scent front and now just add a knock off of Downy Unstoppables to the drum. Also, I tried the pink Dawn, didn’t like it. Tried original Dawn, better but still not up to par. 5 hour power Dawn gets the job done best (which is good news since thats the only dish soap I use. Oh yay for wasting $ on the other two bottles. Live and learn.)

  15. Anonymous says

    cut the fels naptha soap in 3 or 4 chunks, put in freezer a couple of hours and put in blender or food processor…no grating! soak blender or food processor in hot water to remove remaining soap pieces.

  16. Beth @ Sand To Pearl says

    @ Lisa- This should be cloth diaper friendly. When people "strip" their diapers they use Dawn Dish soap, and it works wonderfully, which is why this should be fine to wash diapers in.

  17. Ann says

    This is from Dawn's own website so it must be true….

    Can I add bleach to Dawn dish liquid?
    No. Our dishwashing liquids are formulated to work best without any added ingredients and should not be altered in any way. Never add other chemicals such as bleach. You may like to try Dawn PLUS Bleach Alternative. Its formula features a powerful enzyme that delivers the tough cleaning power of bleach without the odors, skin irritation or the chance of discoloring your clothes and dishtowels.

    Guess I won't be using this particular recipe since I wash whites with added bleach. :( Sorry!

    • Trixie says

      I’ve read that you can replace bleach with plain white vinegar to whiten and soften your clothes at the same time. I just made this recipe today so I haven’t tried the vinegar but from comments and reviews on other sights, I understand that you do not get any residual vinegar smell once your clothes are washed and dried.

      • Amanda says

        I just started using vinegar in my he washer instead of fabric softner. It works FANTASTIC and there is no residual vinegar smell. I HATE my he washer because my clothes were not smelling clean after washing. I researched the problem and after trying everything under the sun I decided to try the vinegar. I was amazed that my laundry didn’t smell like vinegar and the clothes were clean and fresh. I fill my softner dispenser with vinegar instead of softner. It so much cheaper and works so much better. One of the sites said if you have really hard water (which I do) the vinegar will cut through the hard water so your clothes are cleaner.

      • Lydia says

        I can attest to that. Also, may I suggest using apple cider vinegar if you don’t have the white vinegar? It works fantastic! I read a bunch of sites about using white vinegar as fabric softener but I had just bought a huge jug of the cider vinegar and didn’t want to go out and buy more vinegar, so I used what I had. It is awesome for clothes and towels (so soft, even jeans, which surprised me) and also for cleaning the washing machine.

    • says

      The only part of bleach that reacts with ammonia is the chlorine. If you buy chlorine free bleach (usually a little more expensive but worth it) you can mix this with the detergent. The best part is it gets your whites just as white, but is also safe on colors!!!

      I have been using seventh generation chlorine free bleach for a year and a half now, and would never bring clorox back into my house, it’s wonderful!

      • Jen K. says

        all seventh generation bleach is is hydrogen peroxide and water. it is so much cheaper to just buy peroxide and use half as much. i was getting that stuff too until i read the ingredients.

      • JennyDee says

        I’ve always been nervous about chlorine bleach (ever seen splash marks on colored clothes?). I use a cup of vinegar in whites (doesn’t yellow like bleach does) and only 1/2 cup in colored clothes. It’s great for getting smelly clothes fresh again, does not leave a vinegar smell, and cuts down on static in the dryer. The only thing I use bleach for is to throw a dash in the toilets whenever we go out of town. When we return, the house doesn’t have that shut-up-musty smell.

    • Cathy says

      I’ve always used bleach for my whites and after making this detergent, I just increased the amount of detergent and used my fels naptha soap bar on any known stains and my clothes were whiter and cleaner than with the bleach. I’ve learned there are so many alternatives to chlorine bleach. Did I say I’ve ALWAYS used bleach! ;)

    • Becky S says

      I have used Dawn since it came out. When I had 4 kids at home I often added a splash of bleach to my dish water without any problems and still do to this day. When one of them became sick…I turned into a crazy lady washing everything down with hot sudsy (Dawn) bleach water. My youngest daughter and 7 month old granddaughter live with me. My daughter currently has strep throat. YES, I still make the hot sudsy Dawn dishwater with the bleach and do all our dishes (not the babies) in it and scrub down counters, door knobs, etc. with it. I have also used straight Dawn in my washer at those times that I ran out of detergent. Can’t say for sure but I would not and will not hesitate to add that bleach.

  18. Anonymous says

    I found your blog through pinterest as well, and every time i pin something from your website the repins and likes are an insane amount! and i just spent the last 2 days reading every single one of your blog posts. I have to admit i was sad when i got to the end :/ lol. Keep doing what you're doing! your blog is amazing!

  19. Anonymous says

    I am new to this idea . I have very sensitive skin & I can't use dawn period. Where do you buy Borax? I am curious as to why anyone would want to make this? Is this more for "green" idea?
    I do not have the time to experiment or do I want to take a chance of allergic reaction. Its the first of March and my allergies were horrible yesterday from walking my dog. I took 2 showers, 2 benadyl, used an inhaler 3 times and changed my bed linen.
    My dermatologist and my respiratory dr say ALL FREE and its not expensive and it works
    and. My respiratory equipment is cleaned with vinegar and water. I am using vinegar with ALL for under clothes and socks for a disinfecting additive. No Bleach Here! I would definately use with diapers. By the way, I am a mom who used clothe diapers and breast fed my sons who are healthy adults and I am a nurse!

    • Charlotte says

      Its slightly about going green, but more about saving money. I spent $16 buying the Borax, washing soda, dawn and a nice container with a spout to put it in. For that price I wont have to buy laundry soap for at least 6 months! I always used ALL free and clear for my allergy prone children, but this works well for them as long as I use the blue dawn. Why pay nearly $16 every 3 weeks for a jug of ALL when I can spend $16 for a years worth?!

    • Sabrina says

      I have sensitive skin and allergies as well. My husband has been making the grated version of homemade laundry soap, but I was not happy with its inability to get my clothes clean the way commercial soap does clean. I used Dawn dish soap alone to clean my work clothes when I worked in the fast food industry, so I am definitely going to try this version. Hope it works!

    • Brooke J says

      I have been making this for years and I made the grated bar version to save money, but mostly because our family was having skin issues with all the commercial laundry products. We can’t use downy or tide, even All Free made my husband itch because sometimes “free” just means covered up with more chemicals. I have used fels naptha, zote, ivory, kirks castile, homemade soap, and dr bronners. it works equally well with these different things. I add more borax because we have hard water. I use vinegar in place of fabric softener. I put a little essential oil on a washcloth and toss in the dryer with the clothes, but really shouldn’t smell like anything.

    • Becky S says

      You can find Borax, more commonly known as “20 Mule Team Borax” in most grocery stores, Walmart, Target, etc in the laundry isle. It runs about $5 for a good size box. I actually just saw it recently at our Dollar General too.

  20. I think it needs more turbinado. says

    @ Lisa with the cloth diapering question…the answer depends on the fabric of the diaper. I can NOT use this recipe for my child's cloth diapers. A great mix is just borax, washing soda, and baking soda. I use a lot of bamboo and any other soap would leave a slight residue on the bamboo and cause a chemical burn on our DD's poor bum.

  21. Heather Fay says

    I made this yesterday and have done couple loads of laundry. I have an HE and just filled the liquid dispenser to the fill line. It is watery, but I figured it was supposed to be that way. The jury is still out on if I love it, but I DO love the Fels Naptha laundry mixture and make it a bit differently because I don't make it into a liquid. I use the 1Cup borax, 1Cup washing soda and grate one bar of the Fels Naptha. I mix them all together ( I actually put everything mixed together back in the food processor, using the blade until it's super fine) and use 1-2 tablespoons per load. LOVE IT!!! I also fill the fabric softener dispenser with white vinegar. Works Great!!

    • says

      Heather, I am glad you posted your results for putting the detergent in the food processor dry. I am so busy that I really don’t have time for the cooking method, so I was researching making it dry. I saw where some said it didn’t dissolve well unless mixed with hot water first. Do you find that it dissolves well in warm or cold water when it has been processed to a super fine texture?

      • says

        I use the dry bar soap version as well. I wash everything in cold but whites and towels and have never had a problem with it dissolving. However, I use handmade soap instead of Fels naptha so I don’t know if it makes a difference.

        • pam says

          I have used my food processor for 3 yrs and I use Ivory soap because I can find it cheaper. My formula is 1 cup soap flakes, 1 c. borax, and 1 c. washing soda. process into a fine powder. I use 1-2Tbsp. per load and I use cold water all the time.

  22. Anonymous says

    I found the Borax and the Arm & Hammer washing soda at a Ace hardware ( so maybe a smaller hardware store would carry this?) but have been having trouble finding the Fels Naptha. My brother told me to look at Army surplus stores in the survival section.

    • Laura says

      I found all three (washing soda, borax and Fels Naptha) in the laundry products section (on the same shelf) at our Walmart Supercenter. Def going to try the no grate method. That was a pain in the butt.

    • Jen says

      Usually it is in the detergent aisle on the bottom shelf. You can use Castille or Ivory soap as well. I actually started using Oil of Olay bar soap because I LOVE the smell and can’t stand the smell of the Fels Naptha. I think it cleans just as well and smells fantastic!

      • HMSU2 says

        Im a couponer and use what ever barsoap i have ended up getting free, or close to free, we loved this with yardley London Oatmeal and almond and it helps with softening the clothes too! but weve used ivory, olay, irish spring, softsoap, they all work well thou i have found that each comes thru with its own thickness, but all work just as well, we also add differnt oils(we use the candy flavoring ones) to the batch for added scent with the less fragrent soaps,

        • Nancy says

          What is your recipe for using the bar soap as a laundry detergent? I am new to the homemade laundry detergents, and though there are lots of great suggestions, I’m starting to feel confused and a little overwhelmed? Thanks!

  23. Kiki says

    I have found the Fels Naptha soap at Lowes Home Improvement store, it was on a main aisle between grills and plumbing.
    I've used Borax for Yearsss it is great at whitening, we use it instead of bleach. For the grand baby who has sensitive skin we put 1/4 cup in with his baby detergent, and if he has food stains we wet the area rub borax powder on the area and wash as usual, works great.
    Hope this helps, have also added 1/2 cup white vinegar in top of washer for smelly clothes, like when hubby is working on tractor etc.
    I really look forward to reading your blog :) Sometimes you remind me of things I've forgotten over the years.

  24. HJW says

    Oh THANK YOU!! I have been hoping to find a non-grating recipe for laundry soap, my poor arthritis hands just can't take it–even with the mixer grating attachment, it's a lot more effort than I am interested in expending most days. I imagine a castile soap would work great as well, and will try this with something other than Dawn (it triggers my asthma). Thanks for the proportions!

  25. City of Oaks says

    I have made a dry formula of just borax, washing soda and soap. I grated Ivory soap, let it dry for a day of so then processed it in the food processor. But… I've seen where you can microwave Ivory soap and it will foam up. The next day you can put it in a plastic zip top bag and mash it into a fine powder. Has anyone tried that for the soap? I still have some of my original recipe so I haven't yet tried it.

    I only used a few Tablespoons of the dry mix for a medium-large size load (we don't have kids so the clothes aren't badly stained) and have been pleased with the quality of cleanliness.

    • Kim K says

      I have been using the Fels Naptha version for about a year and a half. My first batch was liquid, then when I saw all of the dry recipes on pinterest, I realized that, to me, making it liquid was just another step I could avoid! Today, I made my second batch of the dry.

      I think the idea of using the blue Dawn is excellent! I use blue Dawn on a regular basis for spot treating and it works wonders. I MUST say that it is only the blue Dawn that works so well… so if someone tries the other “colors” of Dawn and is disappointed, that is a recipe specific that needs to be seriously considered!

      Loving saving $$$ by making my own laundry soap – like my great grandmothers did years and years ago – before someone got the brilliant idea to market it for profit!


  1. [...] Earlier this week I also made my own laundry detergent and fabric softener and questioned why I never did this earlier. I have been out of fabric softener for awhile and have been meaning to get this done as for my laundry detergent I had a huge stockpile from couponing and just recently ran out so I figured it was time to face this task. Again, a lot easier than I had in my mind. I followed Jillian from One Good Thing by Jillee! [...]

  2. [...] do feel she is a GODESS! when it comes to all thing DIY and saving a buck or two while your at it! This is her recipe But ive changed it up a bit to 2 table spoons of borax, and 2 tablespoons [...]

  3. [...] been making mine for probably 6 months now. This is the recipe I use and I find it to work great. No-Grate Homemade Laundry SoapOne Good Thing by Jillee | One Good Thing by Jillee They ingredients cost a total of 10 dollars and I haven't had to buy any more since the first time [...]

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