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. Sandy says

    I did not see a mention of this in the other comments… What about Dawn’s ultra concentrated version? Any idea how much of that you would use? Maybe half? I already have the blue Dawn Ultra :)

    • says

      Sandy…..I have used both the Dawn regular and ultra concentrated and haven’t really varied the amounts and it has turned out just the same….so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I have now made probably 30 gallons of the stuff. :-)

  2. Angie says

    So many recipes and so many ideas! I just started making homemade cleaners a couple of days ago and i want to make them all to test them all out! I was going to mix up a huge batch of the grated and cooked liquid laundry soap today, but I’m dreading grating the fels Naptha even though I froze it to make it easier. I did half a bar the other night for dry laundry detergent, and man did that take forever! I think I will try this instead, using the homemade dish soap I made yesterday instead of Dawn. It’s cutting grease well and leaves our plastic, what little we use, more squeeeky clean than store bought dish soap did.

    • Lois Bunting says

      If you open your Fels Naptha and probably others, and let them dry for a couple of weeks, they
      shred readily on my zester. I’ts quite fine and melts easily..While the bars are drying, they make great
      room deodizer, too.

      • says

        Good tip Lois! I have found that too. The dryer the bar, the easier to grate (or process in the blender or food processor.)

  3. says

    So first of all I love your blog, and I have made your other “cooked” laundry detergent, and it’s ok. But I hate that it clumps up and I have to shake it before every use… and then it it still not smooth. lol. I know it cleans the same but it’s mentally irritating. So I’ll definitely have to try this recipe.

  4. Patricia says

    I made up a batch of this tonight but instead of using Dawn, I’m using 7th Generation Free and Clear (that was all I had) and added 10 drops of lavender essential oil to the mix. I’ll use this recipe over the next week and see how well it does. Crossing my fingers that it works because I am one of the many that hates grating and cooking the bar soaps :)

  5. Jessi says

    I have been using this for two months and I love love love it. Gets kids stains out and works wonders

  6. Meredith says

    You can find borax and washing soda and more at walmart ! They are placed all beside each other by the baking soda in the cleaning/detergent aisle!

    • Michelle says

      I wish all WalMarts carried washing soda. The ones I shop at here in Las Vegas don’t. I have found sodium carbonate (soda ash) in the pool chemical section of WalMart but I’m hoping that “washing soda” will be cheaper. Will try WinCo next time I’m near one.

      • M says

        I read in the comments above that soda ash and washing soda are the same thing. Hope that helps!

  7. Deborah says

    My ex worked in the sun all day and always had these dirty greasy looking collars that would not come out with regular washing. I was brushing them but that would leave the collar looking worn out very fast. So I read somewhere (probably the wonderful internet) that shampoo helps, so I always slathered some (cheap) shampoo on the collar a few minutes before washing and then just did a regular spin with regular soap and they always came out squeaky clean.

    I was wondering if it would work the same if I changed the dawn for the shampoo?

    • Sarah says

      I wonder if this would work as well. Due to drugstore sales, I have a plethora of shampoo hanging around! I have been using it as body wash and to refill my hand-soap dispensers :)

  8. says

    I made this today with Dr Bronner’s castille liquid soap instead of Dawn (which is not ecofriendly) and it’s as runny as water….I used Peppermint scented soap as a test run, but will go buy Rose for next time, if I’m happy with the result. It was soooo easy! I am curious about Heather Fay’s method she posted above where she keeps everything solid. I think that method might actually end up being my favorite! Why do people add water???

    • Jadie says

      if you use cold water for washing the powdered kind does not dissolve well :), you have to either do a hot cold wash or dissolve in a cup of hot water, I wash everything but sheets and towels in cold water so liquid just works better.

  9. Tara says

    @Mary-you shouldn’t use castile soap on diapers, it won’t rinse out! Also be careful with grating Fels Naptha for diaper laundry, same thing. I made this specifically for diapers since I use the same ingredients when stripping-just never tried them together! this should rinse clean but if there are stink issues you may have used too much, too little or needed another rinse or 2. I’ve been trying to find the perfect homemade recipe for 6 years of CDing and I’m hoping this is it, the wash is going as we speak and I’m hoping to get rid of some residue from Charlies :(

      • Joan says

        How are you stripping? I used to pre-soak diapers in borax in a diaper pail until wash time, then spin them out and wash them. This was 40 years ago when cloth diapers where all we had.
        I have to laugh because some people didn’t rinse- flush soil on diapers and where sending them to a service that provided and washed diapers than redelivered them. This place said it was alright not to pre- rinse pooey diapers [maybe for newborns but not older babies Uck! ] It didn’t last as they seemed to short people on the amount of diapers redelivered and this was a prepaid service for so many diapers.

  10. Nikki says

    If you cant find washing soad..Use baking soda & Bake it at 400 in wide full size baking dish till it comes out shiny and grain. Found this on pinterest!