Making Liquid Laundry Soap from Cheap Soap Bars.

As promised on the show on Friday night, here is the recipe we use to make laundry soap:

Making your own liquid laundry soap is a thrifty way to avoid buying the chemically engineered, expensive kinds. You can buy a cheap bar of Zote or Fels-Naptha, or you can gather up all of those soap bar remnants that are lying around and give them a new use. You can also use homemade soap bars for this recipe. Don’t just make laundry soap! You can use body soap bars in this same recipe to make a cheap shower gel, too!

To make 1 1/2 quarts of your own simple laundry soap you will need:
  • One bar of Fels-Naptha or other inexpensive laundry soap
  • 6 cups filtered water
1. Grate the entire bar of soap and place it into a medium sized saucepan.  Pour about a quart of water over it and bring it all to a slow simmer over medium heat.

2. Stir the soap and the water until there are no more soap particles, and it has all dissolved together. Take the pan off of the stove.

3. Let the pan sit for 12-24 hours, undisturbed. You can add a very small amount of essential oils at this point, if you’d like.

4. I keep my soap in quart jars, and it can be used not only for laundry, but for dishes, floor scrubbing, and all other kinds of cleaning jobs.

I use 1/4 cup of this soap to five gallons of water for washing regularly soiled laundry.

Hope this works well for you, and have a wonderful Sunday evening.

Tracy M.


  1. Hello Tracy
    I really enjoyed your interview. How many different dresses do you have( work or town) or recommend?

  2. Sounds great but how much do you use for laundry? thank you

  3. You didn't mention how much of this you would use for a load of laundry. Would it be a quarter cup, a cup or less. I have made powdered laundry soap and like that it requires only a tablespoon, but using only cold water, I'm concerned that it won't all dissolve

  4. I usually use 1/4 cup liquid soap per five gallons of water. You can lessen or increase this to your preference, it isn't an official amount, just how much works for me. I'm sorry I didn't include that in the article, I am going to add it now, thanks!!

    Yolanda - I actually only have three work dresses and two town dresses (sets - with matching cape and aprons) at the moment, but I have two more dresses in various stages of sewing. I like to keep about five or six different work aprons on hand, in case I rip or destroy one (butchering can do that). Other than that I keep two white church aprons (white is the required color for church) and about five kapps. I just threw out a bunch of dresses because I have decided to start making my dresses longer. I try to never have more than ten dresses and ten aprons.

    Tracy M

  5. I tried to make laundry soap and got no further than unwrapping the Fels Naptha> The odor was breathtaking. My allergies bothered me for ages. I finally had to wrap the soap and put it in a plastic bag in self defense. I opened one flap of the Zote soap and took it back to the store. My laundry soap making ended before it was begun. Now, I don't know what to do. I use commercial laundry detergent with no scent.

    1. Sounds like you need a plastic bubble to live in :) just like me . I make my laundry soap from ivory bar soap. When I grate the soap I do it outside because it is breathtaking to me as well you can also wear a mask it helps alot with the sneezing. Hope this works for you & good luck

  6. j shu - Here is a link to the essential oils wikipedia page. If you'd like ideas on where to buy essential oils, I can help you with that, too.

    Practical Parsimony- I don't really know what to tell you. If you are trying to not use any commercial soap, you could just use hot water and cut out soap altogether. Or you could make your own soap without fragrance, which is the best option and always better than anything you will buy at the store. This recipe really wasn't for unscented soap, it was merely a tip on how to make your own laundry soap from cheap supplies.


  7. I make laundry detergent for our house. I make a powdered version and it lasts my family of 5 for about 4 months or more. It costs me about 19.00 for 4 months of laundry soap.

    3 bars pink Zote Soap
    1 box Arm and Hammer WASHING soda
    1 box borax
    1 container Sun brand oxygen color safe bleach crystals
    1 bottle purex crystals ( we like the blue bottle)

    i do use a food processor to make it go faster and here is how I do it. Grate all 3 bars of soap and set aside, change the food processor blade from shredding to chopping, with the chopping blade put in a handful of grated soap and a good sprinkling of the washing soda and then pulse till all the grated soap is like sand. keep doing this until all your soap is the same consistancy as the washing soda. Dump all your ingredients into a large heavy duty lawn and leaf garbage bag, tie up securely and roll around, this helps mix all the ingredients together thoroughly, then empty bag into a bucket with a tight fitting lid, I use the scoop that comes with the sun oxygen bleach as my measuring cup for each load of laundry. 2 scoops for regular wash, 3 for super dirty wash.

    Thanks for sharing all your stories and ideas, I really enjoy reading this blog!

  8. Tracy do you have an etsy shop to sell aprons? I am in need of some new ones...

    1. Hi! No, I don't have a store set up at the moment. Usually people just let me know what they want and we agree on a price and I get it out as soon as possible. Please feel free to email me, my email address is in my bio, and I'm sure we can work something out! Id love to sew for you. :) Have a great day.

      Tracy M

  9. I have made homemade soap, but put in a 5 gallon bucket, with 1 cup of soda and 1 cup of borax,and 4 gallons of warm water, add the soap to 2 quarts of water to melt and then stir all together, it is like a jell... use 1/4 cup per load.. very good smell..


Post a Comment

Popular Posts