How does less than a dollar sound for 3.5 gallons of laundry detergent? I’ve just recently given homemade laundry detergent a try with great results. My first experience with homemade laundry detergent didn’t turn out like I had expected. I used Ivory soap, borax, washing soda and water. While the finished product looked like it should and was relatively easy to make, it just didn’t get my clothes very clean.

Last week I found another website that had Fels Naptha listed as the soap to use. I had used FN before for treating stain, but had pretty much forgotten about it until now. Here is the recipe I used and I’m have great success with it cleaning my clothes. I’ve also include an extra step that I think helped my detergent from congealing as much.


  • 1 bar of Fels Naptha Soap
  • Borax
  • Washing Soda (not Baking Soda)
  • Water

Here’s what I did…

Grate 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap and measure out 2/3 cup (1/3 of the bar). Store the remaining soap in a ziplock bag for another time.

Place soap in grater with 1 cup of boiling water. Blend for about 30 seconds. The mixture will get super sudsy, so be careful!

Pour 10 cups of hot water into a large bowl or kettle. Add 1/2 cup borax & 1/2 cup washing soda and stir until mostly dissolved.

Add soap mixture and whisk until complete blended. The mixture will get gloppy, but keep whisking until the glops are gone and the mixture is smooth.

Add 2 gallons hot water and whisk again. As the mixture cools, come back and give it a whisk every now and then. I waited about an hour after I made it to put it into containers.

Now you can empty it into empty laundry detergent containers or store it in another closed container. Use 1/2 cup per load (shake/stir before using) for normal loads and 1 cup for heavily soiled clothes.

One more tip that I just learned…use 1/4 cup white vinegar in the rinse cycle. It will remove any remaining detergent from washing and leave your clothes bright and fluffy! Don’t worry…the vinegar smell goes away after you dry your clothes.

I’ll try to post pictures later…my computer is acting a little strange today. I think it needs a check up 😉 Good think my husband knows a thing or two about computers!


Get cleaner laundry! Add about 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to the last rinse. The acid in white distilled vinegar is too mild to harm fabrics, yet strong enough to dissolve the alkalies in soaps and detergents. Besides removing soap, white distilled vinegar prevents yellowing, acts as a fabric softener and static cling reducer, and attacks mold and mildew.

Visit Biblical Womanhood for more Frugal Friday Tips & Ideas