Updated on 05.19.15

How To Make Your Own Homemade Laundry Detergent – And Save Big Money

Trent Hamm

SLIME!I’ve been experimenting with making lots of cleaning supplies at home, but this one is by far the craziest – and the most successful. Basically, I made a giant bucket of slime that works incredibly well as laundry detergent at a cost of about three cents a load. For comparison’s sake, a jumbo container of Tide at Amazon.com costs $28.99 for 96 loads, or a cost of $0.30 a load. Thus, with each load of this stuff, I’m saving more than a quarter. Even better – I got to make a giant bucket of slime in the kitchen and my wife approved of it.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

Here’s what you need:
– 1 bar of soap (whatever kind you like; I used Lever 2000 because we have tons of bars of it from a case we bought a while back)
– 1 box of washing soda (look for it in the laundry detergent aisle at your local department store – it comes in an Arm & Hammer box and will contain enough for six batches of this stuff)
– 1 box of borax (this is not necessary, but I’ve found it really kicks the cleaning up a notch – one box of borax will contain more than enough for tons of batches of this homemade detergent – if you decide to use this, be careful)
– A five gallon bucket with a lid (or a bucket that will hold more than 15 liters – ask around – these aren’t too tough to acquire)
– Three gallons of tap water
– A big spoon to stir the mixture with
– A measuring cup
– A knife

A lot of these items are household staples and you can find pretty good deals using coupons and coupon codes. Check out the Simple Dollar Coupon Finder for hundreds of daily deals on grocery and pharmacy items. If you find one or a couple of these items on sale or discounted in bulk, take advantage of the savings!

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent – Step by Step

Step One: Put about four cups of water into a pan on your stove and turn the heat up on high until it’s almost boiling. While you’re waiting, whip out a knife and start shaving strips off of the bar of soap into the water, whittling it down. Keep the heat below a boil and keep shaving the soap. Eventually, you’ll shave up the whole bar, then stir the hot water until the soap is dissolved and you have some highly soapy water.

Step Two: Put three gallons of hot water (11 liters or so) into the five gallon bucket – the easiest way is to fill up three gallon milk jugs worth of it. Then mix in the hot soapy water from step one, stir it for a while, then add a cup of the washing soda. Keep stirring it for another minute or two, then add a half cup of borax if you are using borax. Stir for another couple of minutes, then let the stuff sit overnight to cool, and you’re done.

How Much Will You Save?

When you wake up in the morning, you’ll have a bucket of gelatinous slime that’s a paler shade of the soap that you used (in our case, it’s a very pale greenish blue). One measuring cup full of this slime will be roughly what you need to do a load of laundry – and the ingredients are basically the same as laundry detergent. Thus, out of three gallons, you’ll get about 48 loads of laundry. If you do this six times, you’ll have used six bars of soap ($0.99 each), one box of washing soda ($2.49 at our store), and about half a box of borax ($2.49 at our store, so $1.25) and make 288 loads of laundry. This comes up to a cost of right around three cents a gallon, or a savings of $70.

Plus, you can make slime in the kitchen – and have a legitimate reason for doing so!

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  1. Tkriger says:

    That sounds like more fun than it should be…how does it work? DOes it get clothes clean? Do they smell clean for just as long?

    The only thing stopping me doing this is the fact that I want to start taking all my laundry to a laundromat at once and throwing it all in one of those giant machines, and gelatinous slime doesn’t sound like the most portable of slimes.

  2. David says:

    Good stuff, but you can make it a little easier on yourself. Just combine 4 cups of soap flakes, 2 cups of washing soda and 2 cups of Borax in a glass jar with a lid. That’s it…a nice, dry powder that cleans incredibly well!

  3. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    Tkriger: it works as well as the Tide we were using.

    David: that’s a good replacement for powdered detergent, but powdered detergent itself has some drawbacks. My recipe is intended to replace liquid detergent (and it’s fun to make, too).

  4. Starfevre says:

    Do you recommend this even for people with hypoallergenic issues?

  5. David says:

    Yes Trent, making goo in the kitchen would be good fun, but not sure my wife would go for it. Maybe I will show her your post and tell her “see, other people like science in the kitchen too!”. Thanks for the post Trent!

  6. Very interesting. What does it smell like, if anything? And like David before me, I don’t know if my wife would go for it. It is probably something I would have tried if I was still a bachelor.

  7. Tyler says:

    I have a lot of dark clothes. Does it cause them to fade any faster?

    I would think as long as your not allergic to any of the individual ingredients you wouldn’t have any problems. You could try them separately before you mix up a big batch.

  8. Danni says:

    Creative work. I could use the savings in ever load. You just have to spend some time in doing it. Of course, cheap means you have to do some of the work.

  9. Mike says:

    I would guess that this isn’t designed for high efficiency washers, which require specific (less sudsy) soap. Is there a different recipe for that?

    Also, I didn’t get a real sense for how much time this requires. In your “clothesline” post, you estimated that you do about eight loads a week, which means you’d need to brew a new batch about nine times a year to get the $105 savings. Is the total time spent worth the money saved?

    Of course, it sounds like you enjoy the slime-brewing, so the time spent may actually be considered a bonus!

  10. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    It smells like a mix of bar soap and regular laundry detergent. I haven’t noticed any fading issues. And it only takes about 15 minutes to make, most of which is shaving off the soap; you could just let the bar sit in hot water overnight to do most of that automatically, I suppose.

  11. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    For high-efficiency, my guess would be that you’d just put in less slime each time. It’s reasonably sudsy.

  12. Amy says:

    Sounds fun, but I have no idea where I’d store three gallons of liquid. My boyfriend and I share a 500 square foot apartment with three (small) closets.

    Similarly, buying in bulk is not an option. Or stocking up when items are on sale. You do reach a point where there really just isn’t a place to squirrel away that extra package of toilet paper.

    Maybe you could do a list of frugal tips for people who live in small spaces.

  13. Amy, I think Trent just mentioned that he lives in a 600 sq. foot place with a little one, so I’d bet that he has a few tips there. Trent, I just put you on the spot.

    I might give this a try, but I don’t think I paid anywhere near the $28 for a 100 loads of laundry that Amazon charges. My guess is that they are upping the price to compensate for shipping or something. I’ve hit the sales in grocery stores that can get 30 loads worth for around $5. This is still a good savings, but it’s about half of what a decent shopper should save.

  14. Tyler says:

    If you don’t have much space mix a smaller batch.

    1/4 bar of soap + 1c of water
    12 c of water + 4Tbls powder + 2Tbls of borax

    Now it’s less than a gallon, or halve it again and get about 7c! Feel free to check my work, but I’m pretty sure it’s still the same proportions.

  15. Crystal says:

    Anyone know if this works for regular soap (like ivory), or if glycerin (melt-and-pour) soap would have the same results?

  16. theora55 says:

    You could save some plastic jugs from liquid detergent to make storage easier. Or swipe them from your neighbor’s recycle bin on trash night.

  17. Terry says:

    Hey, this gives me an idea…I work in a convenience store. We sell detergent. Outrageously overpriced detergent. Off the top of my head, I’d guess that the store could sell this stuff a lot cheaper than the outrageously priced Tide, while enjoying a higher margin (one reason our prices are as high as they are is that our cash flow has relegated us to a wholesaler with easier terms but higher prices). For convenience and simplicity, for this purpose I’d go with the dry powder, all I need now is a way to package it…

  18. Bob says:

    Nice work. It takes a creative mind to come up with things like these. You must have tried it many times until you got it right. It could be frustrating trying to do it all over again just to make it right.

  19. Stephen says:

    On a little bit of tangent, but along the same lines of laundry detergent being pretty expensive I came across this this morning and was wondering if these would be worth a shot.


  20. Kristy says:

    I’ve made and used this soap for a while. It works great and isn’t that difficult to make. I have used both Zote and Fels Naptha bar soaps because they were recomended when I got the recipe. They weren’t anywhere near as sudsy in the washer as store-bought laundry soap. So it might be fine in the newer HE washers.

    On saving the old liquid soap bottle for storage. Mine was gelatinous enough that I don’t think it would pour out of those bottles.

    On making the laundry sile portable for the laundromat; you could put enought for 2 or 3 loads into a smallish tupperware thing and throw it into the laundry basket.

  21. Torrence says:

    I use 1/2 bar of fels naptha, 1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda. It works great!! For a short time I got lazy and bought some Tide and after several loads I had to make a new homemade batch. I like the way it cleans my clothes and linens. It’s easy to make. Its fun. It works!

  22. Boberta says:

    Hi! I am in the 7th grade and I am doing a science fair project on green cleaning products and i am going to test your laundry dtergent and compare its results to TIDE detergent i’m sooo glad i found this THANX!!!!

  23. Boberta says:

    Well right now i am working on my secience fair project. And i made the dtergent last night and i am about to test it. I put beet juice on t shirts and i am going to wash one with TIDE and one with slime!!! The only thing is mine looks different than the picture mine is watery. I am still going to try it. I’ll kepp everyone posted on my results! I

  24. Boberta says:

    Hi! It’s me Boberta again! well i finished testing and guess what?… This “slime” worked better than TIDE! So if you go on this website make this detergent because it worked better than TIDE! that is pretty impresive for homemade detergent so if you are using tide switch to this detergent that is 3 cents a gallon compared to 8$ for better cleaning quality!

  25. Boberta says:

    Hola! i found tha answer to my project and slime worked better than tide. that’s right! slime worked better than tide so definetly use this detergent!

  26. Boberta says:

    this detergent worked better than tide!!!!!!!!!

  27. Boberta says:

    slime works better than tide

  28. Chris says:

    To store it in an old detergent bottle, follow the recipe, then AFTER it gels, add a small amount of water and mix it very well, repeat until it is thin enough to pour. Then simply use a little more in the wash to compensate for the lowered potency.

  29. Angie says:

    I am trying to remove as many toxic products from daily life as possible. Is this considered an organic or natural non toxic laundry detergent? What does removing the borax do, less cleaning action? Do you have any recipes or links for other household non toxic natural cleaning products?

  30. Bill says:

    Water is an effective cleaner all by itself (that’s why those “eco balls” seem to clea so well)

    We’ve never used more than 1/2 the amount of any recommended detergent, liquid or powder (and we only wash in cold water, another dollar saver)

  31. bassandre says:

    wow thanks for the tip just got my new machine, and was shocked at the price of H.E. soaps. sure will give the homemade soap a try.

  32. Donna says:

    I have tried this recipe before. I really enjoyed making it and plan on doing it again. I was unable to find washing soda at the stores here in Alabama, but I did find some stuff at a local pool store. It is a pH balancer that is made of Sodium Carbonate, which is the same as what washing soda is made of. I paid $3.55 for 2 pounds.

  33. carol says:

    I’ll second what Bill said above. I NEVER use the recommended amount of any product. I usually start with something like 1/3 of the recommended amount — that’s what I use with the laundry detergents I get here in England. I did the same when I lived in the U.S. So, using your costs, I would spend 10 cents a load with no effort — but your slime does sound like fun!

    The other secret to saving money on laundry is to wash at the coldest temperature possible, and not use a (tumble) dryer. Dryers wear out your clothes faster.

  34. avi says:

    I make soaps using Israeli local products like jojoba oil olive oil etc.will be glad to send if a fellow soaper needs

  35. Sue says:

    Borax is a less-toxic chemical, like baking soda or washing soda. All are recommended by Annie Berthold-Bond, (AKA Annie B. Bond) of Care 2 Ask Annie. It’s much better/”greener” than normally-used household cleaning products and chemicals.

    I also like Annie’s book, Better Basics for the Home.

  36. Jamie says:

    Avi, I would love to hear from you about using different products to make soap, in particular laundry soap.
    Thanks so much!

  37. Doreen says:

    I used this recipe but with the Zote bar soap (.79) and a little less water. It works great! It is a low suds detergent and works great for my he washer.
    Recipe is 1/3 bar shaved into 4cups hot water
    when completely dissolved mix 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 washing sado until dissolved.
    remove from heat into bucket with 6 cups hot water and stir. Mix in another 6 cups plus 1 gallon water,stir and let sit over night.

  38. Making powder says:

    I make my own detergent but in powder form because I also live in an apartment and don’t have endless storage.

    It’s 1/3 borax, washing soda, & soap flakes (threw a bar of soap into my food processor). It works peachy. Because it’s a dry powder, I make batches and keep it in a ziploc bag. Cleans fine, cheap, stores well. When I used fels naptha as the soap flakes the powder was a bit irritating to my nose so now I use a regular bar of soap. The slime method is neat, but I also wouldn’t want to store it around.

  39. Cheeseburger says:

    Is the math right there at the end? If you can get 48 loads per slime mix and do it 6 times, isn’t that 288 loads? This would only be a savings of $77. Assuming 9.68 for supplies and $0.30 for each load of standard detergent. (Sorry to nitpick!)

  40. Liz says:

    Do you think you could use a couple drops of essential oils to give this a smell or do you think it would leave marks on the clothes? I love the idea of making my own laundry detergent but I also like it when my clothes smell “clean.”

  41. Susan says:

    Does this receipe work for HE washers? Do you have to alter the receipe any? I’ve noticed that my clothes are smelling a little like meldew lately and it’s not because I’ve been leaving the clothes in the washer overnight. I use tide now but I’m ready to try this.

  42. Ted Valentine says:

    Susan – Do you have one of those new upright washers? If so, do not close the door after you wash. Those doors are sealed so they don’t leak and they can get a funky mildew smell if leave the door closed. Leave it open to air out and see if that fixes your problem.

    I also am wondering if anyone uses this in an HE washing machine and if it works?

  43. marcel says:

    Be careful when doing this. Don’t inhale these substances.

  44. Ralph says:

    In my washer, adding a little bit of bleach keeps the mildew smell from happening — or at least keeps it from getting into the clothes.

  45. matthew says:

    baking soda may reduce mildew odours, and boosts cleaning, as well!

  46. Olivia says:

    If you live near a university, detergent is one of those things that often gets ‘abandoned’ during the move-out frenzy. See if you can get to a college laundry room while the students are moving out – I scored six months’ worth of Tide liquid and Tide with bleach.

    On a similar note, college kids throw out a ton of usable stuff that just won’t fit in the suitcase / station wagon. Usually there are big recycling dumpsters, or just piles of stuff for the taking.

  47. karen says:

    just a FYI this does NOT work in hard water…you will end up in a few weeks with seriously gray whites and the other detergents ARE cheaper as you don’t have to use the recommended amount, half usually works just as well.

  48. Mark says:

    How would this work in the dishwasher?

  49. Jim says:

    My wife discovered this recipe a couple of months ago, and has been using it ever since. We have 8 children and do a LOT of washing, so this is saving us a grundle. She also noticed the mildew smell, and found a recipe for dryer sheets as well. Except she uses a washrag dipped in the solution and tossed into the dryer with the wet load. She raves about how soft the towels are and how nice they smell.

    There are a ton of different recipes on the net for homemade fabric softener, and most of them involve vinegar. She uses one with vinegar and baking soda and essential oil for the scent. If you’ve never dumped baking soda into a container of vinegar, you’re in for a treat.

  50. Jim says:

    My wife discovered this recipe a couple of months ago, and has been using it ever since. We have 8 children and do a LOT of washing, so this is saving us a grundle. She also noticed the mildew smell, and found a recipe for dryer sheets as well. Except she uses a washrag dipped in the solution and tossed into the dryer with the wet load. She raves about how soft the towels are and how nice they smell.

    There are a ton of different recipes on the net for homemade fabric softener, and most of them involve vinegar. She uses one with vinegar and baking soda and essential oil for the scent. If you’ve never dumped baking soda into a container of vinegar, gather the kids around–you’re in for a treat.

    There are recipes for dishwasher detergent as well. And bubble bath, shampoo, lotion, sun block, toothpaste, lip balm, hair gel, bug repellant, perfume, deoderant, shaving cream… Don’t limit yourself. A lot of the homemade products are superior to store-bought ones, and usually the containers cost more than the contents. She has been sharing her products with extended family members, and they are telling stories about how their husbands comment on how soft their skin is, how their acne or eczema is clearing up, etc.

  51. Sue says:

    I got this recipe on a soaper’s yahoo group that I belong to and I made it with a little lavender essential oil and sweet orange EO to cut grease. It works great and I love the way it smells and how my clothes smell.

  52. Mary says:

    This recipe would be a great way to use up slivers of soap too small to use very well in the shower, or if a guest leaves soap in your shower after he/she leaves. As long as the total weight of all the pieces together is the same as a bar of soap, I don’t see why this wouldn’t work.

  53. Dona says:

    Mary– just make sure all the soap is the same kind. I heard of a Dad trying to make ends meet. So he saved up all the ends of all the bars of soap in his house to make new bars. His kids broke out in rashes after the 1st use– they used whatever was on sale so there was several different kinds of soap involved.

  54. dfp4648 says:

    Hey, I just found this website and am fascinated. Where would I get the recipes for other cleaning products. Are there other sources of this information? I am unemployed right now and could use all the help possible.

    Thanks, dfp4648

  55. Richard Wheet says:

    First.. this is not a detergent.. it is a soap mixture… because it is not a detergent you must realize that it may not perform as a detergent…

    For example, if your wash water is acidic, it reduces the cleaning action (detergent is not affected)…

    If you are using hard water (water from the gound verus a lake), the Mg and Ca will form an insoluble scum (detergents are not that affected by hard water)… but one of the your ingredients added is a water softner so it shouldn’t give an oily scrum only a powdery scum… (detergents use a zeolite that trap the Ca and Mg and it is removed with the water)…

    But, it is cheaper than commercial tide… but you could probably buy some LAS instead of the soap and have a detergent without the higher cost of a bar of soap… and just add the rest as washing soda and water softeners (and no slime.. just a powder)…

  56. tg says:

    I live in a condo with a laundry room – how do I know if I have hard water? If I do, can something be put in the washer machine load to make it soft water? Vinegar? Ammonia? or something? Also, my son likes to work on cars and get grease spots on his clothes. My husband suggested using a dish soap that has a degreaser in it, but there are still grease spots. Would this slime work – can it be used to spot clean prior to washing in the machine? Any help is appreciated.

  57. ma says:

    For the mildewey smell in your clothes, all washers can develop a smell after time. I use either clorox or vinegar in my washer to get rid of the smell. I just pour a gallon bottle in the washer and run it like a regular laundry load. It smells fresh and clean afterward and my clothes don’t smell bad anymore. I don’t do it regularly, maybe every 6 months to once a year.

  58. guin says:

    This is so cool but i think it cost more than a DOLLAR like you said it wouldnt. Oh well it is still cool!

  59. Steven says:

    Speaking of homemade products, I have been using one for my hair for quite some time… As you know, lots of men suffer from hair thinning and baldness, well, my ex is an herbalist and she was studying rogaine and some of the $40 to $50 bottles of hair restoration shampoo… Her herbal blend is something like this:
    Ingredients you will need:

    1 bottle of Listerine (USE THE OLDSCHOOL YELLOW BOTTLE! DON’T use the green, blue or other flavors like Citrus. Use the plain oldschool stuff)
    1 bottle of tea tree oil
    1 dropper bottle (the one that has the round bulb like base and the thin long stem at the top…)

    Just mix the listerine and tea tree oil together, using the medicine dropper thing (not sure what those are called anyway) and apply to hair! It’s best to only use a small amount of tea tree oil to the listerine, maybe a mixture of 85% listerine to 15% tea tree oil… I don’t know how this works for completely bald men, but my thinning hair has grown out much better! Use the stuff at least once a day…. What this actually does is kill off the bacteria that causes the hair to fall out. So no more messing with saw palmetto extract, which can affect your sex drive… (It’s the excess testosterone levels which can affect hair loss as well)…

  60. Steven says:

    Actually, I messed up… You don’t want to apply the substance to the hair itself, rather try and work it into the scalp… You will notice your hair looks a bit different once it starts to work, and after a few months, you will DEFINITELY notice a difference. When I shampoo my hair a few times a week, I use Vive Pro for men (the one specifically for fine/thinning hair), but make sure you use a conditioner afterwards, as it can make your hair a bit rough… Don’t get the 2 in 1 conditioner/shampoo Vive, as the conditioner is nowhere near as good as a separate bottle…

  61. Howardine Boehm says:

    My mother used Fels Naphtha bar soap for laundry when I was young, about 70 years ago. The clothes were always clean and smelled good, but maybe that was because they were line dried. I remember making my own “goo” for hand laundry as an early teen. TSP(brand)and a non-phosphate, trisodium phosphate, found in paint sections, White King water softener, all soften water and aid cleaning and help with grease as does ammonia. DON’T use with chlorine bleach. Do wear gloves when using for cleaning and run the ventilating fans. None of these products have enzymes which help remove organic stains. Hydrogen peroxide works on most organic stains. Bar Keepers Friend mixed with water to form a paste removes most rust stains. Rinse thoroughly. I, too, have had to reduce the amount of detergent by at least one half. With the HE washer I use less than a tablespoonful of detergent. Even so it requires more than two rinses to remove the suds.

  62. sally shaw says:

    i have greatly enjoyed this section of soap making and cant wait to get started making my own i remember wood ashes and lye made in black caldron outside this seems easier thanks so much

  63. Carol says:

    I’ve been doing this for 6 months. My clothes are whiter than they’ve been in a long time. My mother lives in the country and has well water with a high iron content. She cannot use bleach on her clothes or they turn yellow. She now has snow white Whites. We use Ivory as we have very sensitive skin all around. None of us have ha any problems with it.

    I have an HE washer and it works fine. I store mine in a huge bottle (from my last purchase at the wholesale club) and fill a smaller bottle (from my pre-wholesale club days) for use in the house. I use as much as I would have of te store bought HE detergent. Iv’e had no problems with sudsing or lack of cleaning.

    Thankyou for all the posts. After reading this thread, I’m going to check out the fabric softener recipe and see how that goes.

  64. Renee says:

    I’ve made my own laundry soap before (inspired by my regular soap making hobby) and used fragrance oils (that I usually use for making bars of soap) in the laundry so they’d smell nice. As the washer is filling with water I drop just a little bit in along w/ the soap so it’ll disperse a little more. Then I put the clothes in when it’s filled. People at work comment on how good I smell and I don’t even wear perfume. You don’t have to use a lot of fragrance-I learned early on. Just a couple of drops per load. I have tons of fragrance/essential oils for soap so I can basically make my clothes smell different every time and however I want. It’s very fun!

  65. Renee says:

    One more thing-using the fragrance oil made our basement smell nice!

  66. Gina says:

    I think it is cool a guy takes the time and energy to come up with this idea. Good for you, So many weird questions and people refiguring cost.. Hey it is money saving and that it worth a try. Can we say divide the recipe for a smaller batch.. Thanks

  67. jon says:

    In calculating the money savings you do not take into account cheaper soaps such as Purex. You also do not address the energy cost associated with the cooking process. In order for your 3cent claim to be viable I suggest taking into account all costs.

  68. janaet says:

    Want an even cheaper way to make the slime? Save the small pieces of soap as they melt away from use. I have been doing something silmilar to this for my towel & bed sheet washes. Thanx for other info on the borax! Enjoy your site

  69. Reading all of this and thinking about my aunts and grandmother. They would buy inexpensive soap and always just added a little borax, a little washing soda without premixing it to boost the cleaning power. In the rinse cycle, they added a dash of old fashioned bluing to the whites. Nothing new. Easier than mixing up all of this and storing it. Off brands of liquid or powder soap and the extra products and you are all set and saving money and no mixing or storage problems. But I guess if you like to have science in the kitchen, you would be missing that fun.

  70. Kate says:

    Any answer to the hard water problem? I’ve got moderately hard well water and I’d like to make this detergent if there’s a way to counteract the hard water issue.

  71. karen says:

    I’m interested too in the hard water problem — I was all set in making this homemade laundry soap until I read about the graying whites! Now, I’m bummed out — it appears a cost savings solution for soft water people only.

  72. Jennifer says:

    I’m having a hard time finding the washing soda. Not at Walmart or Kmart. Any suggestions?

  73. Jessi says:

    Renee – where would one find essential oils for soap making? This is not a craft I know much if anything about.

  74. Sarah says:

    Will this work with HE washers or will it over-sud?

  75. ME says:

    Hey Jon-
    If this slime works well you cannot compare to a cheap soap like Purex! That stuff wreaked havoc on my clothes when I bought it! If it cleans well then it should be compared to a detergent that cleans well. And energy costs should not be that bad.
    That being said, it’s not really that big of a savings but if you do this with a lot of things it can add up. (I only do like three loads a week) SO if you wanna have fun then experiment at home and who knows? You may end up with the best smelling sudsy goo that you can sell and really save $$ with!!

  76. Boukante says:

    tg –
    To get grease and oil stains out of clothes, I use waterless hand cleaner. Goop is a common brand, but you can go to your local autoparts store and get a tub of it for less than $1. Just make sure that you get the creme version that does not have pumice in it or is orange scented. It should be a white cream.

    Using it is easy. On a dry garment (very important), rub a dollop into the grease stain. Then launder it as you normally would. For really stubborn stains you may have to repeat the process. Just remember the garment has to be dry in order to get the best results.

    Is it the only way to get the grease stains out of my boys’ clothes.

  77. g. giordano says:

    This seems like a huge step backward to me. I remember my mom in the 40’s making soap in a large galvanized tub (the one we all bathed in) and how hard she worked to save pennies because having 8 kids was expensive. We couldn’t afford bar soap so she did everything possible to save. Too many sad memories to go down this road.

  78. TONY says:

    Sounds like too much work to save 27 cents…I rather pay the extra pennies and get colorguard so i know my clothes wont fade. Give me the instructions to make gasoline…now thats worth something

  79. Laurel says:

    Kristy: My bar of Zote is about twice the size of a regular bar of soap and also about twice the size of the Fels Naptha soap I have. Is this the size you used?

    Carol: My daughter has eczema. Would you recommend I use Ivory in this recipe for her?

    Thanks all! I JUST found this website. I may not be as frugal and thrifty as you, but I have “issues” about paying enormous amounts of money for ADVERTISING and PACKAGING! I also ENJOY finding ways to save money. I learned a few years ago (when I was unemployed) that you can often find ways to save HUGE amounts of money without changing your lifestyle.

    My then 16 year-old daughter threw a FIT one day because I wouldn’t pay $10 for Bed, Bath and Beyond spray lotion for her (someone had given her some and it had run out). While she was at school one day, I stirred a little dollar-store baby oil (mineral oil with fragrance) into some dollar store lotion. I then added a speck of green food coloring and a splash of her cucumber-melon body spray to make it look and smell like her lotion. I put it in the original bottle and when she came home she threw her arms around me and thanked me profusely! I didn’t tell her until 6 years later what I had done!

    Keep up the good work!

  80. DEVON says:

    Can you subsitute baking soda for washing soda? Can’t find washing soda anywhere. Thanks!! Editor’s note: Baking soda is NOT a substitute for washing soda!

  81. Laurel says:

    P.S. The baby oil was to thin it down enough so that it would spray.

  82. Laurel says:

    On another note….

    The lady at the laundrymat uses a can of Coke in the wash cycle for greasy clothes and hunting clothes. She claims the acid gets the grease and smell out of clothes.

    Also, I use Goo-Gone or De-Solv-It to get grease spots out. It works VERY well.

  83. Andrea says:

    I just buy an off brand. I buy Sun detergent for $2.29 a bottle. The bottle does 32 loads.

  84. Laurel says:

    Just got back from the store(s). Bought the washing soda at Kroger for $1.99 (I HATE going to Kroger because everything costs SO much more than my local grocery store!)

    The personal size bar of soap is 3.1 oz. The bath size is 4.5 oz. Zote is 14.1 oz. How much should I use?

  85. Jennifer says:

    Sounds like a good experiment for the kids (ie “I’ll let you make goop in the kitchen if you’ll wash the laundry”)


  86. Laurel says:

    What about adding some Calgon (liquid) to the mixture for hard water?

  87. Laura says:

    I made a batch of this stuff yesterday a.m., using a full bar of Fels Naptha. Since our well-water is so hard we use a water-softener (K-Life). I also have an HE washing machine. To compensate for the very soft water and the type of machine I have, I only used 1/2 cup of “slime” in my load of whites this morning. Because I didn’t see any sudsing, I was a little concerned that perhaps the clothes wouldn’t be really clean, but they smelled fine (actually, no smell at all) when they came out of the washer. When they came out of the dryer (sorry folks…no clothesline)I was very pleased with their crisp clean feel and their whiteness. I hope this helps other people with HE machines. Thanks, Trent!

  88. DAWN says:


  89. Laurel says:

    OK, I made a half recipe last night using 2.25 oz. of grated 1-2-3 Rosa soap (Mexican laundry soap) that I paid $.53 for. I should be able to make about 6 half-batches with the one bar (14.25 oz). I could have used Zote for $.79/bar but thought I’d try this weird pink bar.

    I did the soap and water part in the microwave for a couple of minutes, stirring half-way through and then used a fine strainer to pour it into the bucket just in case there might be solids. It turned into a gel quite well but then got a little more liquidy/gloppy as I “broke” (dipped into) the gel today. I should be able to store it in an old laundry detergent bottle without a problem.

    I used about 1 1/2 cups of the slime in each load because I have an extra large tub in my washer. I’m glad I had read the posts about not having any suds because I would have been concerned. Then I remembered someone telling me that most of the suds you see are for effect and do not indicate cleaning ability.

    As far as I can tell, the slime did a good job of cleaning my many loads of laundry but then again, they really weren’t DIRTY (all girl house). They don’t have any smell, which could be a GOOD thing for my daughter who has eczema, and feel soft.

    I’ll let you know whether the clothes got CLEAN when I fold this huge pile of laundry (next month??) :o)

  90. char says:

    In answer to your dark clothes fading, my adult daughters who wear a lot of dark clothes, line dry their shirts, pants etc. Since the clothes are stiff from line drying, they toss them in the clothes dryer for just a few mins with a fabric softener sheet and a damp washcloth and in 5 mins or so they are soft. They think the combination of abrasion of a whole load of clothes and the high heat causes the blacks and darks to fade. They also turn all clothes inside out for washing to keep the clothes looking newer longer. Also use cold water to wash and rinse.

  91. Mable Klee says:

    I have several bars of lye soap. The old fashioned bars of soap used years ago. Could they be used to make this soap. How many ounces of grated soap are needed?
    Thank you

  92. Susan says:

    I use my vegetable peeler to shave the soap

  93. margaret says:

    I’d like info on where to find recipes for the other products mentioned like lotions, sun block and bug repelant.

  94. Mike says:

    I made a batch of this soap the other day and did a couple loads of laundry yesterday. It seemed to clean OK but I’m not sure it did better than the store bought stuff only because it didn’t smell quite clean. I did use the recipe as it was except I used Zote instead of a regular bar of soap. Are there any fragrances I could get to add to this and also is there anything else I can add to make it clean a little bit better. Other than that I do plan to keep making it and trying to refine it to make it better.

  95. Elm says:

    For those of you unable to find washing soda:

    You can heat baking soda to convert it to washing soda. It must be heated above 140 degrees F, though the higher the temp the faster the conversion. I set my oven to 350 degrees for a half hour and used a shallow non-reactive dish for mine.

    The chemistry is available at wikipedia.

  96. Laurel says:


    If you need more cleaning power, you can increase the amount of borax (I used equal amounts of borax and washing soda) and/or add a little water softener.

    Read the posts above for fragrance helps. Essential oils apparently help. I don’t have any problems with the LACK of smell when I made the slime.

  97. Eric says:

    Great post on the green chemistry of laundry detergent. I look forward to future ideas. Thanks.

  98. Liz says:

    Due to allergies, I’ve been using a similar (dry) mixture for some time now, and ran into the graying whites problem when I moved to a hard water area. I found that adding powdered Calgon water softener improved the performance in hard water. My recipe is a 1:1:2 borax/washing soda/grated soap mixture, I add the Calgon in the same proportion as the borax and washing soda.

  99. Bambi says:

    How long can the slime be stored and am I to store it in a cool, dark place like under the sink?

  100. char says:

    say, i’m gonna try this and use all those pieces of bar soap that are too small to use for anything else. then i only have to pay for the washing soda, boraxo and the water. i know, the bar of soap will probably be a buck or less, but i’ve been trying to figure out what to do with all those slivers of bar soap.

  101. country_cook says:

    Hi everyone! I’ve been using this for the past couple of months. I’ve got mild hard water and use it just fine. No problems. I do use bleach still when I wash my whites with it and boy are they bright! I did not have any washing soda so I’ve just been using the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda in the big box in the laundry aisle (it says it works great on laundry so I figured what the heck). It gets the clothes clean and that’s all I care – and saves money! I use vinegar in the downey ball for fabric softener and that’s been working great. I do put a little more in it than where the line goes to. I’ve been using a variety of soaps and all seem to work great. I grate it on a box cheese grater I have as my processor broke and they make perfect flakes to use for the dry mix. So, this is a great replacement for the laundry and great for the environment, too.

  102. Ron says:

    An HE washer requires HE deterggent. It’s low sudzing. Otherwise it will build up inside the washer and ruin it. Considering they are very expensive it’s not worth it. Unless you have a service agreement and have it cleaned once a year.
    To solve the mildew smell it is good to leave the door open but also wipe inside the rubber gasket at the bottom as water and debris collect there. Also use a small amount of bleach to wipe the drum and opening. Most new HE’s have a clean cycle using bleach which runs it through the entire machine.

  103. Karen says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I’m just starting to convert to more natural products. I’ve heard that a bit of tea tree oil in the laundry will cut the mildew smell on clothes but haven’t tried it yet.

  104. Liz says:

    I make it a habit to limit the amount of things in my house that will kill me or small children in amounts we could ingest. Thus, I don’t use bleach. Ron, if you’re trying to disinfect, mix half water, half white vinegar, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil (I use peppermint or lavender). The vinegar and the essential oil will kill mildew in the same way bleach does and the essential oil hides the vinegar smell.

    PS Vinegar can sometime be petroleum-based. EWW! Make sure to get heinz, organic, or another variety which claims not to be.

  105. We’ve been making this for a while now. I posted about it (with our cost breakdown) here:

    I suggest that for those iwth a small space, it might work to go in together with other couples and make it and split it. But I use the Borax and Washing Soda for most of my other cleaning (floors, sinks, even walls), so it doesn’t take up extra space for storing it since I don’t have a lot of the other cleaners.
    When we began making it we were a family of nine living in 1200 square feet, so we were pressed for space, too, but managed.

    I like it better than Tide. Tide faded my clothes, this doesn’t. And We do have a newer frontloading washing machine and have it doesn’t suds up too much for the washer. With our recipe we only use 1/3 of a bar of soap, so maybe that’s why. And this way it’s not so thick a gel that we can’t ladle it into bottles. And with it in bottles, you could simply take a small bottle with you to the laundromat.

  106. Charlene says:

    Has anyone tried this with Ivory soap? I tried the exact recipe with Ivory and it isn’t the slightest bit slimey – just VERY VERY runny, soapy water (yes, I did the exact amount of water called for on the recipe on both attempts). I am wondering if the lack of thickening is because of the Ivory soap? I have to use laundry soap without added fragrances – that is why I picked Ivory. What about the Fels Naptha soap – how much of the bar would I use? (since it is a large sized bar).
    Thanks in advance for your assistance or recommendations.

  107. Laurel says:

    Borax is a MINERAL, not a chemical, so those of you “going green” can rest assured that it’s natural.

  108. William says:

    I can’t find washing soda anywhere in my area. I have tried to big box marts and a grocery store. Any ideas?

  109. Dsmith says:

    William, I am just using the big box of Arm and Hammer baking soda in the laundry aisle – mine was up on the top shelf at Wal-Mart. I’ve been using it for a little over a month now and works great. Right on the box it says great for laundry, house cleaning, etc.

  110. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    You can turn baking soda into washing soda by baking it in the oven – under intense heat, baking soda turns into washing soda and produces small amounts of water and carbon dioxide (hey, look, it’s the chemistry geek in me coming out). Is there a need to do this? Washing soda is a better cleaning agent; baking soda is really mostly effective as a fabric softener. I think, unless your clothes are filthy, that baking soda would be an appropriate substitute.

  111. Jenny says:

    Very sceptical “MOM”!!! Thought I would try it. I found washing soda at Kroger for $1.99 for a 55oz. box. Wal-mart didn’t have it. Sheet rock mud bucket came from my neighbor. Cleaned out the dried mud. Looks brand new. Lid actually seals. This stuff works great!!

  112. Helena says:


    How long to I bake the baking soda in the oven for and at what temperature. Is the quantity an issue?

    I am excited about trying this.

  113. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    Helena: there’s no tried and true recipe for it. The one time I did it, I just spread baking soda out on a cookie sheet, put it on the broiler rack, cranked the oven to broil, and let it sit there for a long while (an hour, maybe). I don’t think I got 100% conversion, but it converted some of it.

  114. DeputyHeadmistress says:

    Charlene, we’ve made it with Ivory soap, and our laundry soap has never ‘gelled’ enough that there’s any trouble putting it in narrow mouthed plastic bottles and pouring it out. It works anyway. In fact, we’ve made it with all kinds of soaps, including Goat’s milk, natural lavendar, and forty year old bars of something called ‘American Family.’ Cleans our clothes just as well. I kinda think the main function of the bar of soap is helping the stuff thicken a bit, but that’s just my guess.

    My husband manages a grocery store, and if a customer asks him if he can get in a certain product, he will look into and see if he thinks it’s worth the risk to stock it at least once and see how it sells. He figures if one customer is brave enough to ask him, there may be others interested.

    You can get all this stuff from Amazon:
    Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, 55 oz by Church & Dwight Co./Arm & Hammer Div.

    Buy new: $1.75

    20 Mule Team Borax, 76 oz

    Fels Naptha is scented now, and not a good choice for those with skin allergies. Also, as I explain on my blog, the reason most recipes specify Fels Naptha is because they are based on older recipes (from our grandparents) when Fels Naptha had Napthalene in it. It doesn’t anymore, and Fels Naptha is not required for this to work.

  115. Mia says:

    heyy i am doing a science research project at skool and need to make washing POWDER not liquid!! does any one have a cheap and efficient recipe????! and does phosphate in laundry powder effect the wash??! as in…is phosphate laundry powders more efficient then the environmental stuff that doesnt contain phosphate???!

  116. Dsmith says:

    All I know is this stuff really works. My husband works in a meatlocker and I have two rowdy young kids who get very dirty and everything comes out clean and the towels don’t have that stiffness to them anymore, they are really soft! Great stuff! I might try getting some of the washing soda next time to see if that makes a difference instead of the baking soda.

  117. Lori says:

    I just finished my first bucket of slime and now I am getting ready to make another. I love it! My clothes come out so soft. I am also trying to line dry my clothes as much as possible, because nothing smells better than lined dry clothes. It will be 96 degrees here in Northern Kentucky, so the clothes will dry faster and cheaper than in the dryer.
    I also like making this because it is so much better than buying plastic bottle after plastic bottle of detergent. Where do those bottles end up? In a landfill for all eternity. The bucket I purchased, however, will be used over and over and never disgarded. Thanks, Trent, for a great money and environment saver.

  118. Laurel says:

    I’ve now made and used my second 1/2 batch. The first was made with Rosa 1-2-3 laundry soap ($.53 for 14.5 oz. – bought in a Mexican grocery, recommended by a Mexican lady, and cheaper than Zote!). The second batch was with Fels Naptha. Next time I will make it with Zote and let you know which one works the best.

    I found that once you break the initial gelatinous mass (slime), it has a tendency to break apart. If you have an immersion blender/mixer, they are GREAT for breaking up the slime so that it will go into a bottle. You may have to do it twice but it will then stay “broken”.

    OK, for the chemistry geeks…..

    Some laundry detergent recipes I’ve found online call for glycerin. What does glycerin do for the laundry? I noticed that Rosa 1-2-3 and Zote both have glycerine in them.

  119. Mia, you can make this as a dry laundry soap. Just grate the bar soap really, really small, using cheese grater (on the food processor would make it easier), and don’t heat it or add water. You’d only need a spoonful for each load I would guess.

  120. Sacoya says:

    When my detergent turns gelatinis? could i add vinegar and grapefruit juice??? lol or just vinegar and some cheap good smelling not hard to find essential oil any tips???

  121. TraceyinVA says:

    My first batch is “cooking” now (congealing?). Will try it out tomorrow. This will be so cool if it works. The ingredients for many batches takes up much less space then a bunch of jugs…

  122. dsmith says:

    I was wondering if the dry powder would work with septic systems? I notice it dissolves really well and such a small amount is used in the wash that I don’t think it would clump up together like regular dry detergents would. Any ideas? I love using the powdered homemade stuff but want to make sure it won’t clump up in the septic system. Any input? Thanks!

  123. Jason says:

    Borax might be naturally occuring, but then so is mercury, and they’re both still poisonous. Borax has a ph of about 8 or 9, and 5 grams is enough to kill someone, so I would be very careful using it.
    Washing soda is also high in ph. In fact Baking soda which is not as strong, can easily be substited for it in this recipe.
    Personally, as a real greenie, I would use just baking soda with a mild soap, along with an essential oil like melaleaucca for a nice smell.
    The proof is in the pudding I guess. If it cleanses ok, well, that’s enough isn’t it?

  124. nc says:

    okay, what exactly is the end product supposed to look like? mine looks like soft tofu on top and water below.

  125. Jessica says:

    I found the Arm and Hammer Washing soda in 55 oz bags. Is this the right size for this recipe? Thanks!

  126. Gen says:

    Mine turned out similar to nc’s, is that the correct texture? I am also looking for safe and green water softener. I’m trying to make everything more healthy for the chitlins, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

  127. Annie says:

    Question: if you use this with cold water, will it harm the machine? (Maytag top loader, about 8 years old, if that helps)
    Thanks for any advice!

  128. Jeff says:

    I want the formual to making HE Soap in a 5 Gallon Pail, Please. I have a He Washer Machine.

  129. Brooke says:

    I made this recipe today using a 4oz. bar of Kirks Cocoa Castile Soap (.99) and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (the box was a lighter yellow than regular Arm & Hammer found in the detergent aisle), and 20 Mule Team Borax. I added orange essential oil for added grease fighting power and lavender essential for a bit of additional fragrance. This made a pleasantly clean smelling result combined with the Kirks Cocoa Castile Soap. I have 3 small children and a husband who hauls steel (they call them “dirty shirts” for a reason!) – so I hope this concoction does the trick, all the while saving me $$$. I’ll post my results soon!
    P.S. – my price breakdown: This recipe actually makes 52 cups of soap if you consider the 4 cups hot water you dissolve the bar of soap in and the 48 cups (3gal) you put in the pail. Trent’s recipe states 48.
    $1.49 for:
    52 – 1cup washes = 2.8¢ per load
    104 – ½ cup washes = 1.4¢ per load
    208 – ¼ cup washes = .7¢ per load
    Depending on your soil level you can save even more than the average 2.8¢ per load!!!!!!

  130. kazoo says:

    I bought the borax, washing soda and 5 bars of octagon soap for $9.83.This is enough to make 13 batches. With left over borax for other household cleaning. Say I use 1 cup a day, that’s 30 a month. 13 batches is enough to last at least 1 year( most likely more) for under $10.00. I premixed mine in 8 ounce jelly jars. The first jar labled part one had the 1/3 bar octagon soap. This filled the 8 oz jar when grated. Then I mixed the 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup washing soda in the other jar labeling it part 2. I did this with the 13 batches and have them ready to just dump and mix when one batch runs out.These can be reused for years. I am also planing on trying to sell this at a local farmers market for say 5 (maybe 5.50 -6) dollars a kit with the instructions. This comes out to about a dollar ( including jar and instructions) per batch kit to make. I will make about 4 dollars a batch (if not more). If everything works out fine.

    They sell a kit of( if I remember right)7 bars FelsNaptha, 1 box borax 79 oz and 1 box washing soda 55 oz for over $20.00 on soapsgonebuy.com! Still a great savings but you can make it cheaper yourself. But if you can not find the ingredients yourself and still want to try it out that is the way to go.

    I have found this solution works very well for getting stains out of whites. I wash my military whites seperate (because I like to hand wash these and give them extra care) in the sink with about 1/8 cup washing soda, 1/8 cup borax and a little octagon grated in the hot water. Any stains I rub with an extra bar of octagon while I wash. I actually got a stain out that a tide pen would not make a dent on. The clothing does not smell after and is sparkling white.

    This is great for HE washers for those of you still wanting to know. Won’t suds much but it does work. I find that if you want scent, buy a little clean laundry smelling body spray and spray lightly on the load after it comes from the dryer. This is cheaper than the essential oils( especially if you can find it on sale) I have seen. Essential oils can be found on any web site for making candles and soap.

    I have also found that you can get 64-1/2 cup loads out of a 2 gal bucket or 32-1 cup loads for heavily soiled laundry. This I have calculated to less than a penny a load depending on the ingredients costs (I found mine on sale and stocked up!). If I am more worried about a load of extra dirty whites I occasionally add a scoop of oxyclean.

    This has saved so much room in my cleaning cupboard (along with other homemade cleaning products) and I have enough on hand for over a year at a load a day.

    Didn’t intend for this to run so long but this is a great solution to low income/ one income families. You can make powdered forms or liquid, stronger or weaker solutions, large buckets or small. You cut down on wasted plastic that will sit in a land fill for generations to come and cost of over all soap! Plus the finner you grate the soap the less time you need to cook the solution so it really does take a whole lot of energy to make just a little muscle power. Use vinegar as a softener and hang drying your clothes and you are saving bundles. I have found a bucket of detergent at Sam’s Club 200 loads for 11.22 and I still find this to be a huge savings.Plus you have fun at the sametime!

    Well enough from me. Hope this helps someone out.

  131. yolandak says:

    where do you buy borax

  132. Holly says:

    This might be a dumb question, but I’ve looked for “washing soda” everywhere w/ no luck. I used baking soda instead because it was the only thing “in the detergent aisle w/ Arm & Hammer logo” as the instructions say. Am I really using the same thing or is there washing soda out there somewhere? Thanks.

  133. Holly says:

    I guess if I would have read more replies here, I would have answered my own question. Sorry and thanks. ; )

  134. Teena says:

    I have been using this slime for awhile now and love it. I do add a bar of Fels Naphta ( don’t know if I spelled that right) for the extra cleaning power though. You can usualy find it along with the washing powder in the grocery store. Here they have it at Price Chopper and Hy-V. You can also make your own fabric softener that works great. Mix 2 cups of baking soda with 2 cups of white vinager and 2 cups of water. Keep in mind that the soda and vinager will bubble like a volcano so mix slowly. There will be no vinager smell in your clothes and they will be SO soft! I recamend that you use a Downey Ball to put the mixture in and not the frabric softener despenser on your washer. You will need to stir it a little each time you use it.

  135. Sabrina says:

    I also tried miiex one batch using the recipe and was quite happy with the results. I could not find washing soda where i live but i found a site with a similiar recipe that said that OXI-CLEAN WOULD WORK just as well as the SODA i used it and was happy with results. ANyone else used OXI CLEAN?

    Also some mentioned home made recipes for Shampoo, bath soap and a couple others WHERE can i find the website with these recipes?

  136. cathy l says:

    I have just been downsized. this looks like a great way to save money! thanks

  137. kazoo says:

    I have found that if you mix:
    1 cup washing soda
    1 cup oxyclean
    1 cup borax
    ( can add sea salt for an added scrubbing agent)

    You can soak stains out of perceline tubs/sinks and while you are at it soak your cleaning sponges in the sink or scrub your trash cans in the tub. Soak blinds in the tub while whitening it. If you add a cup of storebought detergent or a bar of laundry soap to this solution it makes a great soak for greasy pans or stove top burners. Makes grease rub right off dishes. Put half a cup of this solution in the toilet and let it sit. Scrub a little and flush.There is so much you can do with these few ingredients beyond laundry soap.Have fun! And experiment. Just make sure you know your ingredients before you start mixing. Don’t want to create anything dangerous. Label and keep away from pets and kids.

  138. Ellie says:

    I have just read every response on here and no one came back with the answer to several others’ question of where to find the recipes for the sun block and other things mentioned. Thanks.

  139. Laurel says:

    I’ve made several batches of this laundry soap and have used it for a couple of months now. Whenever I go into a different grocery store, I look to see what kind of laundry bar soap they have and have used several (Fels Naptha, Zote, 1-2-3, Kirks Castile and another than I’m not too sure about yet). I don’t have a preference yet. They all seem to clean just as well. I just bought 4oz. of lavender essential oil on ebay so that I can add some for a little fragrance. This soap works as well as any detergent I have ever used, regardless of price.

    I don’t usually use fabric softener but thought I’d try using vinegar in the rinse cycle. The more I thought about it, I decided not to because vinegar costs $2/gallon at my grocery store and that’s almost what I spent on laundry detergent! Using it would defeat the purpose of making the soap and I didn’t use it (fabric softener) anyway, so why start now?!?!?!?

    One more thing……

    I have been using peroxide, which I buy in large bottles at Walmart for less than a dollar, for any kind of stain that’s organic. I wash and dry the item first and then put peroxide on the stain and re-wet it every so often just to keep it wet for several hours. This works VERY well on baby clothes (food, formula, other icky stuff), food stains, and bloody items. Again…..you MUST wash and dry it FIRST before using the peroxide. I put a pull-top on the bottle that I got from a dish detergent bottle. This makes it a LOT easier to use!! (I use water bottles with sipper pop-tops for LOTS of things in the kitchen like cooking oil, vinegar, vanilla, and other liquids. It makes pouring and measuring them a LOT easier!) Wash the item again after using the peroxide.

    Here’s something I’m VERY glad I discovered:

    My grandson threw up on a brand new T-shirt that he got at the zoo. Before my daughter got around to washing it, it had mildewed BADLY. My daughter paid WAY too much on that T-shirt so I decided to try the peroxide on it. Again, I washed it and dried it and then put peroxide on all the little dots of mildew. I worked it in with my fingernail (a LOT) and kept the stains wet for several hours/overnight. The mildew is GONE! I had never had any luck getting mildew out without bleach but that wasn’t an option with this BRIGHT YELLOW T-SHIRT! I had tried everything I could think of and many of the items suggested on a number of websites with no luck.

    Tonight I was looking at my cleaning supply list because I’m taking a week off to do “fall cleaning”. The more I looked at the list, the more I realized that I can make my own cleaning supplies and save a LOT of money and probably make something that works better than what I can buy!

    Just thought I’d pass this on. I’m really glad I found this website. It has persuaded me to make a variety of cleaning products that I had never tried before and has saved me LOTS of money!


  140. Pam Bacani says:

    Can you use Cold Process homemade soap with this. Will the Lye effect the laundry soap?

  141. Jan Rendek says:

    Here in Slovakia (Europe, formerly part of CzechoSLOVAKIA), you can still get bar laundry soap (see http://www.palma.sk/palmakategoria.php?ID=11). We use it for occasional washing of clothes when travelling, but also for regular washing machine jobs (in that case, I also turn it into the slime). Note that to get rid of soap residues, you are well advised to use vinegar (a plain one, not made of vine or apples) in stead of fabric softner. Otherwise, your clothes will get duller with each washing. No worries, vinegar disappears completely even before drying cycle.
    Using this soap in conjunction with vinegar, you get perfect results for a fraction of cost while avoiding ugly chemicals.

    Jan, Bratislava, Slovakia

  142. Dorothy says:

    Have any of you tried storing your liquid detergent in empty gallon water bottles, use a funnel to get it into the gallon jugs. I keep mine in my laundry room. You can re-use the jugs a couple times.

  143. Stephanie says:

    I’m on my second batch of this stuff and I use one of those giant kitty litter plastic boxes for mine and it works perfectly. I love this and my friend just made hers too :)

  144. Laurel says:

    Heat it back up in the microwave if you want to liquify it in order to put it in a bottle. Just shake it WELL before using it or it won’t come out of the bottle.

  145. Linda says:

    You can use ivory bar soap or any kind of bar soap like Aveeno (cost is a little more then). I found that the soap works well for my clothes and it doesn’t have any irritants for senitive skin users. My son has ecema so we have to be careful on what we use. We are use to the soap not having any smell to it. You can also put some Tea Tree Oil in your soap or fragrance if you desire. We buy a 2 GALLON tupperware jug to put our soap in and it works well. I give it a 5 star raiting. Thanks for those people who share easy expenses like this.

  146. Mel says:

    Be really careful when using sudsy things in HE washers–you can destroy the filter and some other parts if you constantly have an excess of suds. My washer will actually pause itself if there are too many suds, but you definitely want to make sure this never happens. Also, as another commenter pointed out, bar soap can leave horrible residue unless couteracted with vinegar. I would be really concerned if you have an HE washer. We save a lot of money because I don’t use a special HE detergent in my washer. I just buy a huge 30-gallon bucket of store-brand detergent (on sale, 3.99-5.99) and use about 1-2 tablespoons in the compartment. I also boost really stained loads with maybe a few teaspoons of OxyClean, and I directly stain treat with a product like Spray N Wash or Shout. Our clothes come out great. It would cost me about the same or more to make my own soap, and I would constantly have to worry about build-up, suds, and other possible problems (like ruining our clothes or our washer that we saved and saved to buy; it is the first washer we have ever owned, by the way). To me, this is not worth it. I guess if you have a regular washer something like this would save you money because you go through soap faster. Hope this helps those with HE washers, and maybe someone who’s really pressed for time.

  147. Tamie says:

    re: Hey, this gives me an idea…I work in a convenience store.
    > For convenience and simplicity, for this purpose I’d go with the dry powder, all I need now is a way to package it…
    Terry @ 11:20 pm March 15th, 2007

    You’ve possibly already figured it out by now, but just in case: why not go the way of the Bulk Barn stores and just sell it by the pound/kg? You might have to mix in (an) additional ingredient(s) to keep if from becoming one big solid (a little maltodextrin is added to salt, for instance, to make it pour easily) and let your customers scoop out as much as they want to buy, either into their own containers from home, or into a bag, or into the kind of plastic containers that you get Chinese food in (which can be bought cheaply, wholesale) which you’d sell for one or 2 cents each. I think you’d have a real winner on your hands. (Hey, I’d shop there for this product, alone… any chance you could open a store in Ottawa?)

  148. Mary Fuller says:

    The laundry soap intrigues me but I’m concerned about using this product with hard water. One comment mentioned this and I want to make sure my laundry isn’t going to get screwed up using hard water.
    Thank you.
    Mary Fuller

  149. Adam says:

    This is not a good idea. If you use one serving of laundry detergent per week, using 288 servings will likely take you five years! All the while, you will have a large bucket of slime sitting in your house, taking up space, and acting as a potential hazard for small children and pets. Also, the slime is likely to lose its hydration over the course of five years, reducing your potential utilization of it.

  150. Jim says:

    This all sounds great. But, I think I would rather make some home made Kahula in the kitchen. Lot easier to clean up the mess.

  151. Mike M. says:

    To save time & effort while making the Laudry Slime Soap:

    To reduce de soap bar into tiny particles, use a grater rather than a knife. Afterward, for those who have a blender, put the grated soap in at high speed for a few seconds… you shoud end up with soap flakes which will melt in a snap!

    I didn’t test with the blender yet but it should work nicely. Dont forget to rince your grater & blender after use.

  152. Suzanne says:

    I have been using the homemade slime for about 4 months…I make mine with Fels Naptha. This is a great product for cleaning sinks, faucets, tolets, and countertops. I also use this in the dishwasher, just fill the cups as usual.

  153. Harley Girl says:

    For our dark clothes (especially the first wash): I always pour in some vinegar and toss the items in inside out. I also cut the amount of detergent and don’t use softener. Keeps them looking new.

  154. ladybug_amc says:

    I am massage therapist needing to wash alot of sheets often. I am needing to take the massage oil off the sheets whithout making look or feel dull do u recomend this product

  155. Holly says:

    I am having a problem getting the laundry soap to become slimey. It remained very watery. I am fairly certain that I followed the directions exactly…Any ideas what I did wrong. It still works, but being a creature of habit (and used to more slimey liquid)I was dissapointed. My friend experienced the same reaction. We are eagerly waiting to hear from you. Thanks.

  156. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    It’s just fine if it is a bit watery – just mix it up well before filling a smaller jug with it (for pouring) and then shake that jug a bit before pouring a shot into your washing machine. The difference is in the soap – fels naphtha soap makes it get more gel-like, whereas other soaps can create a more watery texture.

  157. rajesh says:

    howto make detergent

  158. Betty-Ann says:

    Well, it’s been a couple of months since the recipe first appeared here. I hope that CHAR (7/02/07) has reread the recipe and used the proper ing. NOT Boraxo,it’s 20 Mule Team Borax. Hopefully she just made a spelling error,but it sure caught my eye. I appreciate the tip about wiping down the washer, esp. the gasket, with vinegar. Lately the front-loader in my building has been “smelly”, hopefully this will help.

  159. JL says:

    For the one who added mineral oil to lotion, just FYI. Mineral oil is a petroleum by-product. It clogs pores and is proven to cause lots of skin issues. It will feel creamy for a moment on contact but will NOT have any softening effect or combat dry skin – it will make dryness worse. Watch your popular stores for mineral oil in many cosmetics and body products. It will show negative results soon, don’t have to wait til you’re 90. There are companies who offer products that don’t use chemicals. I can steer you if you’d like. Granted, at the time you did that for your daughter, it may not have been known how mineral oil damages skin…so to be fair I want to say that.

  160. JL says:

    Oh SORRY, I said I could steer anyone interested in bath and body products to a company that doesn’t use all the junk…email me if you would like to know. I don’t know if I can say more specifically on this site. I use everything for the body from this site and on my family and friends with eczema, psoriasis, teen acne, rosecea, etc. These products are FREE from DEA (cheap foaming agent in almost everything,) preservatives, alcohols that dry the skin, mineral oil, and the chemicals that make a perfume last all day. You know, remove the junk and you can help just about anyone. I’ve seen it for almost five years!

    I bought the items today to my my first ‘slime’ and will do that tomorrow! Thank you for the recipes and ideas and I will look again but need to know how to find a site for the homemade fabric softener?! Thanks, Leigh


  161. Tom says:

    Good idea, and I’m not even a hippy or a green person by any means.
    But having less kids is the quickest, cheapest and most obvious solution for what you call “saving the planet”

  162. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    Not having children is very short-sighted. It’s far better to have children and teach them well, so they can spend their life being good people. I agree with “don’t have children” if you’re basically just going to turn them loose to run amok without educating them.

  163. pugmug says:

    I have made a couple (1/2) batches of this
    and ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I really don’t care about the savings so much, although it is a plus, what I love about it is that it is not full of toxic synthetic chemicals and purfumes(also full of chemicals)like laundry soaps are. I last used the Fels Naptha bar and like the fact that it doesn’t make your clothes smell perfumey – they just smell clean:) The only drawback, for me, with the Fels Naptha bar is that it contains perfume…so this batch wasn’t as chemical free as I would have liked! *I use the fine side of a box grater to grate the bar. It melts down in a matter of a few minutes – NOT a whole lot of time required here people! A lot less time than a trip to the grocery store would take…and it’s actually a lot of fun to make! Maybe I am easily entertained, but I don’t seem to hate doing laundry so much anymore ha,ha! Before making this, I used Tide Free and Clear and my clothes NEVER smelled clean. Better still, they FEEL clean – don’t have that soap residue feel – AND they are soft! I haven’t had any issues with color fade and my whites look great:)
    I’ve convinced several family members to give this a try and they all love it as well!

    Thanks Trent for the GREAT recipe:)

    …wish someone would post the above mentioned recipes…!

  164. LT says:

    Actually Trent, I think Tom has a point and you may be the one who is short-sighted. I believe he’s referring to over-population as the root of environmental problems as opposed to, let’s say, frowning at the person who doesn’t throw their single aluminum pop-can in the recycle bin. However, I do agree with your assessment of educating children properly. Though it seems the children are the ones educating the adults about more eco-friendly products and habits, eh? Didn’t mean to get off topic since this is a thread for making your own laundry soap.

  165. RickH says:

    Hi all!
    Well i done a batch but its still not slime after 3 days. I got soapy water with a white cloud on top. The cloud texture is almost like paper pulp.

    Which of the ingredients make it turn into slime?
    Is the bar soap makes a difference? Lye or glycerin?


  166. Katie K says:

    I just made my first (1/4) batch of this. I have very hard water so I added additional borax to soften it. (1cup extra for the 1/4 batch). I love this stuff!!! For those of you who want to add a fragrance and are looking for a source for some of the essential oils, etc: the best source I found is a company in Utah called Majestic Mountain Sage (www.thesage.com). They provide supplies to people who make soap and all kinds of other beauty products at home. great recipes also. For anyone worried about a bit of scummyness left in the washer, every once in awhile do a cycle with no clothes and no soap but throw in a handful of citric acid (you can get it at winemaking shops or I order it from the place I just mentioned ($9 for a 5 lb bucket). It’s great to get the scummyness out of your dishwasher too.

  167. diane says:

    Adam, who in the world does only one load of wash a week? I do on average at least 2 per day for a family of 5 people!

  168. tammie says:

    I have made my own laundry soap for some time now and I would never go back to the store brands. One thing I would share with parents of school age children is, that if you have ever had the problem of kids coming home from head lice, make this soap and add about 30 drops od tea tree oil for the whole bucket. I have been a hair dresser for 30 years and I have had to deal with parents frantically calling me asking what they can do to prevent the kids from catching them, or how to get rid of them. Lice hate the taste or smell of tea tree oil, use it in your shampoo and laundry soap and it seems to keep them at bay better than anything else. Of course, use good judgement and keep it out of their eyes and in a safe place. I hope this helps, it’s a real pain to deal with

  169. Brittney says:

    For those wanting to get grease out of clothes, use Simple Green. I cook a lot at home and often get oil splatter on my clothes. Just make sure you saturate the grease stain before putting it into washing machine. This stuff works on oil spills on driveways too. Just spray on and add a little scrubbing power.

  170. stacy says:

    I just stumbled upon this site (and post), and I can say I’ve been making a version of slime for a long time, and it works better than any store bought detergent. Since this stuff doesn’t suds up, it’s perfect for HE washers, like I have. I did see some mentioning the mildew smell in the washer, and had to mention http://www.smellywasher.com. I’m not affiliated with them, but their PureWasher product was recommended to me by a repairman. He said it does better than bleach at removing the smell from the gsakets, and it’s not as harmful as bleach.

  171. Amie says:

    Can this “slime” laundry soap be used in cold water?

    Also, is it 1 cup of “slime” that I use in each load of clothes?

    We use well water and we also have the Culligan Man come and put salt into a water softner (I think that’s what it is). This slime would be okay to use??

  172. louise says:

    i am just making my my second lot of this stuff it is fantastic. My daughter had eczema and since using this not only have i saved a fortune her skin is all clear, how wonderfull. thanks a million and if you thinking of making this go ahead it great fun.
    Well done

  173. Amie says:

    1 more question. Do you need to keep the lid on the container of slime? If not will it try out ?

  174. Margo says:

    My mother used to bathe me with the Napa soap (the same one she used to do the laundry with) It burned like hell.
    Today, I am allergic to all soaps and laundry detergents. so, now I make my own soap with all natural ingredients and no tallow (animal fats) It’s not cheap, but my skin is well worth it.
    I have a bar of my lavender soap soaking right now.
    I plan to make this laundry goop and give some to my neighbor with six children to try. Thanks for the recipe.

  175. Kathi says:

    I love this stuff!!
    The first batch I made I used Irish Spring and it was slimy but a bit too watery I think. I made a second batch to see if maybe I measured wrong but it is still watery. Does anyone know why that would be?? I don’t care because it works amazing but I thought it was suppose to be thicker.
    My daughter thinks it is great also. We had some old close in the basement that we have been trying to get rid of the musty smell for a long time, we tried this stuff and it worked with just one washing!! Thanks a million!!

  176. Heidi says:

    I took a quick gander at some of the comments. Some may have been answered but I’ll tell you all what I know and hopefully it will help you.

    1)Washing soda is also known as soda ash or sodium carbonate. If you can’t find the A&H washing soda then look for sodium carbonate in stores where they sell pool supplies or dying supplies.

    2)Consistancies of the detergents you make may vary depending on the type of soap you use. You can use just about any soap too. If it gets your hands clean and gets rid of that greasy feeling, it will do the same for your clothes. Although, I will say some soaps will most likely work better than others depending on their ingredients.

    3)Yes, you can use lye soap. Technically all soaps are lye soap. You can’t have soap without lye so don’t worry about that part. Besides, modern named lye soaps are much better that those made back in the day as measurements of lye versus fats are more exact and both are usually completely saponified in the end product.

    4)The powdered version in most cases does not disolve well in cold water. Usually pre melting in hot water is required for a cold water wash.

    5)Baking soda can be substituted, its just that washing soda is preferable due to its terrific grease cutting properties.

    6)Borax is a natural disenfectant so it’s nice to have that in there.

    7)Baking soda, washing soda, and borax are all water softeners. In other words they increase the effectiveness of any soap and/or detergent they are added to. On top of that, all three are great deoderizers.

    8)Still worried about tough stains? Use bar soap as a pretreater. You’d be amazed at the things that an ordinary bar of soap can clean not only in your laundry but around your house as well.

    9)Worried about residue? Add 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar to the rinse. No, your clothes will not come out smelling like vinegar. They will just smell really fresh and clean.

    10)You can use the homemade detergent in any type of washing machine as there are virtually no suds. Believe it or not, suds you see in store bought products are really there for show to make you feel more confident in the product. Suds are not really what does the cleaning.

    11)It is common for you to end up with seperation (gel on top and water on bottom). Just stir it and you’re good to go.

    12)Yes it does work and it is fun to make and can be a great family project to do together as long as children are strictly surpervised. My kids love to see clothes that come out all nice and clean knowing they had a hand in it.

    Sorry this is so long. Being the wife of a garbage man and two messy kids drives a mom to be frugal, inventive, and well informed. Hope this helps with any questions.

  177. Daniel says:

    Just made my first batch today. I can’t wait until the morning to wash my first load. I have never been excited about washing clothes before today. Thanks!

  178. Big Bear says:

    Have you figured in the cost of heating all that water for however long it takes to make? Also, if it is made in the winter it is not a problem but, made in the summer you add extra heat load to your air conditioning unit which will add to the cost of your detergent. In addition, if you do not combine your trip to the store to buy the ingredients the there is added cost in fuel, auto maintenance, wear and tear, etc.

  179. Amie says:

    So it’s been 18 hours since I made my first bucket of laundry soap. It’s still so watery. Is that because I used baking soda instead of washing soda? I used the orginal white lever 2000 soap.

    Will it still clean my clothes the way the slime does for everyone else? Also, what can I do next time to make it slime like it should be?


  180. Rahel says:

    Please, can someone tell me how to decrease this recipe to half or a quarter? I’d really like to make some, but not so very much on the first try. Thanks!

  181. Tim says:

    Are you serious? It takes no longer to heat water for this than it does to make macaroni and cheese. I can literally make a batch of this in 10-15 minutes, tops. It is very very easy and wonderful. And I buy the supplies whenever I go for groceries, so no special trip needed and no extra expenses. This is a GREAT money saving investment.

  182. Amie says:

    2 Days later and my laundry soap has finally become the gel or slime whatever you want to call it. I was so happy to see it the way it was to be. I never thought I would be so happy about laundry soap. LOL

  183. linda says:

    I want to try the handmade soap. What about the whites turning into gray? I am concern about this? Does washer get moldy because of the bath soap added? Thanks.

  184. Katie K says:

    My proportions for a 1/4 batch:
    1/4 bar soap
    1c hot water
    3quarts water
    1/4 c washing soda
    2T borax (I used 1 cup because of extremely hard water)
    Follow directions in original post. It makes just under 1 gallon which fits perfectly in the bucket I have.

  185. sharx says:

    after reading all (yes, all of the posts) I am highly encouraged by these recipes! Heidi’s post on Nov 18th answered all questions and Rahel’s smaller quantity sealed the deal, cannot wait to try! thank you.

  186. stevy says:

    There is alot of solutions here – i heard baking soda is a good one – but something i found called purewasher seemed a good bet to get. I forget where it is on the internet.

  187. Amie says:

    This is my second time round making it, about 1 month later. I did find the washing soda. This time wihin 24 hours the bucket of mixture went into the slime/gel that it was suppose to.

  188. LeslieAnn Davidson says:

    Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions.

    I had one thing to add. You can put your bar soap in the hot water and leave it over night before making laundry soap. It will melt and save you the time of grating/blending soap into flakes! Since “time is money” this will save energy and prevent any “grating experiences” for your nerves and fingers!! =)

    I really admire and appreciate you all for sharing your wisdom and knowledge. I’m just waiting to finish my commercial laundry products and then I’m gonna get slimy!!!

  189. Acevedo says:

    I like the idea of saving money on this recipe, however when I made the mixture last night, I went to check it this morning and it was not a “gelatinous” texture. It feels and looks the same as it did last night.
    I followed all the directions, the only thing I didn’t have was the lid for the bucket. Is that why it didn’t work? Please help!!

  190. Amie says:


    The 1st time I made it, it took about 2-3 days for it to turn into the gelantinous form. The second time round making it, it went over night.

    So just give it some time and it will turn the way it should. You can still use it and it will clean your clothes the same.

    Hope that helps!

  191. beckie says:

    I have just finished reading every one of these posts i think some are just crazy( adding up the cost to go to the store ect.)
    I want to thank you for this i am leavin to go to store im makin this! can not wait! I think it is great to make something my family can use that is better for us and our planet! Also my family lives in Florida and want to move to Maine so the money i will save will be great every pennie counts! Thank you so very much for takin your time to make this and share with all of us this idea.

  192. Tim says:

    Is anyone else, besides me, concerned about borax being toxic? According to Wikipedia… “These substances are toxic to all cells, and have a slow excretion rate through the kidneys. Kidney toxicity is the greatest, with liver fatty degeneration, cerebral edema, and gastroenteritis” Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks!

  193. Rick says:

    Not sure this is the best spot for this information and question, but if saving $ is part of the motivation for creating the slime, all of your readers should know that 80-90% of the energy cost involved in running a clothes washing machine comes from heating the water. How well does this slime work with whites in cold water? thanks much.

  194. Jen- Mom of 5 (4 of them boys!) says:

    TRENT, You could be the new Hero!! I am so excited to try this! I have 5 very athletic children. Four are cute (smelly) boys. I grew up with sisters, so this is a whole new world, but loads of fun. (pun intended) My Hubby is a Scout Master and after 2-3 camp-outs a year, I always end up with extra clothes, that the scouts don’t recognize as their own, until they are washed (by me). So I will be trying this. I am teaching my older 3 kids (9,11, & 12-year-old.) to do their own laundry I am losing money by the extra soap they throw in, but atleast they are starting to catch on that they can not wash 15 pairs of Jeans in an upright washing machine. YIKES! As far as slime goes, I will have to use white soap, my kids would play with blue or green slime. Anyways I am talking (typing) to much. But from a mother of 5, who has so much Launndry everyday, THANk-YOU!!!

  195. Debbie says:

    I have enjoyed reading all the postings. Can’t wait to make the slime myself. Anything to help our planet and to save money. Thanks for all the info.

  196. Marilyn says:

    I have been making laundry soap for some time and find it is safe, effective and cheap. I use it in my HE washer (for 2 years now) without any problems since it is low suds. It does not contain all the chemical additives that commercial detergent have so it rinses cleaner without residue. Since it rinses out clean and it is quite diluted, the toxicity of borax is not an issue. Just don’t eat it. Borax is likely less toxic than the additives in commercial detergents.

    Baking soda is NOT a good substitute for washing soda.(aka, soda ash and sodium carbonate). Chemically they are different and clean differently. Washing soda is hard to find, but you will have no problem finding it if you look for pH increaser in the pool supply section of most stores. Make sure it is sodium carbonate or soda ash. I get mine for less at intheswim.com, they have up to 50 pound bags. They regularly have free shipping, which saved a lot. My girlfriend and I went in on 100 pounds. I also prefer to use my own cold process soap, made specifically to make laundry soap, instead of bar soap.
    This is great stuff and fun to make. If you are serious about not putting chemicals on your skin you should make your own bar soap too. Commercial soaps are really detergent bars with many chemicals added. If you try it you will never go back.
    Great posts, I enjoyed them all.

  197. Amie says:


    Could you give us the details on how to make the bar soap that you talked about above?

    Thanks for your informative post!

  198. Amie says:


    Could you give us the directions on how to make the bar soap that you talked about above?

    Thanks for your informative post!

  199. Amie says:

    Sorry about that double post, my computer was acting funny.

  200. linda says:

    I tried the receipe 3 weeks ago and I still have plenty of laundry soap. I’m already saveing $$$. I did not use the soda wash, for I could not find it anywhere. So, I used the baking soda, next to the borax and it works! I know it is not the same thing, but I am happy w/results. I will order or go to the pool store one day and buy the correct one. Because I have a baby I have plenty of clothes to wash in the meantime. My mom already made a batch of the receipe too! This is the receipe that worked for me.
    1 white sote bar grated and melted in 4 cups of water.
    1 cup of borax into the 3 gallons boiled water
    1 cup of baking soda also mixed into the 3 gal.water
    mixture of zote mixed into the 3 gallons boiled water
    it did take 3 days to make the laundry soap completely into a jelly like form.
    My husband likes the way the white zote smelles!!!

  201. Mandie says:

    Hey, I have been looking into making my own natural laundry soap and the recipe I found used liquid castile soap.. which unfortunately makes it more expensive than just buying detergent. I am going to try this recipe with a natural bar soap maybe olive oil or tea tree oil- from the local health food store. I am not only trying to save money but to make this a natural eco-friendly detergent. I also started using Vinegar and lavender essential oil as the fabric softener. So far so good! Thanks for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it!

  202. MT says:

    Wow! This sounds like a great recipe. I buy the 300 oz All Free & Clear at Sam’s Club and it’s very economical ($11.00). However, I think this would make a great science project for my boys. Does anyone have a recipe for fabric softener?

  203. Robin says:

    I wanted to try this, but couldn’t find the supplies in my local area. I did find a website http://www.soapsgonebuy.com where all of the stuff can be purchased. The prices are moderate, but the shipping added to it makes it a bit less frugal. I placed an order, made it up, and it is awesome! I have ground water, which is also known as ‘hard water’, and so I put one tablespoon of cheap commercial liquid laundry detergent in with this when I wash whites or light colored clothes. I do this because the commercial detergents have an additive that ‘bonds’ with hard water minerals, like iron and sulphur, and helps to carr them away with the wash water. I never use bleach anymore, unless I have a specific reason to, because my clothes are always bright and the whites are really white! I took a 5 qt. bucket of this to my Mom and she loved it too. My Dad is bedfast due to an illness, and sometimes his bedclothes have urine on them, and we have found that this homemade stuff brings out the stains and the smell…so we plan to use it from now on. But instead of ordering the ingredients online, I am going to try to find the supplies elsewhere, in order to cut the cost of shipping.
    This is a great way to save money if you do a lot of laundry.

  204. Charity says:

    This is a fun little project! I made a bucket of slime about a year ago. I make my own CP (cold process) soaps and used all the end slices from soap logs (my scraps basically). I have been making my own soap, shampoo, lotion, hair conditioner, etc. for the last 12 years. Formulary is fun! I must say for the past year my clothes have been clean and bright. I am nearing the end of my large 5 gallon bucket of soap slime so it is time to make more. Instead, this time I just made up a 5 lb. batch of Granny’s lye soap, which is made with lard. I have a 50 lb. pail of lye for soapmaking sitting in the basement. You can use any soap to make the recipe mentioned above. Just make sure it isn’t a “beauty bar” like Dove. Instead of making slime this time I am going to be making up a giant bucket of this in a powdered form. I will first grate up my soap and then after it is grated I will put in the food processor along with the Sodium Carbonate and also some Sodium Bicarbonate (that is washing soda and baking soda to those that don’t know the INCI terms for chemicals). This will help keep my food processor from gumming up if I just tried to grate the soap only. Once this becomes a powdered bit I will dump in a bucket and throw in the borax, and put a lid on it and shake to mix it up evenly. I live in a soft water area so I haven’t really noticed any build up on my clothing or washing machine. However, just to err on the safe side once in a while I do a few loads with a vinegar rinse to keep my washer clean. I suppose if you wash your whites with bleach this too would keep your washing machine from getting all clogged up.

    Here is the recipe I am going to use this time:

    12 cups Borax
    8 cups Baking Soda
    8 cups Washing Soda (labeled as washing soda, or you can buy sodium carbonate in the spa section of the hardware store)
    8 cups Bar soap (grated) If you don’t make your own soap, fels naptha or zote works best.

    * Mix all ingredients well and store in a sealed tub.
    · Use 1/8 cup of powder per full load.

    For those of you that use baking soda to clean your house with (because lets face it, baking soda has a million uses) you can buy a 50 lb. sack of it at any feed store for about $15. I use baking soda to clean so many things in my house along with borax and vinegar. Really, you can use this laundry soap to clean almost anything in your home. I also make an all-purpose spray recipe for cleaning glass and other surfaces in my home by the gallon. It cuts grease and washes windows without streaks. It is so much cheaper than buying all those strong chemical-smelling sprays.

    All Purpose Spray Cleaner

    2 pints of 50% rubbing alcohol, or 1 pint of 70% rubbing alcohol (I can get these 2 pints for $1 at my local dollar store)
    1 tablespoon dishwashing detergent
    1/2 – 1 cup sudsy household ammonia (a big bottle ½ gallon bottle at the dollar store for $1 and enough to make many batches of this) The amount you use is up to you and how much grease fighting you need. (You can omit this if you want to be totally green.. While not 100% green, it is such a tiny amount I don’t feel guilty using it. Plus I use a septic system and the ammonia doesn’t go into any streams or waters. It just produces nitrogen in my own yard and greens it up)
    1 ½ cup white vinegar (I can get this on sale for $1 in the fall, when everyone is canning pickles. I pick up about 5 gallons to last me through the year for various cleaning and cooking tasks)

    Mix in a gallon jug. Fill jug with warm water and shake. You can put this in a spray bottle and use as you would Windex. Great for cleaning windows, chrome and bath fixtures. I even use this to clean my wood cabinets with no ill effects.

    The best part is that I don’t need to wear a gas mask while using it like all the other household cleansers I have used on the market.

    Happy Cleaning Everyone!

  205. Charity says:

    P.S. In the above comment where I showed how I make my own all purpose cleaning spray. I wanted to state, I use this like 409 and it works just as well in my opinion as well as being able to wash streak free windows with it. It really does cut grease on surfaces. You save a lot of money making this as it only costs a little over $1 for making a gallon of it which lasts for a very long time. I make about a gallon a year and that is with cleaning all the surfaces in my house constantly.

  206. Amie says:


    Could you tell me what is sudsy household ammonia? I only ever heard of ammonia.

    Also, in your powdered laundry soap, can I use Irish Spring or Lever 2000 soap instead of fels naptha or zote? I never heard of those types of soap.


  207. Charity says:

    Sudsy ammonia is just that! It will state it is sudsy ammonia. A lot of the time you will see it is scented with pine or lemon or something. If you can only use just plain ammonia that will work too.

    With the soaps, you sure can use irish spring or lever 2000. As long as it is real soap and not a detergent. Soap made with tallow is sodium tallowate. Soap made with palm oil is sodium palmate. Soap made with coconut oil is sodium cocoate. Just look on the back of the label and see if it includes a lot of “sodium somethingates” and it is soap, not detergent.

    I hope that helps :)

  208. Annette says:

    Great idea thanks! I got out my food processor and had the soap shaved down in seconds. Easier than shaving with a knife since I have stiffness in my hands. I poured the boiling water over it and used the mixer to get it creamy. Then I finished the mission. Fun and easy!

  209. Amie says:

    So are you putting the entire bar of soap in the food processor or are you cutting it up first then running it through the food processor?


  210. Charity says:

    I am first grating up my soap in the food processor, then I am taking the shreds and mixing with the other ingredients and putting in the food processor again with the S blade. This grinds it up into a fine powder. Of course I am not doing like Annette and adding any sort of water at all.

    You can see the final ground up washing powder here

    I started out using homemade “grandma’s lye soap” that I made here.
    (but you can use other soap, I just happen to make my own soap for the recipe too)

    I hope that helps.

  211. Amie says:

    I only have a mini food processor. Will that or the blender work to cut up the soap? I want to do the powder since you don’t use as much as the liquid, but I’m not sure if I have the right tools to ground the soap into fine particles. Thanks for all your help!

  212. Amie says:

    Also about how long does your powdered laundry soap last for you? I’ve been looking around on the internet and no one else is using the baking soda in theirs.

  213. Charity says:

    I suppose you could use your mini food processor but it might take you a long time to grind up that much soap. I have never used a blender to make it, so I can’t answer that. The powdered laundry soap lasts me forever. You only use about 2 Tablespoons to 3 Tablespoons a load. Since 3 Tablespoons is 1/8 cup or 1 ounce you will have to measure how many ounces you end up with making a powdered recipe. It depends on how much laundry you do. I have several years worth in my big bucket of powder. I like the powder over the liquid because of storage space and I am not too crazy about storing liquids without a proper preservative system in place. The alkaline solution might repel bacteria from forming in it, but since I have never sent the liquid to a lab to be challenge tested I will stick with the powder.

  214. Alecia says:

    I just made my second batch of this stuff. It was so easy! My husband is usualy skeptical of my home made green ideas, but he actually liked this and it has worked just as well as the arm and hammer that we had been using. I highly recommend it. Just make a smaller batch and put it in your old empty liquid detergent container.

  215. Anita says:

    Had a great time reading the comments. I also think it is silly to think you need to add the cost of travel, car repair, & such to the cost. You don’t see anyone adding those costs to the cost of the store bought detergent or any other items they run uptown for. To me it would be the same thing. Either you run to town to buy detergent or run to town to buy the ingredients to make detergent. It sounds like the trips to the store for indredients may be fewer than the trips for store bought detergent if you don’t usually buy things in large quantities. Anyway, it sounds like it is worth a try. It can’t hurt to be more earth friendly and the saved money is a bonus.

  216. Mailyn says:

    Wow, this site just made my day (BTW, I ended up here throught a link in a mns money article) I’ve been trying to switch into greener/organic/earth friendly/ no harmful chemicals since I had my son, but, boy! you can really get broke in the process!
    I also have hard water, and I’ll ASAP the powder version, but I wonder if the choice to add Calgon water softener will add some chemical stuff or an additional cost. If I double the amount of Borax (like some else suggested in a previous post) will that be enought to deal with hard water? I also have a front load, HE new washer and by no means want to break it.

  217. irene says:

    I save even more on SUN brand detergent at $1.97 a bottle for 32 loads which comes to .06 cents per load or EXTRA brand which is the same price. I have found they give the same quality of cleansing as big name brands and I can stock up on a year supply at once!

  218. MistressChiquita says:

    All of this is very time-consuming. My research took three hours and three loads of clothes and a calculator. I have used this for 6 months. I use the original Dawn Dishwashing Liquid for everything. Cost for 96 ounces at most Bulk warehouse stores = $9.60, tax included. 2 ounces for one extra-large washer, using small drops for spotting, no damage to any fabrics so far. 20 cents per load. 1/2 teaspoon for dishwasher load. No spots, no additional products needed. Glass crystal clear. 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of hot/warm water for all other cleaning. Bio-degradable, no skin rashes or ithing for extremely sensitive skin. No mixing, no fuss, low storage area. And, no, I do not work for the manufacturer. I see no need to improve a perfect solution.

  219. Amie says:

    Aren’t you crazy for putting dish soap that you are to wash your dishes by hand with by putting it into your dishwasher?

  220. linda says:

    Amy, zote is originally from Mexico. You may find it in a Mexican goods store. Walmart usually carries it. But again it depends where you are in the States. Hope this helps!!!

  221. Charity says:


    I am not sure how you can get by using a surfactant like dawn in the dishwasher. That would create too many suds and is bad for your machine. I would not recommend that at all. Plus, 2 ounces of such a high foaming surfactant in your washing machine would leave a residue not only on your clothing but also on your machine. That is almost as expensive as using Tide. There are commercial detergents that are far less expensive. For me, my homemade laundry detergent is someplace between .01 to .02 cents a wash load.

    I would NOT recommend anyone use the large amounts of dawn dish soap for their washing machine or their dishwasher. I would think that using approx 1 Tablespoon along with about 1/8 cup of washing soda instead if you must use dawn dish soap.

  222. Brian says:

    thanks for the tip, i;ve been making this for 2 months, works great in my front load washer, and have passed out gallons of this to friends and family and they love it. can’t beleave how easy it is to make. thanks again

  223. terri says:

    i have read all the comments and the posts made by heidi, jen and robin really helped me with my questions. i am a mother of two, a husband that attracts greese. with a one income family and the price of washing detergents going up along with everything else i am glad i came across this website. saving money is always a good idea and really helps when you can find something that really works good. i also have hard water and hope that this will work for me also. i plan on making this and hope to be pleased with the results. i have found that i like the fabric softner and my clothes come out really soft. i hope this will also help with static cling. we wash alot of clothes and buying laundry detergent gets expensive. i also would like to find something for the dishwasher for we also wash alot of dishes to and the cost of dishwashing powder over time is really expensive. any tips or ideas are appreciated. thanks….

  224. Amie says:


    Do you use your All Purpose Spray Cleaner to clean your shower/bathtub?


  225. Charity says:

    Hi Amie,

    Yes I do! I just spray some on and let sit for a little bit and then use one of those sponges with a scrubby on one side. Everything seems to come off of the tub and shower perfectly. I clean my shower about once a week. I don’t let it get super dirty and have never tried it on a sadly neglected tub/shower.

  226. Charity says:

    To Terri above, I just read your comment. Try mixing a powder of 1/2 borax and 1/2 washing soda (sodium carbonate/washing soda, not sodium bicarbonate a.k.a baking soda). Use about 2 Tablespoons in your dishwasher. In the Jet Dry compartment fill with vinegar for the rinse cycles. This works really well and is a very inexpensive and green alternative to buying automatic dishwasher detergents.

  227. Diane says:

    I have found joy in making soap so I am going to be determined to use them in my new detergent! Glad to see people are coming around to using less detergent. You know we don’t get clothes real dirty and then we wash them so even if you don’t make homemade detergent, less is more.

  228. Amie says:


    In a few weeks I want to make the powdered version of laundry soap. However, the culligan man came today for the normal checkup of our acidic machine and he said that we have hard water. Will the powdered version work good for me? I just was wondering before I make such a huge amount and then its no good. Thanks for all your help :)

  229. Charity says:


    If you have hard water then you should always run 1/4 – 1/2 cup of vinegar in a downy ball in the rinse cycle. This will keep soap scum from building up. You should be doing this anyway as detergents can build up too. Once your clothes are dry there will be zero vinegar smell in your clothing.

  230. terri says:

    ok…i have been gathering the ingredients for the green slime and was unable to locate washing soda anywhere. is the washing soda necessary for the green slime to work or can i just use more borax? i also have hard water and read on the box of borax that it is a water softner. also found calogon water softner but didnt buy it for i felt i didnt need it with the other. i did find a large box of baking soda for the laundry softner i want to use. thanks charity for the dishwashing powder. cant wait to use.
    terri, stuck, need help

  231. Shelley says:

    I have been looking for a receipe for a natural shampoo without success. Any tips where I can find one?? Thanks Shelley

  232. Dawn says:

    I started experimenting this month and came up with an all purpose cleaner that not only got me curious but kept me up all night mixing and cleaning! Now I am looking at these wonderfull websites(thankyou for keeping them free!)and I not only want to go greener! I want to go cheaper! and have fun experimenting!
    Thankyou for all the positive comments and recipes here is my cleaner:

    3/4 spray bottle tap water

    one bottle lemon or orange extract

    16 teaspoons rubbing alcohol

    two dabs or less than a two second stream of dawn ultra dish soap.
    If there is any room left fill rest with water.

    To much dawn and it will be soapy you want it to clean the old residue not create its own and if you don’t use enough alcohol it does not evaporate streak free and fast!)I like alot of orange smell and it doesn’t bug my allergys and eczema!
    I found I saved the newspaper by just wiping it on to the cloth first instead of spraying it on the windows.
    I may be using baking soda,vinegar and or other ingredients in the(i.e this next month!) future and my own laundry detergent? yep that too!Thank you again from a low income single mom of 4 and no I wouldn’t give up my kids not even for Toms cleaner environment…lol(p.s but I can teach them to go green!)We are also making steps to becomming vegitarian. I am happy to say there is so much we can choose to do for a happier and healthier lifestyle!DAWN

  233. Regina says:

    I would just like to say how happy i am to find this recipe.I have really been trying to go green for the past few months.I am slowly changing everything we do as on a daily basis.I am going to get all my stuff to make this soap and am so excited. I think I am happiest about the fact you can reuse the container.Recycling is a huge part of my family, we recycle everything.I have an 8 yr old and he loves to do all this green stuff.He will no longer even drink his orange juice unless we juice it ourselves,because he says he only likes the taste if it is fresh.I try to reuse as much as possible. So finding recipes for making things at home that i would otherwise purchase at a store is wonderful. And it makes my family feel good about helping the environment.I am also into saving money as much as possible,so finding an eco friendly and cheaper way to go is great..Thank you again…
    Regina and family

  234. Charla says:

    Hello I made the soap for the first time haven’t trie dit yet though.It has a very soapy layer on top and is pretty watery. I used Ivory soap Borax and washing soda.Is it ok that it looks like this I stirred it again but it still looks like that…

  235. Dawn says:

    Hi everyone! just wanted to say I made a version of the sludge with my boys tonight and its gooing under the sink as we speak! Let you know soon how it works! had to go to four or so stores before i found the washing soda at WinCo I was so excited I almost danced in the isle…lol Thanks again Dawn

  236. MT says:

    I tried this homemade laundry detergent and I was very disappointed with the results. I have two kids that spill sauce and juice on their shirts constantly. I had to rewash their clothes because the slime did not work on basic stains. I’m going to stick the detergent ALL because I can find 96 oz at Sam’s club for about $11.00.

    I have 3 gallons of this stuff left so I use it to boost my Regular Laundry Detergent. The slime might work better if you were to add an Actual detergent (Say the laundry detergent SUN that you can find for a buck at the local Dollar Tree). Body soap just isn’t effective on clothing.

  237. Lyn-de-lou says:

    Hi – made my first batch a few months back and it’s great. Just to say, the ‘soap stew’ (100gms pure soap flakes to 1 litre spring water) makes a great and natural shampoo – just blend it up with a few drops of your favourite essential oil and there you have it. Follow with a little cider vinegar diluted with water – pour over the hair (do keep eyes closed at this point!) then rinse out and feel the hair as soft and silky as any commercial conditioner would leave it. Cheap, environmentally friendly and no harsh chemicals.

  238. Lee says:

    I made my first batch and ran into a problem. I didn’t have the final water hot enough and it has this film on the top that is sorta powder like don’t really know how to describe it. Can I reheat this to fix that? Thanks! Lee

  239. Jana says:

    Here is another little money saving tip for you. When we get to the end of a bar of bath soap rather than throw the tiny piece away I drop it into a large plastic butter container. When it gets full, I grind it up and use that as my soap flakes, rather than buy a box of soap flakes or use a new bar of soap. I just check the weight of the soap flakes to make sure they are about the same as the weight of a bar of soap to get the ingredients right…..this way you save even more!!

  240. jess says:

    I haven’t read through ALL the comments so maybe someone already suggested this – but maybe you could save the last bottle you had from your laundry detergent ((before you made the goo)) and pour the gelatinous goo in there if you need a more portable model?

    just a thought :D

  241. Pancho says:

    Laurel – you post great information, but a Mineral IS a Chemical. A mineral is a naturally occurring, usually inorganic, substance that has a definite Chemical structure.

    For those that want to use natural products, not all chemicals are bad.

    Borax is a chemical and a mineral.

  242. Michelle says:

    Just wanted to let everyone know that tea tree oil is a natural bug repellant also. Mix 1 ounce in 8 ounces of water and you can spray dowm the dog the cat and the kiddos works great. Also a great derterant for head lice. My kids love the smell so they use it as a body spray. It also has antibacterial properties. Works on mosquitoes, fleas, ticks most biting insects. You can spray down bedding, furniture or carpets. We use it during the flea season and summer alot!!! No chemical sprays for bug repellant for us. If you use it in your slime you may get some added benifits??

  243. Pam says:

    Here is my money saving formula I use to clean my windows. I use some vinegar and warm water. I use this solution with a chamois.

  244. Rolene says:

    I am excited to try out all the recipes to see which works and which don’t.

    I will let you know.

  245. terri says:

    Finally, i found the super washing soda at a new kroger store. i have gone to several different stores with no luck and even asked my local grocery store if they could get it. i havent made the soap yet but am going to try it. cant decide if i want to do the powder or liquid???
    i have been using the vinegar in my laundry instead of fabric softner and it has been working out really good. my clothes are soft, no vinegar smell and the static cling seems to have reduce considerably. it’s also a great money saver compared to the liquid fabric softner. thanks for the great tip!!!!

  246. GeorgiegirlMN says:

    I have found a money saving tip that seems so dumb but it actually works. We use Ivory soap which is about 99 cents for 3 bars. However when we use it the middle seems to shrink and the ends don’t. To solve this problem and make it stretch we break it in half. You just leave it in the paper wrapper and put it against the edge of the counter and break it. I actually learned it from my mother-in-law. Thought she was just being cheap. But it fits in your hands better than a big bar. Specially little kid hands. Also for a good hand cleaner we use lava bar soap. the pumice in there makes your hands really soft, the lather actually feels very silky.

  247. mb says:

    I’m on about my fourth batch of this laundry soap. I love it!
    I have 3 kids in college, they bring laundry home when they can.
    I know I’ve saved well over $50 so far.

  248. DonJ says:

    But it’s not your own home-made detergent,
    it’s just pre-diluted soap.

  249. Lynda says:

    WOW!!! This info was really interesting and informative! It took probably an hour to read all these postings! I think I will definately be trying out some of these recipes! I would be very interested in some of the other natural shampoos, conditioners, cleaners, etc. that have been created but not posted!!

  250. Amie says:

    I just made the powdered version. I ran out of baking soda so I still have to add 2 cups. But it was so easy to make. My boys even had fun grating the soap. I wasn’t sure how the soap and other ingredients would work in the food processor, but it went so easy!

    Thank you Charity for this information! How many ouces do you get out of your powdered version that you listed above? How long do you think it will last for? Thanks so much!

  251. Bobo says:

    if you cut down on the water can you make it more concentrated, so that only a fraction of a cup is necessary?

  252. Joe says:

    Instead of shaving the bar soap, could you use the grating blade on a food processor? (the one that you would use for cabbage or carrots for coleslaw, or cheese?)

  253. syed faheem shah says:

    i want to make a jelly like detergent but i m confused in addition of thickners. which name of thickners used in liquid detergent . my detergent base is sulfonic acid and sodium hydroxide/sodium carbonate

  254. Cindi says:

    Help!! I have made this as well as a powdered version. Although I’ve used them for a few months now, a sad consequence is many of our clothes have what seem to be oil stains from the soap. I can’t get them out. I’ve ruined a ton of my children’s clothes. Any others see this? Any suggestions would be super welcome as I am tryign desperately to salvage some of the clothes.

  255. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    Cindi: I’m guessing you didn’t use washing soda and used baking soda instead. Washing soda is pretty important, especially if the soap you use is oily.

    Your best solution for any oil stain is to water down some gasoline (try the Goo Gone recipe here: https://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/04/05/the-frugal-geeks-toolbox/ ) and use it on the oil stain. Soak the stain in the solution, then wash it as normal.

  256. Cindi says:

    Thanks Trent! I’ll check that link. I did use washing soda though, so not sure still what the cause is. As far as soaps, I’ve used castile or ivory.

  257. Melanie says:

    I just finished cooking my laundry detergent. It is cooling and I will test it either tonight or in the morning!! Can’t wait to see how it works!! I spent less than $6 on supplies to make it and I could’ve gotten away with less if I had shopped around, but I’m impatient and bought it all at Kroger. I bought Fels Naptha Laundry barsoap this time, but I will use regular bar soap next time and see if the is a difference, because it is much cheaper per bar.

  258. Sandy says:

    For hard water use 1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda to 1 bar of fels naptha. The extra borax boosts the cleaning and the extra washing soda softens the water. I have been using this recipe for a little over a year now. This also makes a great kitchen cleaner when placed in a spray bottle and diluted with water. I add tea tree oil to mine for it’s disinfectant properties.

  259. Charity says:

    Aimie you wrote

    I just made the powdered version. I ran out of baking soda so I still have to add 2 cups. But it was so easy to make. My boys even had fun grating the soap. I wasn’t sure how the soap and other ingredients would work in the food processor, but it went so easy!

    Thank you Charity for this information! How many ouces do you get out of your powdered version that you listed above? How long do you think it will last for? Thanks so much!
    Amie @ 6:42 pm February 17th, 2008


    Why are you using so much? You don’t need more than 1/8 – 1/4 cup per load. I filled a big 5 gallon bucket when I made this and I figure it will last me several years based on our laundry needs. I guess it just depends on how much laundry you do per month. I figure a batch will last me about 400 – 500 loads depending on how much of the powdered product I add.

  260. Megan says:

    Shelley, here’s a site that has a few different recipes for homemade shampoos and hair care products. I use my own version of the shampoo for dry hair recipe and am absolutely thrilled with the results! My frizzy-curly hair has been tamed! I no longer need to use a conditioner after I shampoo, and I no longer buy ANY hair care products. After shampooing be sure to use a mixture of approximately 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and about 3-4 cups of cold water as a final rinse. Don’t rinse out and don’t worry about the smell, it goes away quickly as the hair dries. The vinegar balances out the ph levels in the hair leaving it soft, smooth, and shiny. If your ends feel a bit dry use a tiny bit of oil on them before shampooing. I personally like coconut, but olive oil works as well. You can also use a tiny amount of honey mixed with water in a spray bottle as a natural spray gel, it also makes hair smooth and shiny. Hope this helps. http://www.longlocks.com/hair-care-recipes-cookbook.htm#fix2

  261. Amie says:

    Why are you using so much? You don’t need more than 1/8 – 1/4 cup per load. I filled a big 5 gallon bucket when I made this and I figure it will last me several years based on our laundry needs. I guess it just depends on how much laundry you do per month. I figure a batch will last me about 400 – 500 loads depending on how much of the powdered product I add.

    Charity @ 9:00 am February 27th, 2008

    I don’t use that much in each laundry load…I was in the middle of making the batch with the amounts that you said and I ran out of that much baking soda. So before I could use it I had to finish adding the baking soda. Now it is all mixed together and I can start using it.

    Do you do add anything in the wash that will help the clothes come out smelling fresh like when you use store bought laundry soap?

  262. Primal says:

    That is AWESOME! I say use natural soap and ya have a totally eco-friendly, natural way of making this stuff! I’m gonna do it using natural castile soap plus essential oils…

  263. Nancy says:

    What about making dish soap and/or dishwashing detergent? I hate buying this stuff! Such a necessary waste.

  264. thehungrydollar.com says:

    That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever heard! Can’t wait to try it!

  265. tata says:

    my brother wants slime but dose not want it to be landyrey dertegent

  266. Tiffany says:

    Someone mentioned using TSP from the hardware store. Yes it works great- most laundry soap used to have TSP. It was taken out because the foaming action kills fish- EPA took it off the market as laundry soap.
    TSP also works great for stripping varnish off floors and woodwork (needs to be as hot as possible). All in all less toxic and more cost effective than other methods. Your work clothes will sparkle- But be kind to the fish don’t do this every day.

  267. Anonymous says:

    Another PF blogger ripped you off…he is using your recipe as his own! I hate when that happens! http://www.debtfree4ever.net/2008/03/cleaning-supplies-on-cheap.html

  268. Ken says:

    Anonymous –
    he never said it was his. He said that he used that recipe and linked to another website, that gives credit to Trent.

    People like you, who don’t get their facts straight and then hide behind an Anonymous, are deplorable. You hit and run tactics displayed on Kevin’s blogs, would have resulted in your comment being deleted on my blog.

    Not to mention I would have disabled the Anonymous function.

    There is function called name/url that you can use w/o having a blogger account or an email, it doesn’t even have to be a real name. Just something to identify you and give yourself more credibility. But thanks for chiming in anyway.

  269. sirima says:

    I try small batch by boiled 1 bar of washing soap, 2 bars of bath soaps, 3/4 cup soda bicarbonate and 3 lts of water. The result is very satisfactory.

  270. salliejo says:

    hello everyone. I ventured onto Trent’s website by mistake whilst trying to find a natural head lice killer. Iv since made a batch of gloop. I purchased all products from my local £1 shop including a very large bar of carbolic soap. this batch has been donated out to daughters, mother, 2 work colleagues and neighbour all with amazed feedback. On my packet of HP soda crystals it says they do an orange oil scented soda crystal. I thought this would compliment the orange imperial soap that the £1 shop also sells. I sourced the manufactor of soda crystals on net who informed me of the only store in the south birmingham area, John Lewis, who stocked this product. A quick phone call to ensure they had it in stock and i’m now all equiped to make an orange / citrus smelling gloop. May I say well done Trent and this comes from across the waters in Birmingham United Kingdom. (I guess you are all from USA? judging from the names of your stores and product names. This site has been added to my favourites incase you stumble on something else that I may need ie cat flea shampoo, long lasting air freshner.

    brilliant site. xxxx salliejo xxxxx

  271. Dana says:

    We’ve been using this for several months now and am very pleased with the results. We are using vinegar in the rinse cycle (instead of fabric softeners) and everything seems so clean/fresh without all the fragrance. We have found that using an old food processor shreds up the soap very well and saves you the time of cutting/shredding it yourself.

  272. Sandi Fentiman says:

    I really enjoyed trying your laundry recipe out for the fist time about a month ago. But unfortunately I made it too watery; although it does work great. I’m terrible in math, especially with the metric system. I only have a once cup measurement at the moment, so I would be very grateful if you would tell me how many liters/gallons = one cup.

    I plan on making a better batch really soon; so if you have the time to answer, I would appreciate it. Perhaps a conversion table would be nice. I am thinking of subscribing to this page.

  273. Char says:

    Ok, I made the recipe and did it during the day so I didn’t “leave it over night” I was disappointed because I didn’t get slime I got liquid- then I started cooking and got busy and then went to do a load of laundry and went to scoop up my liquid and VOILA I had SLIME. That was so cool I felt like a 5th grader!! I would guess I am saving money but even if I am not that was worth it for the cool goo. LOVE this recipe…

  274. Teresa says:

    I have made one 1/2 batch of this stuff and i love it. I am just wondering if anyone has tried to make it with liquid soap instead of bar soap. Its not a big deal, i just thought it would save a step. thanks.

  275. Hannah says:

    Hello from the midwest…

    I have just started to try some natural, eco-friendly, money-saving ideas to reduce our “carbon footprint.” I’m excited to try this new recipe. My husband is a band teacher for young students and often manages to get valve oil all over his dressy clothing, so I’m anxious to try some of your ideas about getting oil out of material. I spent about an hour in Walmart today, looking for the super washing soda, and didn’t have any luck. I’ll try Dillons, our version of Kroger. If that fails, I’ll go back to the pool section of Walmart!

    I’m looking forward to using some of the shampoo/conditioner and soap recipes. I’ve already made some cleaning solutions.

    I’m curious about lemon oil. Does anyone use lemon oil for anything? My mom suggested rubbing it on shower walls/doors to cut down on scum build-up (don’t put it in the tub or you’ll slip). Is there a cheap way to buy this? Another question: what should I use to clean counter tops after handling raw meat?

    Bookmarking this site!

    p.s. Heidi, thanks for the long list of answers to FAQs.

  276. Cristina says:

    So, I just made this stuff tonight and it took about 10 minutes, maybe even less!! I was thrilled by the speed!! And, my clothes look and smell great! And, I got my bar soap (ivory) in a 12 pack for $3!! That’s only a quarter a bar! I spent a total of $9 on supplies enough to make 7 batches and all I need is another $2 box of washing soda to make another 6 batches!! WOO-
    HOO!! That’s $11 for 13 BIG batches of laundry soap!! Less then $1 for a big bucket of wonderful laundry goodness!! That’s some serious savings! My mom’s already convinced and she hasn’t even tried it yet!!

    Charity mentioned in a previous post that you can use this in your dishwasher, I was just wondering if anyone’s tried that and how much of it they put in there? I’m really excited about this stuff!!

  277. Jenny says:

    I just want to say that we use this recipe all of the time. It only takes about 20 mins, and that includes me actually shaving a bar of soap into the pot of water. It makes our clothes brighter, and doesn’t smell really at all. The clothes come out smelling clean, without any strange fragrance. One batch lasted us about 4 months, and that was washing two babies worth of washable diaphers every other day. My son has extremely sensitive skin, and we can’t afford to buy fancy soaps and detergents, so I make most of our lotions and soaps from scratch at home. Since I make my own basic soap, converting it into laundry setergent using this recipe is very simple. It only requires a little start up cost to get the washing soda, which I found on ebay, for about 10 dollars including shipping for two huge boxes. Since I use the soap I make in this recipe, it is also completely biodegradable and easy on the environment. You could also get these same results if instead of soap flakes you buy a bar of castile soap and shave it up and dssolve it into the water. Because I use handmade soap, the soap does not have that detergent in it that causes lots of bubbles to form, so it’s perfect to use in a fancy machine that requires special soaps that don’t have bubbles. In fact, if you make your own soap, it’s the cheaper oils, like corn oil, olive oil, and lard, that don’t make bubbly soaps. Most handmade soap, have less bubbles. Ok I could go on about this. Have a good day.

  278. Dawn says:

    I’ve been using a similar recipe for several months in my HE washer. We recently bought Wisk (two of us are allergic to Tide), because I didn’t have time to make laundry soap. I was actually concerned about my washer when I found suds leftover after a cycle until I remembered that I had used a bought detergent instead of my homemade soap. We still have the Wisk for standby. My entire family prefers homemade soap for bathing and laundry.

  279. Laurel says:

    I’ve been making this ‘detergent’ since last June and have been trying to keep up with the comments.

    I’ve always melted the soap in about a quart of water in the microwave! It only takes a minute or two and doesn’t require using the stove AT ALL! Why aren’t more of you using your microwaves?

  280. jackie says:

    I don’t think Lever 2000 is actually soap. I guess if it worked, it is OK but most of the recipes require an actual soap that is made from fat, lye and water. If those ingredients are not listed on the label, then what you have is not real soap and is usually labeled as a ‘bar’ of some kind.

  281. Kristen says:

    I have been making this laundry detergent for several months now, even passed it on to several friends! First my kids were quite skeptical, actually didn’t want their clothes washed with this, but now they are very happy that I make it. I too have found that it comes out a bit too watery, so I skim the water off the top, but not a big deal. I have an old crab pot that I make it in, then store it in 2 tupperware cereal containers that make it ready to pour. Nice and easy! Lasts about a month! Had to buy a small container of store detergent a few weeks ago, not only MEGA expensive, but did a horrible job!

  282. Ruth says:

    For those of you still having trouble finding washing soda: its chemical name as mentioned previously is sodium carbonate and it can be found at chemistrystore.com You will also find there several different kinds of essential oils and many other products for making your own soaps, perfumes, etc. If you have a pool, you can save a great amount of $ by buying your chemicals there, too, instead of at a pool supplier. You merely have to know the appropriate chemical names. For example, pH increaser (sodium carbonate–see, you can use it for laundry & your pool!) I just happened to stumble upon this site this week when trying to find a more economical way to keep our pool clean & balanced.
    (Thanks, Trent, for the recipe and to the rest of you for your input as well.)

  283. daliecia says:

    Is their any way to add a fresh and different scent like lemon or lavendar without jeopardizing the make up of the detergent?

  284. wayne says:

    do you need to use bleach with this washing slime?

  285. wayne says:

    never mind , no you don’t.

  286. wayne says:

    This stuff works great , although my batch wasn’t
    gelatinous. I only made a gallon by using a third of the ingredients , maybe thats the reason but I was pleased with the results and the colors looked brighter.

  287. Rebecca says:

    I’m excited to try this and found all the items on the list at neighborhood store near me called “Compare Foods”, I also found it in several ethnic stores in my area. I have a question that wasn’t answered in previous posts, since the Zote bar soap is 14.1 oz compared to the average bar size bar soap of 3.1 oz, how much Zote should I use?

  288. Joel says:

    I made this last night. When I woke up this morning I was very excited and ran to the kitchen to see my big ol’ bucket of slime. But it didn’t seem to work. :(
    I followed the recipe, but all I have is what looks like a bucket of cloudy water with some soap floaters in it. What did I do wrong? The obvious thing seems to be that I used too much water, but I measured it out and followed the recipe. I used Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap…is that what messed it up? Somebody help!

  289. Susan says:

    I was wondering is ROSA VENUS the same as the rosa mexican soap talked about in alot of the laundry soap recipes??

  290. Danielle says:

    I’m going to make a half batch Charity’s powder mix, but I was wondering about how to add some essential oils? Could I just add a drop or two to the vinegar in the Downy Ball?

    I already have some soda ash, so if I can remember all I have read, that’s okay right?


  291. Elvi says:

    So, for all of you that have used this idea for at least 6 months….did you have to have your washing machines cleaned or serviced??

    I used this with Ivory soap, and also cleaned my machine with vinegar in the rinse cycle. Last month had to have it serviced because it was leaking. We have a service plan, guy came out and pulled out the washer. He cleaned hoses, and other things I don’t know how to name..and he showed me the soap build up.

    Store bough soap has chemicals in it to break up the crud. Repair man told me to run 1 load a week with just adding vinegar to the water.

    Any other thoughts from anyone??

  292. Diana says:

    I have 3 kids and this past winter was very bad financially, and finding this recipe really saved us. Now here it is spring and well they still want me to make laundry soap, my kids tell me their clothes smell better, look better and that its really cool to have a mom that makes this stuff. My husband who owns a restaurant took some in for his employees because his clothes don’t smell like onions no more, they all love it, only 1 makes it, she has a bunch of kids too. I have made it with several kinds of soaps, I get great results from all. However I add 1/4 c. bedtime bath baby shampoo, lavender for the smell, I get it at the dollar store. I just made 3 large batches as I just got 3 large buckets and didn’t want the kids using them for mud pies and such. I’m good for the year. It’s true about commercial soap sudsing for affect, had to drill that into my husband’s head, he was using 2 cups at first. But he also used to use 2 capfulls of Tide also, I can’t seem to get him to stop doing laundry, he only does his, and I assure you his whites are dingy, but he also washes his white socks with his black work pants. When I met him he used a 1/2 gallon of bleach in his whites. I do not buy bleach for that reason. Also, adding peroxide to your slime, works as well as adding oxyclean.

  293. Diana says:

    Would also like to mention Castile soap is great for household pests like ants, spiders and such, when I was a kid a rental property of my grandmother’s was infested with roaches, my mom choppped up a couple bars of soap melted it in water, put it in spray bottles and sprayed inside and out, they also put lids full of it under the sinks and in cabinets. I know the roaches were gone in a short time. I put it around the perimiter of my house last week when I noticed the ants returning, well they went somewhere else, haven’t seen one since.

  294. Amy says:

    I’d love to try this, so I’m wondering which bar soap would be best to use, as my 2yr old has eczema??

  295. carrie says:

    Wow been reading comments for 2 hours Thank you Trent can’t wait to give this a try. I too like so many others have hard water will let you know how it works for me.

  296. vanessa says:

    uh uh.. I followed Tyler’s advice on small doses (1/4 bar of soap etc). The recipe did say 12 cups of water, but I figured it was too watery so only put half.. and I woke up this morning with a huge thick soap cake ! :-) I’m going to try to disolve it with very hot water.

  297. Amie says:

    I was wondering if anyone had any recipes to make homemade liquid hand soap. I thought since this was about making soap that someone might have something for the hands.


  298. Cindy says:

    Thank you, we read this and were anxious to try! Borax is something we do use, and we could no longer find the washing soda (though was able find fairly easily before), we ended up buying sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) from the pool supply area, this increased the price. I was happy to find Ivory-Lavender soap, smells lovely! Once made, the concoction looks like gray-water, the consistency of egg-drop soup, and my “test load” of towels (used white vinegar in rinse), came out soft/fluffy nice, light smell not overwhelming. This homemade laundry/cleaning product idea not only helps families become better stewards of God’s money, but can also help with my migraine disease, as I can no longer walk down the laundry aisle without reacting all the strong chemical perfumes. I will figure the savings of the migraine abortive Rx @ $10/pill each time I go shopping if I do not even have to go down that aisle! **Strong perfumes/odors are “triggers,” for migraines, asthma attacks and it is not good enough for me to “just not use the product, they are also brought on by what others use (hint-hint). And if this sounds selfish, I have a friend who has asthma, with similar “triggers.” Most men and women might think that their super concentrated frou-frou $80 per oz cologne smells sexy, but those noxious fumes could KILL someone, and the ozone layer to boot! Please be considerate. A little goes a long way, and folks, teach your teenagers that a massive amount of cologne does not take the place of personal hygiene, it could save a world of heartbreak (sorry, since the “soapbox” was empty, thought I’d stand on it for a while) ;o)

  299. Patrick says:

    Oxi-Clean(and others like it) is a combination of Sodium Carbonate (washing soda) and Sodium Percarbonate (washing soda bonded with hydrogen peroxide). For those of you having a hard time finding washing soda, you can substitute one of the Oxy-type cleaners. I actually prefer using a product called Oxyboost (from the website of the same name; no, I am not affiliated) as I think the oxygenation of Sodium Percarbonate is more effective at keeping whites white, which is important to me. Next step: making my own lye soap! Wow! Who knew being cheap and responsible could be so much fun?

  300. Alada says:

    I have read ALL of the posts… and I am raking my brain trying to think of a place where I can find borax and the washing soda. Now I know that although baking soda works fine, washing soda works better, but if it can’t be found in the laundry aisle of the store and can only be bought from a pool supply store, it will increase the cost, thus, sort of defeating the purpose. I have no idea to find Borax, maybe a drugstore?

    Also, most of the nice folks that have posted here live in cold climates. I live in Panama, Central America, where the temperatures go from hot to hotter and that’s it. I am having my doubts about the gook becoming gook, because of the heat. Sorry folks, but I don’t have an a/c’d home, least of it the laundry area, and that’s where the laundry slime is going to stay. Can someone let me know if the inside temperature of 27º to 30ºC a day will have any effect in the sliming process?

    In this never ending race to increase prices for us the common folk, the only think that hasn’t increased substantially in the last year is propane gas, used for cooking. It costs approx $4.75 for a 25 lbs cylinder of gas, and it is also used for cooking and dryers. So, at least my electric bill will not suffer by me making my own laundry detergent.

    Thank you. I’m going next to try fabric softener, lip balm, hair gel, sun block and bnug repellent. :-D

  301. Jennifer says:

    Is this soap safe for plants? I have an old wringer washer that I use on the deck in warm weather and I would like to reuse the wash water or rinse water for my garden. Would you recommend doing this? I wouldn’t be putting in the borax, so it would just be the soap and the washing soda.

  302. vanessa says:

    For those of you trying to find borax or washing soda, you might want to try eBay. I’ve just ordered some from a natural product provider. I am in Australia though.

  303. Cathy says:

    I’ve been using the homemade laundry soap for a long time and am very pleased with it.

    We have very hard water here so in addition to the homemade soap, we also add one or two Tbs. of Dr. Bronner’s Sals Suds to each load of clothes. This keeps them nice and white and fresh smelling at a low additional cost while avoiding dangerous chemicals and bleaches.

    The Sals Suds is only $20/gal and lasts a LONG time.

  304. abby says:

    I have found Fels Naptha soap but they are scented. My son has eczema and is sensitive to most commercial detergents and dryer sheets. Does the fragrance of Fels Naptha work okay with other folks with sensitive skin? Thank you

  305. vanessa says:

    Trent, why not start another page on how to make your own:
    -Diswasher powder?
    -Washing liquid?
    -Liquid hand/body soaps?

    I’ve made those yesterday and i’m quite happy with the result. Savings aside, i’m glad to avoid using chemicals and damaging the environement.

  306. Rebecca says:

    Hi Fellow Soap Makers and Friends!
    I just want to update on my previous post. I made my first batch using Trent’s recipe and using the full bar of Zote soap. I have to tell ya, I was quite please with the results and don’t think that I’ll go back using conventional laundry soaps. My laundry is clean and smells fresh. My husband is a carpenter and my son is a mechanic and this soap tackles my worst nightmares. I am so thankful to Trent for this website. I have eczema and found that using Zote soap didn’t irritate my skin. I was fortunate to find all the ingredients in a local store called “Compare Foods” and at “Wal-Mart”. (No affiliation with either store). I have a question that I hope Trent or my seasoned soap-makers can help me with….at what stage of the soap making process can I add lavender essential oil? How many drops are recommended? Trent, I have bookmarked your website and can’t wait to start reading your recommended book list. A million thanks from Long Island, NY!

  307. Donna says:

    Thanks Trent! This exactly what I was looking for.

    We ran out of laundry soap, have loads of clothes piling up and we live 40 minutes from the nearest town. I am converting all cleaning products (for both house and body) to homemade, green alternatives. I’ve found a lot of recipes in books but the one thing missing was laundry soap. I’m so glad I found this page!

    I’ve read most of the comments and there are some valuable tips, information and recipes among them too.

    Thanks for the great article! I’m off to make some slime now!

  308. vanessa says:

    Hi Rebecca. I usually add the essential oil when I’m done with the recipe, once it store the bucket away. I usually give it a stir, use 2 different oils and add a good cup of white vinegar as well.

  309. Rebecca says:

    Hi Vanessa!
    Thanks for the tip. How many drops of lavender oil should I use? What do you recommend?

  310. Ray says:

    For anyone having problems finding washing soda:

    Baking soda will NOT work 1:1 as a substitute for washing soda.

    I have not been able to find if there is another proportion to use. Does anyone know?

    It will not “slime”, it will just be a soapy water. It seems to work just as well, though.

    1. Oxyclean works, sodium carbonate is one of it’s main ingredients. I’m not sure in what proportion, though. I used a whole cup for about 4qts. I think that might have been over kill, I’ll let you know.
    2. Supposedly there is sodium carbonate (NaCO3) in the pool supplies isle. It is used as a pH stabilizer. Another possible resource. Read the label.
    3. Supposedly, again unconfirmed by me, you can make washing soda from baking soda by heating it to 450 degrees for 4hrs. I am not sure of the time, but the temperature has been consistent with different resources. This is obviously not economical in an oven, but maybe in a toaster oven or open fire?

  311. Ray says:

    …Or I could have not gotten bored and read all the posts before I threw my 2 cents in. Sorry.

  312. Lin says:

    For those having trouble locating washing soda you can call Arm and Hammer costumer relations and give them your zip code.

    The rep on the phone did tell me it’s also available for direct purchase if there is not a retailer nearby.

    Arm and Hammer Customer Relations: 1-800-524-1328
    and ask where to find Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda. Hope this helps!

  313. Lin says:

    Also wanted to mention that this site: http://natural-products.suite101.com/article.cfm/washing_clothes_for_pennies is using this recipe as their own and is also claiming the copyright to the article. I looked everywhere for a thanks to you and a link to this page, but with no luck.

    “The copyright of the article Making Your Own Laundry Detergent in Natural Products is owned by Felicia A. Williams. Permission to republish Making Your Own Laundry Detergent must be granted by the author in writing.”

    Not trying to cause trouble, but as a fellow web site owner I’ve also dealt with this issue. Feel free to moderate this post as you see fit :)

  314. Mark says:

    I’m not terribly familiar with some of the items mentioned in the recipe. Our washer is part of a greywater system; does anyone know how bio-compatible this stuff is? Thanks.

  315. Juli Ruffing says:

    I’ve just mixed up my first batch and I’m anxiously awaiting it’s cooling.

    Have you ever considered (or tried) using ice to cool it faster?

    Just asking because I need to do laundry and this stuff is still pretty hot.

    Also, I noticed on the boxes of washing soda and borax the information that both are environmentally safe (probably safer than the commercial stuff) and will not ruin washing machines. I guess many people were concerned so they actually put it on the box!

    Crossing my fingers that it works.

    Have you ever used Fels Naptha soap rather than regular soap?

  316. katie says:

    We don not have a krogers here in Fl., so I did some research. Most Publix Supermarkets sell washing soda. I just made my first batch, and I can’t wait!

  317. Alada, where I live it gets to be 90 percent humidty and 90 degrees (F) in the summer, or higher. I haven’t always had air conditioning, either. The gel does get thinner in the heat, but it still cleans. I preferred to store it in glass or metal when we had no central air.

  318. michelle says:

    Can anyone tell me where I can buy Zote soap? Does Walmart or Target carry it?

  319. Rebecca says:

    Hi Michelle
    I live on Long Island, NY and was able to pick up both brands (Pink for sensitive skin, White for regular) of Zote soap in my local grocery store, such as Compare foods, PathMark and Key Foods. I too, tried Wal-Mart & Target and was unsuccessful. I hope this helps.

  320. Jennifer says:

    To Find washing soda call 1-800-524-1328.

  321. Sylvia says:

    I have very much enjoyed reading all the comments, recipes and tips. I will be making some slime myself. One thing about the vinegar tho, if you use it in every load (I put it in the wash cycle), it helps prevent pills on the clothes as well as to deodorize them. It also cleans the washer.

  322. chereanne says:

    I found this site last night and I got so excited about the “slime” homemade laundry soap that I made my husband take me to Wal-Mart first thing in the morning. I bought all the items, except for the Arm & Hammer washing soda (they didn’t carry it) so I substituted Sun brand oxyclean, it has the same make up as the washing soda and an additional make up of bonded peroxide. I was so excited…just like a little kid…couldn’t wait to get home and make up a batch. Made it and checked it tonight just before I left for work. My husband and I both work 3rd shift. It was nice and goey and smelled great. I used Irish Spring Icy Blast for the bar of soap. I can’t wait to get home this morning and wash a few loads of clothes…lol…whoever thought I’d be looking forward to doing laundry…lol…Thanks for the FUN and for ways to “green up” the environment.

  323. Lisa Beeba says:

    For a smaller detergent container try using a plastic Coffee can. The Maxwell house cans have handles on them so they are easy to use. Then you can just scoop out your detergent from the can, and keep your large 5 gallon container in the garage out of the way.

  324. Cheryl says:

    I see people haven’t been able to find the washing soda(Arm and Hammer). In Iowa Hy Vee stores have it,
    And I found the Borax at Kmant in Iowa. This is a great site. Just wish I had this recipe when I was a single parent raising 4 kids.
    Keep up the blogs Trent, your a true blessing.

  325. Hannah says:

    I use Fels-Naptha, and I have pretty sensitive skin. I think the Fels-Naptha works very well, and it doesn’t irritate my skin. In fact, before I found Trent’s recipe, I was planning to use another similar recipe that called specifically for Fels-Naptha soap. So, that’s what I’ve been using all along.

  326. Hannah says:

    I use Fels-Naptha, and I have pretty sensitive skin. I think the Fels-Naptha works very well, and it doesn’t irritate my skin. In fact, before I found Trent’s recipe, I was planning to follow another similar recipe that called specifically for Fels-Naptha soap. So, that’s what I’ve been using all along.

  327. Hannah says:

    Yea, it posted twice. Nice one.


  328. Sylvia says:

    Oh, HELP! I was making a double batch and lost count of the gallons I put in the container! What will happen if I am short by one gallon? Can it be fixed? I don’t want to add another gallon incase I go over and ruin it. Please, I hope someone is here reading this tonight who knows something about this mess I made.

  329. Daniel Gutierrez says:

    If I make this recipe, how much do I put in the washer with every load? Tablespoons..what?

  330. In Topeka Falley’s (soon to be Apple Market) carries both the Washing Soda and Borax. In fact they set next to each other on the shelf.

  331. Alexia says:

    I just made my first batch too! Actually I made another batch right after making the first one, just because it was sooooooo fast and easy! & I can always use the extra. Anyway, I wish someone would have answered Juli Ruffing’s post about adding ice to cool it faster! lol Just impatient I guess! =) I’ll update tomorrow after washing some loads! lol You’re very right Chereanne…It’s very weird to be looking forward to doing laundry! lol Oh, and Daniel Gutierrez: Trent’s original post says ‘One measuring cup full of this slime will be roughly what you need to do a load of laundry’! HTH, Alexia

  332. Alexia says:

    Done washing all my clothes! Wonderful stuff! I hope I never go back to TIDE again! This works just as well! I let DH make it…. he had a blast! =)

  333. julia says:

    hi trent,

    i have tried making your recipe. i wonder why it cannot clean off grease from clothes. i tried using it to clean the dish plates to test if it really couldnt take off grease. it was not taking grease off the plates the same way as it was not taking grease off the clothes. do u also encounter this problem with your finished product? does putting hydrogen peroxide help? if it helps, then can u tell me the proportion in your recipe? thanks lots in advance.

  334. Larabara says:

    I need some advice–after tweaking this recipe for my hard-water area, I can’t get this stuff to slime.
    I’ve made several batches of this laundry detergent, and I live in a very hard water area. The first time my whites came out VERY dingy. I started putting water softener salt (only 4 dollars for a 20lb. bag). The salt crystals are pretty big and don’t dissolve well, but it gets the clothes clean. I use Zote pink (I like the smell) but for whatever reason it NEVER, EVER slimes! It’s just a watery base with soap floaters on top. I have to give it a big stir just to get it to mix up so that I can get a scoop for the washer load. I once used half Zote and half Fels Naptha (didn’t like the smell as much, but it sorta half-slimed). Is there something in other soaps that Zote doesn’t have? If so, can I add something to make it slime?
    Thanks everybody!

  335. Larabara says:

    Oh, yes, another thing: I used this in my dishwasher and it covered everything with a gross, sticky film. Then I tried it again with just borax, water softener salt, and washing soda, but not the soap. That time the dishes were clean, but the glasses were cloudy. So now I use the borax/salt/soda mix for the first wash, and regular Cascade for the second wash…I figure that reduces my Cascade use by half, which still saves a lot of money.

  336. Ever since the inception of industrial revolution, life has become fast and the developments in the fields of science and technology has made human life simple and more convenient. All the hassles of day to day activities have been taken care by the complex dynamics of technology. Every night we sleep with a dream and the next morning we are out in the market to buy the dream that has already been converted to reality.

    But, in spite of this we are bothered, the cause being the technology itself. With all its goods kept on one side, technology also has a cruel face on the other side of the fence. With all its developments if, technology is giving us a hassle free life, it is also giving us a polluted environment to live in. Water, air and even sound are not being spared. The chemicals coming out as the byproducts are harming our environment and are directly and indirectly harming us. It is just that we are not able to realize until we are in danger.

    Keeping aside the macro level alerts like global warming, increase in the sea level etc, let us peep into our daily life and see at micro level, the impact of technical developments. Covering every aspect in the discussion to follow may be outside the scope of this article and hence we will try to limit our discussion only to a simple chemical product- the laundry detergent.

    A combination of different chemical substances to clean our clothes is what we call laundry detergent. When mixed with water this detergent creates lather and the chemicals penetrate deep inside the clothes to clean the dirt and the harmful microbes present in them. But studies show that long term usage of these detergents can lead to skin troubles, not to mention about the water pollution which disturbs the balance of the aquatic life!

    A question arises, is there something to make the earth greener and pollution free? Yes, there is. Most of us are unaware of a natural substance which can substitute this laundry detergent and is 100% natural. The substance is known as Soap Nut and is a fruit of a tree called Sapindus. Native to Nepal, India and some other South Asian countries, this tree requires a warm and tropical environment to grow. The harvesting process of this soap nut is completely natural and does not call for any toxin or chemical involvement.

    The Soap Nut consists of a solid and hard outer shell and a small fruit inside it. This outer shell is used for making cleaning products. After the fruit ripens, it falls to the ground from tree. It is then picked up and then dried under the sun and is ready to use. Saponin, a natural substance, is present in the Soap Nut. When the Soap Nut is soaked in water, the Saponins are released. This helps the water to penetrate the fabric and clean it. The Soap Nut is a good replacement of the commercial detergents also because of the fact that it has a natural anti-microbial property which kills the harmful microbes present in the dirt. Because Soap Nuts do not contain any added dyes or chemicals, they do not create very many bubbles or lather but are capable of cleaning clothes as effectively as the commercial laundry detergents.

    Natural and harmless, these Soap Nuts can actually help us to take a step ahead in a greener and more natural world. Soap Nuts do not disrespect technology but rather attempt to save the world from a chemical holocaust. Using soap nuts as a natural laundry detergent is a tribute to nature and the solutions it gives us.

  337. Gretchen says:

    I am not thrilled with the recipe. Did not clean well with one cup of the stuff so I used 4 cups and have gotten better results. But since the purpose of recipe is to save money, I don’t want to use 4 cups! If you are a poster who said it was as good as Tide, I would like to hear why you think it is. Maybe you did something different than I did. Suggestions, comments would be great! Thank you!

  338. Robin says:

    I found Zote Laundry Bar Soap at a local Family Dollar. I found the Kirk’s Castile and Fels Naptha along with the A. H. washing soda and Mule Team Borax at our local I.G.A. What I would really like to try but haven’t found yet is some homemade lye soap, with just lard, tallow, lye and water. I think this would be the most organic option in making the homemade laundry detergent.

    One thing I would like to share about the homemade fabric softner. I took a cheap 2 quart picture and put in 2 quarts of white vinegar. I then added 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerine and 1 teaspoon of lavender essential oil. The glycerine acts as an emulsifier to blend the E.O. with the water based vinegar. I add 1/2 cup per load and it works great! You can also soak a cloth diaper, wash cloth or a rag in this, wring it out and put in the dryer for a dryer sheet.

    You can also take 1 cup of this mixture and mix it with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle to make your own “febreeze” type air freshener. It works great on smoking odors too.

    For hard water and soap scum scale in my bathroom, I mix 1 cup of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of borax, 1 cup of water and 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of dish soap. It works just as well as Ecover’s lime scale spray cleaner with no SLS (the “plant derived surfactant” from coconuts, sodium laurel/laureth sulfate) or other chemicals.

    I was really angry after reading about the plant derived cleaner on the bottles of the EXPENSIVE natural products I was buying to reduce my chemical sensitivies and toxin overload. Then I check the websites of the 4 major brand of “natural” cleaners and found this substance in all of them. I felt deceived and ripped off because that stuff is much more expensive than the name brand cleaners at the stores, and it wasn’t helping me one bit! (sorry about the rant! lol)

  339. Lynn says:

    I made my 1st batch!!
    I love it! No more “Tide” for me!
    The results were outstanding!!
    Iam sooo excited about this soap!
    I’ve been washing everything!!
    I can hardly beleive I made my own laundry soap for pennies!! And it WORKS!!!!!!
    Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou

  340. Jessica says:

    I made homemade laundry soap powder for 2 years and while I love the cost I had some trouble with it–it left grease spots on my clothes and turned my white clothes grey. I used both Zote and ordinary bath soap and had problems both times.

    Now I just buy laundry soap at the Dollar Tree (28 ounce box for $1). I use 2 Tablespoons per full load. It lasts a long time and gets my clothes clean.

  341. lindsey says:

    I made the laundry detergent and love it. Only problem is that mine is still liquid (only a little thicker than water). Any ideas on what went wrong? It didn’t turn into the slime you were talking about. I used a bar of my homemade soap to make it. We only use natural oils, water, and lye. It’s a 4 oz bar. Lever 2000 as originally suggested is 4.5oz. I have only used on a couple of loads, but seems to work very well. Anyone have any suggestions?

  342. Angel says:

    Hey, I have made 5 batches of this stuff, and I have to say..I won’t go back to store-bought any time in the future! I have tried Wal-mart’s brand of Irish Spring(NOT good at odor-removal) and Dial(EXCELLENT at odor removal) and Caress(ADDED benefit,clothes came out and seemed softer) I recently started adding the essential oils and WOW! The scent is awesome.NOT overpowering.My little boy occasionally wets the bed and WHEW! does it STINK! The dial and caress version of the slime worked super, and the bedding came out smellin like sunshine!
    For anyone in Central and Northeast Texas, Brookshires carries the Washing Soda and Borax(Wal mart has the latter as well)
    FYI: My oldest did a science project on this and we tested it against a cheap laundry detergent. We stained material with mustard,ketchup,grape juice concentrate and permanent marker. This gel performed EXCEEDINGLY well over the “cheap” stuff.
    And, if there are any suggestions on homemade shampoo and conditioner(all-natural) and also all-natural soap-making supplies or tips, please PLEASE email me!

  343. Krista says:

    I have almost finished using my first batch. WOW!! I’m impressed with the fragrance and cleaning. We have hard water and 3 boys, so far I have no complaints. Mine didn’t completely slime, but I used it anyhow. I used Ivory soap in a high humidity region and am very pleased. My 15 yr old son has severe, painful acne on his face and back. After using this for several weeks his acne has cleared almost completely. I can’t tell you how much money we have spent on acne products, and something as simple has homemade laundry detergent has worked. He just asked me not to ever go back to using the store bought detergent. What better reason to continue making my own detergent. This also has really shown me how much all of the chemicals that we put on our bodies really changes our skin’s appearance.

  344. Natural Laundry says:

    I don’t care for powdered detergent overall. I prefer to make liquid detergent out of soap nuts.

  345. Kimberly says:

    THANKS! for posting this and I’m glad you had a lot of responses. I have always made my own powder detergent, but we just bought a High Effenciency Washer and I didn’t want to ruin it with my homemade detergent. I am glad to read that it works in an ‘he’ washer.

    As one who gets really itchy from regular detergent, I can attest to the homemade stuff not causing that detergent itch.

  346. The Allison says:

    A neat home-made fabric freshener:

    1 part water
    1 part vodka (use the extra cheap stuff that you wouldn’t normally want to drink…)

    Mix together in a spray bottle. Apply to stinky clothes. Let dry and voila! The vodka kills the stinky bacteria and leaves NO ALCOHOL SMELL!

    I work in live theatre and we use this mixture to freshen costumes in between washings. (Febreeze is irritating to some people’s skin and doesn’t get rid of all the smell.)

  347. Sandra says:

    I live in an extremely hard water area so I was worried after I read many of the comments. I made a batch, and it worked fantastic!!! The inside of my washer looks brand new, not even CLR got it that clean and shiny.

    I could not find the washing soda at a store, but I found a laundromat that sells it for .25 for a little dixie cup full. If I can’t find it in the future, I will order it online.

    I put half a cup of vinegar in every load, and increased the borax to 1 cup, this is miracle stuff!

    I can’t thank you enough.

  348. Katie K says:

    I have been making and using this stuff for a year now and will never go back! I have some tips i wanted to share:

    1. If you use Ivory soap, use more since so much of it is air

    2. an immersion blender (one of those stick things you put right into the pot) is an INVALUABLE tool for thorough mixing

    3. you can add essential oil without a problem. I add 1 Tbl of lemon for each 1/4 batch I make. Just make sure you mix it very well (see tip # 2)

    4. many of you have been looking fo supplies to make your own shampoo, etc. I buy a product called Liquid Crystal (by Stephenson products) which can be made into shampoo, shower gel, etc. the only additions you need are water and salt plus optional essential or fragrance oils (you can add other things if you want). One gallon is $23 and makes 4 gallons of product and can be mixed in small batches. I mail order it from a place called The Chemistry Store.

  349. mary says:

    Can you tell me if you can use chrystal white octagon dish soap instead of bar soap for your homemade laundry detergent?

  350. Suzie says:

    I followed the recipe as above only I substituted Oxyclean for the washing soda. The Oxyclean bubbled up so much that the suds poured out over the top of my 5 gallon bucket!

    To say the least it got a good laugh out of my husband but it was still perfectly jelled up the next morning.

    Next time I will put the oxyclean in some other container with water before adding to the melted soap mixture.

    Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe!

  351. Bobby says:

    Sounds fun! Thank you for sharing. I’ve been doing some of the homemade products that I could use at home and most especially anything that would help me save money. I would definitely try this one.



  352. Jerrick says:

    Great tip. Homemade product can help shave some costs in this inflation era. But be careful that it does not harm your washing machine.



  353. Larabara says:

    I think it could be the glycerine that makes the difference. I compared the ingredients of Zote laundry soap to other “body cleaning” soaps, and the other soaps all have glycerine as an ingredient. Glycerine is in the craft store as part of the soapmaking supplies, and it is also sold in pharmacies as a laxative. Is this the same glycerine?

  354. Larabara says:

    Sorry, I didn’t clarify…I thought the glycerine may be the factor in making the stuff slime. Zote doesn’t have glycerine, and that may be why it stays watery and doesn’t mix into a slime. I actually found some of those glycerine suppositories on sale, so I took a chance and melted them in some water and added them to the laundry soap, and it didn’t slime! Maybe it’s not the glycerine…

  355. Sarah says:

    I made the laundry detergent once before using Ivory and it worked really well. This time I used a home made bar of soap and it did not gel, any suggestions?

  356. Barbara says:

    Hi. Thanks so much!! I just made my second batch. I did have fun making it and enjoy the savings. I also feel that it is somewhat enviornmentally friendly. Thank you again. Barbara

  357. Ralphine says:

    I just made this detergent Saturday with Lever 2000 and needed it to gel quickly to do laundry so set the bucket in front of a fan to cool off faster. I turned the bucket every so often and it worked great!

    I mixed the detergent up in a large square plastic bucket with lid that used to have Tidy Cats litter in it, and the 3-gallons plus the 4 cups of sudsy water fit perfectly.

    I’ve asked my two sisters what kind of bath soap they like and am making a batch for each of them; one uses Dial and the other Safeguard.

    The next time I make a batch for myself, however, I think I’ll use English Lavender soap and put some extra lavender essential oil in with it. I’m also going to use a box grater to turn the soap into slivers as suggested by several people.

    My 22yo daughter was a little doubtful but is totally happy with the results, as are we all. Thanks for posting the recipe; we’ll never go back to store bought!!

  358. threenorns says:

    i’ve been making this recipe for months (only just found this site now, though). i use the borax/arm & hammer washing soda/bar of laundry soap recipe – mine called for a cup of vinegar but i left that out. i make it in a big bucket and it’s always a solid cake the next day that needs stirring up before it’s pourable.

    one thing for those who aren’t getting the gelling effect: how long are you heating it? i found the one time i had to shut the soap off halfway and leave for a few hours, it took WAY longer to set than usual. i melt the soap bar (i use “Linda” – 99c) in 4c water, then i add 1c board and 1c washing soda, then keep simmering and stirring until it’s all dissolved. meanwhile, i’ve got the kettle going. i pour the mixture into the bucket mixing the stream with that from the kettle, then top off with pure hot water from the tap.

    that all sounds horrific, environmentally speaking, but since i do all my laundry in cold water and i not only use the supersized machines at the laundromat but hang my laundry up to dry, i figure it balances out.

    not just laundry, i’ve found the soap is fabulous for:

    – dishes (yes, it cuts grease wonderfully)
    – cleaning upholstery and rugs
    – cleaning windows
    – washing floors

    i don’t buy cleaning products any more – i use this soap for pretty much all washing, baking soda for scrubbing, lemon or orange oil for stubborn greasy scrubbing, vinegar for chrome, and a can of cheap hair spray for ink-based stains.

  359. Vanessa says:

    Success!! I have tested a version of this recipe with great success and savings!

    As I don’t have the space to make the slime (sad), I combined all of the dry ingredients into a small container. I grated a bar of plain organic soap with my cheese grater ($2), and added 1 cup of washing soda ($2) and half a cup of borax (.50) I then added in a few drops of lemon essential oil for a fresh scent.

    I mixed it all together and I figured if the slime makes 48 washes, then the powdered mix would as well. – And about 600ml of powder mix divides into about 48 washes @ 1 Tbsp each. I have done 5 loads of laundry so far, and the clothing smells wonderful and the detergent has improved the state of my running socks and chocolate stained shirt.

    These prices are based on my local environmental store in Ottawa, Canada. I’m sure I could get the soap for about $1 at a Walmart type store. Still, at less than $5 for 48 washes, this is definitely a lot less expensive than Tide and many other brands of soap. It also took me less than 5 minutes to make the dry version, with no fuss and no mess. The clothing looks clean, smells clean, and feels the same when we wear it. There were no plastic containers used to purchase ingredients and I am recycling an old container to store the finished product.

    I am definitely converted to the benefits of making my own detergent and I am sure I can drop the price even more by using sale soap and soap scrapes.

  360. Elisabeth says:

    This sounds fun, but I like soap nuts. Not very frugal, but they work well and help the environment.

  361. TinaSparkle says:

    I made the gel kind of detergent with fine success, but it’s so thick and gloppy that it’s hard to use. I really prefer the liquid kind! I think I will try it next with liquid soap as the base, as it makes sense to me that the bars of soap would have something added to solidify it. I’ve got the Flylady mantra going through my head – soap is soap – and I’m wondering how it would be to use regular cheap shampoo (Suave), or if there is something special added to shampoo. I figure shampoo/liquid soap plus borax plus washing soda should make a nice liquid detergent… that’s the idea anyway. Anyone tried that?

  362. naniilee says:

    Thank-you for all the information!

    The meldue is attacking my skin .

    The meldue attacks the skin, and bure’s in to the skin, “and lives on the blood in your veins.”

    For the older people it can kill.

  363. Esther says:

    I absolutely love the green slime except for me it is white slime. The next day I looked in the bucket and found the mixture to have a rather soupy consistency. I had pictured something like “green ooze” and I wondered if I had done something wrong. But it works even better than the laundry detergent I was using. Besides the store bought laundry detergent, I was also using other chlorine free bleaches and powdered bleaches besides the borax. Using the slime, well that is all I need. However I did use a heavy measuring cup when measuring out the washing soda and borax. Sorta like a baker’s dozen.

    But I did have one question though. When you say all one needs is one measuring cupful, How much does yours hold? I just don’t want to be using too much and clogging anything. Thanks.


  364. TinaSparkle says:

    Hi Esther – I think when they say “one measuring cupful” they mean one cooking measuring cup of “1 cup”. If you’re not in the U.S. they have conversion tables on the Internet that are free and really easy.

  365. Sharon Goad says:

    I love the soap but i wish that it had more suds. How would I go about making it with more suds?

  366. NIKKI says:

    I’m going to make this, this weekend.

    Trent, if this stuff works like most people here say it does, I could possible propose marriage…or maybe just an extra marrital affair just because I’ll be so grateful!!!!!!!!!


    Bye-bye stains from a very active 3 yr old. Bye-bye stains from a messy 10 yr old!!!!! Bye-bye stains from hubby’s clothes who works outside and comes home sweaty, smelly, muddy and sometimes blood stained!

    Trent….I think I love you….and I don’t remember who said the stuff about peroxide and organic stains…but I love you too.


  367. Natural Laundry Detergent says:

    Soap Nuts are the best laundry detergent.

  368. Sherry says:

    I am wanting to make slime to go into a kiddie pool for a youth game. Is this safe to use?

  369. Joy Embury says:

    I would not use Fels-Naptha for making clothes soap as it has stuff in it that is toxic as it is in Moth balls…

  370. steve says:

    timeless information – i didn’t have to read all the comments but it looks like many others found it helped them out in the laundry too

  371. Angela Adam says:

    Hey there. I was excited to find this recipe.. I followed the directions and made this detergent, but mine did not “slime”. I just have a bucket of soapy water.. Not sure what I did wrong… Any suggestions???

  372. Helen says:

    Just finished a bucket of slime and I must say I am impressed. I was skeptical at first but the proof was in how clean the clothes came out and the fact that my dark colors did not fade. I also tried the vinegar in the rinse cycle and discontinued buying fabric softener. Think of how many plastic bottles we could save if everyone was ambitious enough to make their own laundry detergent. Thanks for a great tip. Well time to go mix up my second batch. My married kids are using this too….

  373. jeff says:


    been reading the posts here and will be trying this recipe out soon?

    one question though…………

    anyone ever try using murphy soap oil instead of bar soap?

    if so, how much did you use?


  374. Kathy says:

    My daughter and I have been experamenting with this soap since August. This all started when the detergent went to 2X concentrate. Well guess what,it didn’t get the clothes clean.So my daughter found this site .So far I have been pleased ,all of these posts have been very helpful.I have very hard water so I have been increasing the borax and baking soda wash each mixture.Istarted with post184’s 1/4 batch I increased the borax until I got the brightness that I wanted ,increasing 1/4 cup each batch .For cleaning ,grease,deoderize,softness I increased the baking soda wash.I use white vinegar in my downy ball for fabric softener.this seems to get rid of any soap film on the clothes.Also for you that the detergent doesn’t set try putting in 1/4 bar more in your mixture next time.I have found different soaps set differently .So far I am very pleased with this soap works better than 2x ERA.

  375. Riki says:

    By using Kirk’s Castile Soap in Trent’s recipe, it is completely green. Also comparing the slime to regular Tide is a moot point, the comparison should be to Tide with bleach powder. I can’t tell you how many stains I have gotten out of clothing with a concentrated amount applied directly to the stain for 24 hours. Also, I soak all my whites for 24 hours and people have commented on my glowing whites. I am going to give this a try on my whites to compare. I use green products on the rest of my laundry and I hope this recipe works as good as the Tide with Bleach so I can go completely green.

  376. Angela says:

    Let me preface this by saying I am a chemist by schooling and a hippie by heart. I’ve been debating trying this out since I saw it posted on wisebread.com’s forums in the frugal section. I love a good slime and have tested over a dozen varieties over the years. I make my own soy candles and have been looking into soaps but haven’t made the jump.

    I get Johnson’s Buddies easy-grip sudzing bars for free after coupon (they are soap in a scrubby pouch so your kids don’t drop them). Ingredients are sodium palm kernalate, sodium palmate, fragrance, water and disodium EDTA. Would this work better or worse than things such as Zote, Ivory, etc? I also have some Olay “mosturizing bars” which have about 5 of the salt ___ates in them I’d love to try out.

    I’m hosting a Living Green House Party and though making our own laundry soap and letting people make their own “scent” and taking home a bottle would be fun. Especially as I can premix the soap and just allow them to add the scent and label it to take home with the recipe.

  377. DORIS says:

    My daughter showed me your recipe a couple of days ago. I’m waiting for my first load of laundry using homemade detergent to finish. I hope it works as well as many of the other posters say. It was fun and easy. My daughter doesn’t like to cook, it was nice to have her in the kitchen with me, not pouting for a change. Also, if anyone is in Ohio, washing soda and borax are at Marc’s.

  378. Ash says:

    I had a cleaning-supply-making party with my friends the other day, and we all made this laundry soap (some of us in the liquid and others in a powder form.)It was so much fun to make slime together! Plus, when you make it in bulk with friends all chipping in for the ingredients, it gets even cheaper. Thanks! Oh, and we rescued several empty containers of liquid laundry detergent with the neat pour spouts from a nearby dumpster and poured our slime in. Be sure to snatch one if you see it in a garbage can. They are really handy.

  379. SoCalGirl says:

    This was such a cool thing to do with our two little kids. As I melted the soap on the stove, they got to measure and pour the borax and the washing soda (available at Albertson’s in Southern California – I had to call the manufacturer to find out where to buy locally). And the next night I let them stir up the big tanker of gelatinous goo, they had a blast! The clothes were just as clean if not a bit brighter, than usual. This exercise will save us a lot in laundry soap – and provides a fun, interesting, kind of scientific thing to do, too! Thanks!!

  380. Tea Tree Oil says:

    Also try adding tea tree oil to your homemade soap & detergent. It adds a disinfectant property.

  381. Mike says:

    I made a batch of this stuff, I used Zest for the soap and it gelled very nicely, though you do have to mix it a bit as it is more liquid on the bottom.
    I also like the fact the for a homemade dishwasher detergent it uses the same ingredients. Equal parts of Borax and Washing Soda. I also add 1/4 cup bleach to my dishwasher and it works super, and much cheaper than store bought.

  382. DORIS says:

    I made the laundry detergent using leftover slivers of bath soap.I usually save these to make a bar for soaping glass before I paint. It worked so well I got obsessed.Did all the laundry. Got out our stored winter things, washed them, ransacked the rooms of my two teenagers (always a good place to find dirty clothes) washed those things. It worked great!!! After I did all the laundry I could find, I made another batch. I also made the All-purpose cleaner which works as well as Windex on glass. I’ve never enjoyed cleaning so much. The idea that I have saved so much money by making these products in my own kitchen is intoxicating. I will be checking back for other recipes. Thank You.

  383. MommyG says:

    Does the liquid detergent keep well? I live in WA state…things can get moldy. Thanks!

  384. Larabara says:

    Slime at last! I figured it out–it was the water softener salt that was keeping the slime from forming. I had been using the salt that you put in those water softener machines because I figured salt was salt, right? Plus it was much cheaper (only $4 for a 20lb bag) than the laundry water softener (over $6 for a 2lb box). I made a batch with Ivory soap, and just a few minutes after the final mixing I could see it starting to slime. Then I added the water softener salt, and it quickly turned to liquid with soap floaters on top. I started the batch over. I skimmed the soap floaters off the top, and poured out the rest. I re-melted the soap with water on the stove, and used regular laundry water softener in the final mix. The next morning I had a bucket of lovely white slime. Mystery solved! This slimy batch cleans my clothes in my hard water, and I use white vinegar in the final rinse. However, I now have to figure in the cost of the super-expensive laundry water softener, and it diminishes the savings considerably. I will try my next batch with Zote, which has the scent that I like much more than Ivory.

  385. Carrie says:

    I just wanted to say thanks – I’ve been making this detergent for nearly a year now. It works well and is a wise use of resources. Thanks again.

  386. Rebecca says:

    This seems like a good idea. I thought about doing this after I saw it mentioned on a TV show I was watching. For us though we use about one container of laundry detergent a month, which is usually around $7. So, to me it seems we might as well just go ahaid and buy the stuff rather then making this ourselves. All it would do is save us $7 a month as we wouldn’t have to buy any for several months if we made this. But, seems like what’s an extra $7 going to do. So, I guess I’ll just go ahaid and buy it. I think it’s a good idea though and may be good for someone who uses alot more laundry soap then we do each month.

  387. Hope Hesed says:

    Was wondering if this laundry recipe is safe for septic systems. Our system has just failed and I’m sur ehte store-bought soaps don’t help this. I try to steer clear of bleaches and other anti-bacterials but you can’t altogether eliminate these things. Any septic system owners out there who have answers?

  388. KayDee says:

    I just used my first batch of laundry “soup” Soap! I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am! I used the baking soda because I couldn’t find the washing soda. It works just fine. Although one is carbonate and the other bicarbonate, you can only substitute baking soda for washing soda. You cannot substitute washing soda for baking and cooking or ingestion. But for cleaning they’re pretty much interchangeable. I also added 5-7 drops of an essential oils to the water just before combining it all together. I used tea tree oil because it’s anti fungal, anti microbial and anti septic. It only took me about 15 minutes to make.
    It works BEAUTIFULLY! I’m excited to see what else I can make. THANK YOU!

  389. Mabel White says:

    I hope this helps those trying to make liquid laundry soap.



    One pound of soap to one 3/4 gallon of hot water

    You can chop real soap into chunks-pour hot water over them, and just let it sit a week. Stir once in a while, but you may not have too. That soap is going to be the mush you want. I use a five gallon bucket from Home Depot or Lowes [paint section.] Insulate with MYLAR.

    Mylar can hold some serious heat. $2 blankets from a camping store. I pour boiling water and it is still hot to the touch 10 hours later. The heat breaks the soap down without your labor. Hot months I do mine at noon and leave in the bucket outside all day-mylar at night.


    I find slime hard to deal with and too much like snot. I want a nice consistency. I add a few ounces of 191 proof Everclear or Mohawk to break the slime bands down. Slime is soap trying to go back to its original hard form. No-I do not smell alcohol later.

    So I use 2 ounces to a gallon to act as a ‘solvent’ and make my liquid soap uniform. I swear by my stick blenders. I buy the longest ones I can find.

    I do save my commerical detergent jugs and they are AWESOME to dispense as someone said above. I have a big Cheers jug with a spigot.

    SCENTING This is the fun variable. Essential oils will curdle BUT fragrance oils-such as Downy, I love to use. FO’s can actually clear the soap or make more translucent. I add 5% fragrance oil to my soap. It is translucent over a 7 day period. Fresh Cut Grass is actually my most favorite scent. I make room sprays with it, 1/2 Everclear and 1/2 FO. 191 proof will kill anything and also prevents any oil on your “stuff.” A lesser proof is fine-some states only allow 151 proof. Any state that begins with M I do know.

    pH over 9 is high enough to not worry about a preservative.

    A high pH is great for cleaning clothes. That is a tad too high for our skin though.


    I like to color mine too. I use lots of blue food dye to get the “Ocean Blue” color you see most commerical brands carry. This is what they use.

    Hydrogen I read that here-I will try it. It gets blood right out-that I am positive. I keep a lot of that in my laundry room for that purpose.

  390. Mabel White says:

    I have insomnia, so I will answer a few questions above. I love puzzles! I will answer bottom up. *If you quote me above-please quote me. I am an author-I love to be quoted.


    Your internal temp was not getting cool enough.

    Take 20% out and stick in the frige. It will be pretty solid in 4-5 hours. Put that cold batch in the too thin batch and blend. WELLAH you should see all slime.

    Borax is a great booster for any cleaning. I add it separate-it will throw your soap out of “emulsion” if you add more than 3% to your slime.

    BRIGHTER WHITES Bluing does make white appear “whiter.” Another reason I use blue. And no it does not stain at all.

    I like post #348

    REAL SOAP Kirk’s Castile and Fels Naptha are both real soaps. Lever and the others are not soap-they are called “bars”. You will not see SOAP on the label. If it says Soap-then it should be natural. When you use soap made of a bunch of snythetics it may be hard to get slime. IVORY goes way back but I am not sure what is in it these days.

    SLS is not good stuff.

    Eczema – Try plain sulfonated castor oil. It looks like honey and a very gentle non-drying soap. Few people know this is soap-it sure is.

    Microwave Post #280 is SOOOO right until I found a process I call “Cold Fusion” works. I use the nuker to boil my water. Funny-I toasted my micro last week-walking away and not seeing the Hiroshima puff ball. I was rushing soap that day to give as a gift.

    CHEMICALS even natural chemicals can react badly for your lungs. DO be careful about mixing peroxide to a soap perhaps de-slimed with alcohal. That sounds like the deadly combo Chloroform. Just be sure what you are heating, mixing and breathing. Pets are FAR more sensative too.

  391. Mabel White says:

    Liquid soap can build up in plumbing. I use citric acid to clean any alkaline film, even to clean the glasses in a dishwasher. And I use citric it in the laundry too. Vinegar is cheap I just cannot deal with the smell. Super hot water should clear the soap gunk out.

    If you know you made your emulsion with real soap-you CAN use this in the dishwasher. I use 1 Tabelspoon of liquid soap, and 3 Tablespoon of citric to ensure no alkaline residue on my glass. You can clean your diswasher by running a cap of citric in an empty cycle a few tims a year.

    All I use is my lquid soap and borax-any more I think is over doing it. Plus, someone I know had a rash reaction too washing soda. Poor thing-everywhere his under wear touched!

    More lather or thick soap does not mean effective soap. Thin soap has less surface tension and a better cleaner. Concentrated is a term usually for TV commercials. Still I like it semi thick.


  392. shellyc says:

    I made my gel last nite and WOW! this is the best thing since sliced bread! I cleaned my whole bathroom with it this morning (soap scum and all), it worked as well as Mr. Clean or pine sol etc. my chrome is shining!!! I had 1 cup of the gel in a 2gallon bucket of water(just as a test for presoaking),so i thought I;d try it in the bath and WOW what a great ALL PURPOSE CLEANER! NO RINSING!!!!! I cant wait to try it in the washer! Also did dishes with it, They are squeaky clean, a little slippery to handle but still…..

  393. shellyc says:

    LUMPY TEXTURE? Try This;
    I divided the large bucket into smaller buckets and used my electric mixer to smooth it out, worked like a dream! I also added a cup of my left-over commercial laundry detergent to the whole batch. It added scent and a little sudsing.
    P.S.,I am in Canada and this will save me A LOT of money as even store brand detergent costs $5.00 on sale for 40 loads 12 cents a load! This costs me about 2 cents a load!!!!
    My recipe;
    1 1/2cups borax $5
    1 1/2 cups washing soda $5
    ! bar “Sunlight Pure Soap” $2 (all in the laundry aisle)
    I put ALL ingredients in a large pot with about 5-6 liters or quarts of hot water, simmer and stir til soap melts about 10-15 mins if you grate soap finely. Then pour into 5 gallon or 20 liter bucket and add enough really hot water(I boiled mine first)and stir. Let sit overnite or til cool and mix in 1 cup liquid laundry or 1/2 cup dish soap.Then divide and use electric mixer to blend.You can then bottle your gel or put it back into large bucket. I poured mine into whatever bottles I could find in my recycling bag, plastic soda pop bottles, plastic water bottles, etc

  394. shellyc says:

    1 box of Borax and 1 box of soda will make about 6 batches

  395. Amy says:

    Just wanted to leave a comment for MommyG. I live in Florida where it’s pretty damp as well. Kept this detergent in a 5 gallon bucket for 4 months (now making my 2nd batch) and sometimes the lid was not completely on, but no mold or funky smell!

    Love this stuff!

  396. Kathy says:

    I am in the process of gathering what is needed to make my own batch. I am excited to try this out. We have 6 kids and also babysit others. This will be a huge moneysaver for us. The only thing I wasn’t sure on was where to by the essential oils and which one leaves the best smell? Thanks!

  397. Marsadie says:

    Thank for for this! Especially during times like these when being frugal is absolutely necessary…

  398. shellyc says:

    LUMPY TEXTURE? Try This;
    I divided the large bucket into smaller buckets and used my electric mixer to smooth it out, worked like a dream! I also added a cup of my left-over commercial laundry detergent to the whole batch. It added scent and a little sudsing.
    P.S.,I am in Canada and this will save me A LOT of money as even store brand detergent costs $5.00 on sale for 40 loads 12 cents a load! This costs me about 2 cents a load!!!!The borax and soda will make 5-6 buckets.
    My recipe;
    1 1/2cups borax $5 box
    1 1/2 cups washing soda $5 box
    1 bar “Sunlight Pure Soap” $1 each (all in the laundry aisle)
    I put ALL ingredients in a large pot with about 5-6 liters or quarts of hot water, simmer and stir til soap melts about 10-15 mins if you grate soap finely. Then pour into 5 gallon or 20 liter bucket and add enough really hot water(I boiled mine first)and stir. Let sit overnite or til cool and mix in 1 cup liquid laundry or 1/2 cup dish soap, stir well as the gel will settle.Then divide and use electric mixer to blend.You can then bottle your gel or put it back into large bucket. I poured mine into whatever bottles I could find in my recycling bag, plastic soda pop bottles, plastic water bottles, etc

  399. Mary says:

    I made my own laundry soap using this recipe for a while. I liked it ok, but my dh didn’t trust it to clean so he would use double the amount and all hiw whites turned yellow! He then wanted me to go back to regular laundry detergent and would not believe he just used too much, stubborn man! So if you use the Fels Naptha bar to make it don’t use too much when you use wash your clothes!

  400. This all sounds great. But, I think I would rather make some home made Kahula in the kitchen. Lot easier to clean up the mess.

  401. marie says:

    I have been using borax, washing soda and bar soap (sunlight). I am on my 3rd batch and the results always seem the same. It ends up lumpy and the bottoms of the soapjugs have crystals. I don’t like those crystals. I shake the containers like crazy and I can hear the crystals. What am I doing wrong?

  402. nmchilecat says:

    I am seriously thinking about making this because I LOVE to save money. But has anyone used this that has a water softener in their home? One poster mentioned that one of the ingredients listed is a water softening agent; I’m wondering how that will affect the clothing.

  403. Gwen Jones says:

    I’ve made this laundry soap a few times. It works well in a front-loading washing machine. A stick blender helps as well. It lasts a long time.

  404. Amy says:

    I would like to hear from more of you who have used the powdered version. Does it work as well?

  405. kristen says:

    I’m unconvinced. I get the powdered stuff at the commissary (military grocery store) for 5.99 for 130 loads (4.8 cents per load), so….

  406. mariel says:

    i made you’re experiment…but it does not became a slime…it remaines a liqiud detergent…why?

  407. pat says:

    have used this stuff for over a year…love it…in fact halfway thru making mine, I didn’t have any borax..so had to stop and go get some…didn’t get back to it till a few days later and continued on with making it…

    I just keep mine in old soap jugs, or old vinegar jugs…if ya don’t have any jugs, go to the laundry mat, you’ll find plenty that folk have thrown away

    I just used a bar of dial, cause that’s what I had…scraped some off in the hot water…although I measured out the borax and washing soda..the bar of soap, I just scraped and scraped…figuring that’s enuff..I did’t use 1/4 of that bar I’m sure…

    people your making this too technical…on how it looks, etc etc…

    Looking at a jug of it I hav sitting here..the top 3-4 inches, looks like slime, thebottom of it looks like unclear water…no big deal…I just shake it up really good, and dump some in the washer…it is just as good, as something that supposedly looks perfect…

    I made it because to me its cheaper then that stuff at the store..I’m not worried about the cents thing…

    what is liquid soap you buy at the store???? most of it is water…your paying big bucks for water!!!!!!!!!

    and I can’t stand the stink that is in every soap you buy, it just gags me…

    and there are no suds in mine, may be if I had used more of that bar of soap…but i have read it is low sudsing regardless….

  408. christy says:

    I just made a batch this stuff for the first time. I used one bar of Ivory soap. After I stirred in the last ingrediant, Borax I covered the bucket. I left it for two days without fiddling with it, by the second morning it had set up like jello, I stired it and now it is like slime. I think it doesn’t matter the consistancy you get as long as you have the ingrediants the same. Things like temperature and humidity may be enough of a factor as to why some have runny liquid and others slime (dec in michigan gave me a jello effect) I plan on stiring it up and putting some in empty old detergent bottles and then shaking it before each use. This was super easy to make! I can’t wait to try it out for the first wash tonight! Now I will make dishwashing detergent. (PS: distilled vinegar in the rinse for the dishes really did work to keep spots off the glasswear!)

  409. stef says:

    The “washing soda” or soda ash can also be puchased at any swimming pool supply store as soda ash is used in bablancing the ph of swimming pools. May have to be purchased in a slightly larger quantitiy though.

  410. kelly says:

    I had to move in with my parents after my boyfriend was layed off in Jan 08. We decided to in May of 08 because his lease was up then. (We struggled to make ends meet and he was looking for a job in the meantime.) My sister and her husband had five children and one on the way and in May of 08, her 35 yr old husband died from a massive heartattack. She had to move in with my parents as well. In total there are Six adults (over 18) 2-15yr olds, a 10 yr old, a 2 yr old, 2-1 yr old, and a 2 month old (totaling seven kids) in our household. There are thirteen people living here and money is tight. We wash ALOT of clothes, as you could imagine, and I had seen the show 17 and counting… they talked about how they make their own detergent. I thought that it would be a great idea for us to do the same. Thank you for posting this and everyones suggestion on other ideas. I really appreaciate this!

  411. Chris @ BuildMyBudget says:

    I’m gonna have to try this! What an excellent way to save some money!

  412. christy says:

    Hey, I have been using this stuff for almost a month (I was comment #410) I have used it for all my laundry with no problem at all :) Now I have a bunch of family and friends giving me empty detergent bottles for me to fill so they can try it too. I am including this recipe for them so they can make it themselves after that. Totally worth the (minimal) effort to make, super easy folks, should be a no brainer. Then you can use the leftover washing soda and borax (one tablespoon each) in your dishwasher instead of store bought detergent, and there are tons more uses on the 20 mule team and arm n hammer boxes and websites so its not like the ingrediants are only useful for this one recipe.

  413. christy says:

    I am also super happy to not have to buy overpriced heavily commercialized TIDE or DREFT (I have sensitive skin) the washing soda and borax comes in boxes so they are recyclable and I can use my old detergent bottles and the bucket I make this in over and over. So not only is it CHEAP, its GREEN (although CHEAP makes me Happier)

  414. Linda says:

    I decided to try your recipe, it was very easy and fast however after it got cold I started breaking it up, it would separate and be clumpy.I also covered it as you said… So I made a second batch and this time I added it to the hot water and stirred till well blended, then left it uncovered and every 30 mins or so I would stir it again and I continued this process until it was completely cooled it remained mixed no clumps no breaking down and I added more washing soda and borax as well. I then took the original mixture and recooked it and stirred every 30 mins till cooled I love the way it becomes so creamy and easy to pour and measure now.

  415. christy says:

    I just want to comment on the math. People its EASY to figure out. my costs were (6 Bars of soap .89 cents) rounding up to $6.00, box washing soda $5.00, box borax $5.00, all that rounds up to $16 (I rounded all the prices up) and this makes 6 batches of 3 gallons each, roughly costing $2.66 a batch, or .89 cents a gallon. TIDE costs anywhere from $12-20 a gallon depending on the type and if you get a coupon for one. WOW 90 cents a gallon or $12 a gallon? Decision made! Bonus: the left over borax and washing soda have multiple uses around the house, many of which are printed right on the boxes. THAT IS THE MATH.

  416. Am linking to this. My new resolution is to be super eco-friendly this year. NO more chemicals.

  417. Robert says:

    What if you want it to gel more? Can you use 1/2 the water and then 1/2 of a scoop?

  418. Tammy says:

    I have used this recipe and had to tweak it for a few different reasons. I love the smell of the detergent; but, the clothes are a different story.
    Mine and the baby’s clothes smell dirty, can still smell deodarant in hubby’s shirts( no visible sign) some of the kids clothes have no smell and one other has a bit of his body odour to his clothes. The detergent seems to visibly clean all the clothes but they smell dirty, even with tea tree oil. Anyone else having this trouble. I have he front loader and thought there might be more to the he detergent being just low sudsing and tried a cheap brand of he detergent and dirty smell is gone. Very sad…I love savings and making it(detergent). Now I need to find homemade he detergent recipe?

  419. Robert says:

    I have my wash water run out in my yard to water my grass. I keep seeing ppl say this is a green and non-toxic receipe even with the borax, but I’m not so sure. Over time will this be safe in my yard?

    Also, what if you want to make it gel more? How would you make that happen?

    I haven’t made my first batch yet, but will soon.


  420. Brittany says:

    Hi everyone, I haven’t read all the posts, about half I guess so maybe I’m not repeating someone else but I noticed several people asking about hard water problems related to this soap and since I work at a health food store I went back to our cleaning supplies section and read on some detergent that sodium carbonate which is washing soda is a water softener. I haven’t made the soap yet b/c I’m still at work lol but I plan too. So maybe just adding a little more washing soda would work for really hard water, which we have here in Alabama.

  421. Helena Davis says:

    I have been using homemade laundry detergent for about a year now. Several members of my family were alergic to it. I did some experimentation and found that the washing soad didn’t quite rinse out, especially in cold water. So, I made the detergent with plain baking soda. I also have hard water so on other site on the Internet, I found that I needed to add twice the amout of soda. I have been really happy with it ever since.

  422. Lynn says:

    Love to try this & can’t wait…..

    Is there anyone who can help me find the Washing Soda or Borax been everywhere? I’m guessing it’s only in the States to buy…
    Living in Chateauguay,Quebec Canada


  423. Brittany says:

    I also noticed that some people were complaining about the cost of heating the water to melt the bar soap so my suggestion is to use a liquid soap such as dr.bronners peppermint or lavender or your favorita hand soap if you prefer. I think I’m gonna try bronners citrus b/c I really like how it smells. That way you don’t have to melt it. Just add all your ingredients together, seems easier to me too. Still at work, but eager to start my new project.

  424. I’m checking out as many new beauty products as possible at the moment, especially skin care and eyelash care, and found this a welcome relief from so much dross. Thanks a lot.

  425. Lynn says:

    AS listed above I found all & tried it….used Irish Spring Icy Blast…I was so please with the results…..The Best for me was getting the family involved i’m a single mother of 3 children*ages B-7-G-12-B-15–we all took apart in making it~ &watching the kids this morning checking it out was price-less.( of course they didn’t think it would work–mom was crazy-lol)When it turned out–they ran around getting clothes in the washing machine to try it….
    SO making it a family project is so much fun.Thank you Trent

  426. Melody says:

    I found the borax and washing soda quite easily at our local hardware store. Can’t believe how hard people are finding it to locate this stuff. I’m getting ready to make my second batch. The first batch lasted me about 5 months (just 2 of us, but do alot of wash anyways) with my HE washer (just use about 1/4 c. per load) I have hard water, with a softener, and have absolutely loved this. I keep it in a big kitty litter bucket and pour it over into the last Tide container that I had bought for everyday use.

  427. Green Panda says:

    I made another batch today. I really enjoying the slime! We’ve done it for a couple of months and haven’t noticed a change in the quality of our washes. Thanks for the recipe!

  428. Monique says:

    Lynn from Canada – I live in Ontario and can find borax and washing soda at Metro stores (used to be A&P in Ontario) in the laundry products section.

  429. Kelly says:

    I did this recipe this morning at 10am and it is now 830pm… My detergent is still watery. I know that I had the correct measurements because I have a measuring cup that measures in half gallons… Does it take longer to turn into slime? Should I have not mixed everything together and then stirred? Should I have stirred individually? Any suggestions would help. I am a complete idiot, it seems. please help. ths.

  430. Kelly says:

    BTW I found Borax at Walmart for 3.29 (or so) and the Washing Soda was the hardest to find!!I live in Mid-South TN and its difficult to locate this stuff. Most Krogers will carry the Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda and they carry the Borax. The Soda was about 2.49! Just keep walking down the aisle and you will see it. :)

  431. House Wife says:

    I found this site over the weekend completely by accident. I must have read the posts for 2 hrs or so…atleast the first 400. My husband thought I was crazy but I wanted to make sure this stuff is as good as it sounds. I was excited about making this, and doing laundry…lol. So I went out today to find the ingredients and much to my surprise my local supermarket carries both Borax and Washing Soda, which made me even more excited. I did have to go to Kmart to buy a bucket with a lid. All the buckets were over $10 so I bought a plastic storage bin with a lid which came out to $5 and change. So it cost me a total of $10.60 to buy the bucket, Washing Soda and Borax…I already had a bar of soap (Irish Spring). WOW!!! This is great. It would have cost me more just to buy detergent. I found this site just in time because I ran out of detergent and it was time to buy some more. Anyway, I made the “slime” about 1pm today, it took approx. 30 min. because I wanted to be sure I was doing it right so I took my time. I definitely could have done it faster though. I’m so excited for tomorrow so that I may try it out on my blankets and towels. I’m excited to learn more about making soaps and cleaning products and what ever else I may find. My husband and I have been hit really hard by this “recession” so we are really trying hard to do what we can to save extra cash. Thank You so much for the recipe and thank you all for the posts and ideas!

  432. House Wife says:

    Just had to come back and say that I have used my laundry soap and I love it! Only half of it turned to slime and the rest was watery so I mixed it up and now it’s mainly watery with very small clumps. I’m ok with this because when I buy detergent it’s all liquid too so it’s not much of a difference. Any who, I love how clean and fresh everything smells and will never buy detergent again.

  433. amelia says:

    Soap nuts are very environmentally friendly! A friend swears by them. Lighter for shipping and cheaper too!

  434. Linda says:

    I had two questions. How many oz. should the bar of soap be? Also, can I use liquid soap and if so how many oz.? After I get the answers to these questions I will be ready to make my soap. I am so excited!!!

  435. wow what fantastic information. This is a great way to save money! I never thought that i could make my own laundry detergent before

  436. momof4boys says:

    I made it the detergent a couple of days ago and it has separated, but I wouldn’t call the top part “slime.” I have a front loading washing machine, and I use only a half cup of the stuff. It has totally eliminated the stench of mildew from inside my washer which still hung out when I used scented detergent. I didn’t want to go try and find the washing soda, so I just used regular baking soda. It was a cinch to make and I just poured the whole batch into smaller containers that I recycled. It would be nice if it smelled a little bit stronger, but it gets my laundry clean and that is the bottom line.

  437. laura says:

    I made the recipe and just was curious on one thing. Is there something I can try to help the soap mixture not come back out on the clothing? I made the liquid recipe and have noticed on dark clothing that it tends to want to leave it on the darks.

  438. christy says:


    it is fine if after you stir it it is watery with clumps, mine is like that too. I have been using it for almost two months and there has been no problems with cleaness of wash or my sensitive skin.

    Now you can use one tablespoon of borax and one tablespoon washing soda in the place of dishwasher detergent. (if you get caking then do just 1.5 tablespoons of each) I filled an empty water bottle with this mixture and keep it under the sink so it is handy…..also DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR, you can use it as rinse aid in the dishwasher, just put it in the little compartment and you will have no more spots!

  439. adymax says:

    I found this website and I will order and make detergent:


  440. Brad Bay says:

    I made this yesterday using Ivory soap and all the ingredients listed in the article. A clean, empty cat litter container works great as a “free” bucket for the mix. The detergent smells great and we’re washing a dark load with warm water to right now. I’m really hoping this works well because the price of laundry detergent at the grocery store is outrageous!

  441. Jeanette says:

    I love my detergent. I have been using it for a couple months & will have to finally make a 2nd batch. My friend made it first & she has 2 grown boys & she told me it took the “boy smell” out of their clothes. I found it takes those smells out of the clothes, too, especially my daughter’s perfume. There is no real scent, so I just add fabric softener to the rinse cycle. This was a great recipe as I am making everything from scratch these days, from bread & tortillas to ketchup, mayonnaise, & even oreos. Thanks Trent.

  442. BJ says:

    This stuff is great, I can’t believe I’ve bought into the Proctor & Gamble Soap Opera for so long. The time to make it is great, the effort is so little, the cost is so great! One cynic stated that “detergents ARE cheaper as you don’t have to use the recommended amount, half usually works just as well.” No way. This is cheaper, and it’s a wonderful detergent. Not only that, when they claim 112 loads or 96 loads on a bottle, it’s for a MEDIUM load, not the normal LARGE loads we do. A large, on the last bottle of detergent I BOUGHT, would take double the amount for their medium loads to make up the difference. I always do large loads, unless there is an absolute special need for an item to be washed in the absence of other dirty laundry. And here I was, expecting a bottle that claimed ’96 loads’ to ACTUALLY DO 96 LOADS. But not so, unless they ARE MEDIUM LOADS.
    Do this. Make the detergent. I’m sure you will save more in spending the fifteen minutes to make it, than you will working a whole hour at Wal-Mart or any other comparable paying job if you had to go buy it at Proctor & Gamble rates.

    Also, if you’re hard-up for storage containers, hit a couple of laundromats and grab some empty bottles out of the top of the trash.

  443. Andrea says:

    I make and love this slime. Works great! The only thing is, if I hang dry clothing, it seems really rough and stiff after dried. I use Irish spring soap, could it be too harsh a soap? Are there any products to use (besides liquid fabric softners) I can add to the detergent itself to make the clothes less stiff? If not, any homemade softner recipes?

  444. lisa says:

    Is this homemade detergent safe for cloth diapers? With a family of 6 looking to save some $$ w. all the laundry I do(8 loads/wk)including cloth diapers.

  445. Stacey says:

    I’ve just started using equal parts of water, rubbing alcohol, and vinegar and it’s wonderful!!! The vinegar smell goes away fast. I’ve also started using 1 bar of grated ivory soap with 1/2 cup each of borax and washing soda. The whites are the best I’ve seen in awhile. Does anyone know how this works on dark colors and delicates? How does one apply tea tree oil to your furnace filter? I read about it, but haven’t found how.

  446. Larabara says:

    Well, I’ve been having generally good luck with the laundry detergent, but the latest load came back with ring-around-the-collar on all of the shirts. I noticed in previous loads that if I don’t pre-treat stains with Shout, they don’t come out. Does anyone know of anything that works as well as Shout on stains and ring-around-the-collar? Until there’s something better, I’m noticing that I have to scrutinize the dirty clothes for stains and use Shout on everything.

  447. Cheryl says:

    I found this same recipe on another site. One thing they said to do was to use an old detergent container and fill it 1/2 way with the gel. Then fill it up the rest of the way with water. Then, every time you use some, shake the container first to ‘un-jell’ it enough to pour. It does jell again between loads. I used an old Downy dispenser with a ‘spiket’. Then, it recommended using 1 cup per load. I do that and am THRILLED with the results! I haven’t noticed any fading, and the whites came out unbelievably white! And I hadn’t used bleach. I will never go back to store bought detergent!

  448. Linda says:

    I came across a receipt for soap for the dish washer and hand dishes. It had borax, washing or baking soda in it (?) and cirtus acid. Does anyone know of this receipt and can make it right for me before i mix it. Thanks.

  449. Norell says:

    I’ve been making this in powder form for the last 6 months and couldn’t be happier. I usually use 3 Tbs. as Allan’s clothes get some nasty/dirty from work. All our clothes are clean, soft and odor-free! My dark clothes haven’t faded and I’ve noticed less lint in my dryer trap, so I’m guessing it’s not breaking down the clothing fibers like store bought does. I’ll never by laundry detergent again!

  450. Nelson says:

    I cannot believe that you people will go to all this work to save a little bit of cash. Plus, there’s a couple of flaws in his logic:

    1) The “savings” of $0.25 cents a load is when the goo is compared to one of the most expensive brands on the market- Tide. A two minute search on Amazon was all it took to find some Gain that would only cost 15 cents per load. I saved 15 cents a load by doing almost nothing. Isn’t that much more efficient than making some goo to save the additional dime?

    2) Also, the jury is still out on whether this stuff will mess up your clothes/washing machine. Knock yourself out if you want to take the chance of ruining a load of laundry with your homemade goo.

    I wrote a post detailing how ridiculous this whole thing is. Check out my site if you want to read it or post an angry comment. Bonus points for cuss words!

  451. ChinSister3 says:

    My Grandma always saved the little slivers of used bar soap, and when she accumulated a big handful would put them in a wash cloth & sew up the edges. A washcloth with built in suds! A pretty good idea! You can learn alot from the folks who lived thru The Great Depression. I miss her!

  452. ChinSister3 says:

    My Grandma used to save all her little slivers of used bar soap, and when she had a large handful would put them in a washcloth & sew up the edges. A washcloth with built in suds! Pretty good idea! You can learn alot from the folks who lived thru The Great Depression. I miss her.

  453. anjali says:

    hi guys…thank you for all those comments i found all of them very helpful.i was searching on google for home made detergent since i read about it in a magazine.i thought i could save some money,then i sam this site and read all these comment….i started searching the ingredients,making their price list from different stores and searching more details about those products.i haven’t tried this home made detergent yet.i m still searching more …

    if you use borax then be carefull about what type of chemical composition you are using…
    i hope some who doesen’t know about it will find it very helpfull..thanx

  454. mrboe says:

    I just found this site and am really looking forward to making my first batch of detergent.

    I have seen a lot of questions about using this in the HE machines, however I have not seen anything about when you have a water softener. Is this ok to use? I normally use about 1/3 of what a regular container of liquid detergent suggests.

    Any ideas on how much of this homemade mixture I should use?


  455. christy says:

    hey nelson.

    It’s not all about saving money. Yes, some people are cheap, other’s are frugal, others are savers and some of us are just crafty folks that like to make our own products. Some others don’t like smelly perfumes or dyes in our detergent due to allergies or skin reactions. Still others like the “green” benefit that not buying products in plastic jugs that yes, can usually be recycled but would rather not buy a plastic jug if we can help it.

    Some people are just number freaks and like to figure it all out to the fraction of a penny after all the ceiling tiles have been counted.

    Homemade detergent is working for me. I saved over TIDE (yes an expensive brand, but TIDE FREE and DREFT for babies, both perfume free and didn’t irritate my skin were the only ones I could buy anyway) so that is one way this is saving me money. In addition it is always on hand and I no longer have to try to find a coupon or check the fliers for the prices.

    I also don’t have to put the extra jugs I am not using in the recycling bin.

    My whites are brighter :) It doesn’t irritate my skin and the dog didn’t seem to be irritated by the change in regards to his blankets.

  456. anjali says:

    i made my detergent bur i didn’t use borax coz it was costly…..100 grms for 13$….so i didn’t purchase that…and its working well…when i load extra dirty cloths i use 1 teaspoon of surf with my detergent..and its perfect
    thank you trent and thanx all of you…

  457. wendy says:

    Okay, so after reading all of these comments (some several times for review), I tried this detergent. I made the 1/4 batch to start. The first load I did was my clothes – not too dirty, just regular everyday office clothes (darks). I also used vinegar (as suggested) in the fabric softener, which I HIGHLY recommend! The clothes came out clean, no strange odors. The second load I did was my clothes again, whites this time, though. Again, everything seemed clean, smelled fine, except I noticed a sweaty smell lingering in the armpit areas of my bras. The third load I tried was of my husband’s work clothes. He is a welder and his clothes are covered in dirt/grime and have a distinct “dirty” smell from his work. These clothes had the lingering “dirty” smell in some spots (not allover) and I noticed they still had dirt where the clothes were wrinkled. So, as long as the jeans/shirts were directly exposed, they came clean, but not where they were wrinkled. I do wash everything in cold water, although because of how dirty they are, my husband’s clothes are typically washed in warm water. In all three loads, I used 1 cup of detergent and 1/2 cup of vinegar. I’m still going to experiment, but I’m also not so sure that the smell issues aren’t just because the fragrance in the detergent/fabric softeners weren’t just covering up the smells. I also am going to try using the baking soda/vinegar/water mixture in a Downy ball instead of just the vinegar in my fabric softener dispenser of my HE front-load washer. I do hope to come up with some solutions that are still green, and hopefully still show some savings! (I used Fels Naptha soap.)

  458. T Edward Fox says:

    I’ve been making a variation of this for months now and love it. I use Fels Naptha bar soap and only need to use 1/3 bar (I grate in on an old vegetable box grater) plus 1/2 cup each of the washing soda and Borax and only about 2 total gallons of water). I make sure to totally dissolve the soap plus the two dry ingredients in the hot water before adding it to the bucket and the rest of the water. Mine goes gloppy and slimey in less that 4 hours. I give it a great, big stir-up before decanting to recycled plastic bottles and shake it before each use.

    Not only does it get clothes clean and fresh smelling, it has proven to be very gentle to my wife’s skin; she is sensitive to store bought detergents.

    It plays well with non-chlorine whiteners so we use some whenever we do a load of whites.

    And it is an atractive pale yellow. So attractive that one neighbor thought I had made some lemon curd and wanted to taste it. Probably a good thing that I stopped her.

    You can use it to pre-treat heavily-stained areas, too. The only thing it is slightly lacking in is on heavy grease stains.

    Here’s a little extra hint. Make your own fabric softener by taking 7 cups of white vinegar, three tablespoons of after-shampoo hair conditioner (a non-oily formula) plus about 15-18 drops of a scented oil such as almond or tea tree oil. Shake well and use the same amount you would use with a liquid softener. It takes out old accumulations of soap and chemicals that cause clothes to be stiff, controls all but the most stubborn static-problem fabrics, and works very well with the slime soap.

    No, your clothes don’t smell like pickles. They smell clean, something you might have forgotten they can smell like.

    Just be sure to shake up the mixture before each use to redistribute the scented oil.

    BY THE WAY… several posts mention residue in darker fabrics. Two thoughts:

    1) be sure to fully dissolve both the washing soda and the Borax in the hot soap mixture, otherwise some of them might not be totally mixed into the slime and could deposit onto the fibers

    2) some soaps have a “creamy” component (such as Dove) that might be the culprit. Try a batch using Fels Naptha; I’ve not had a single incident of left-over residue

  459. T Edward Fox says:

    Addendum to my previous post:

    In thinking about the chemistry of this soap, and in reading more of the comments here, I forgot to mention that this is safe for top and front loading machines. For my front loader I use about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of the slime in the soap tray (it keeps the tray much cleaner than when using commercial detergents); a friend with a large-capacity top loader needs to use a full cup with full loads and about 3/4 cups with medium loads (her machine uses more water so she needs more soap).

    As mentioned above, if you are very good about mixing in the dry ingredients into the hot, soapy water before adding it to the rest of the water you will minimize any possible undissolved particulates, PLUS it seems to make the stuff gel even faster and even before it gets completely cool.

    The other thing is about sudsing. Some people have commented on this. Bar soap for hands/face/private parts usually contains lathering agents. Otherwise, most people wouldn’t think the soap is working. These don’t really add to the effectiveness of the bar, just the perceived action of the soap. That same sudsing agent makes for more suds in our favorite slime, and more suds mean a more difficult time rinse water has in getting out all of the wash.

    That is why I use Fels Naptha in my recipe (along with equal parts Borax and washing soda). Fels was made to be a laundry soap bar so it naturally doesn’t make very many suds. People use to carve off bits of it into their wash water.

    Also, if you have particularly hard water, try adding an extra 1/4 cup of washing soda to the recipe to help it work harder.

    As to the allergenic issue, chances are that if you are not allergic to the bar soap you use, you won’t have any issues with this slime.

    If Trent’s recipe is working for you as is, then stick with it. It is a good recipe. If you are having issues with suds or residue, you might try the adaptation I’ve listed above. It isn’t mine; I got it off the web back in 2007.

    Finally a response to “Nelson’s” comment about the unknown effect on equipment and clothes. This soap is so much more gentle on everything it touches that this is certainly better for your clothes and machine that commercial detergents. Add to that, it doesn’t contain the harsh chemicals that most detergents contain, and that means it is far more kind to our fragile environment.

  460. Anon says:

    My father is in his 60’s and began making his own laundry soap because he began having a terrible allergic reaction to something (his eyes were swelling almost shut)…after narrowing it down, he decided to try making laundry soap instead of using store-bought soap. His allergies disappeared, and he enjoys making the slimy stuff. It’s gross to look at, but it works just as well. I’m going to copy your recipe and compare it with dad’s and make my own. I think, more than just the small savings, I’ll enjoy making something like this for myself.

  461. leapofaith says:

    Had a lot of fun reading comments tonight. Don’t get much time to just sit and do that often. Been gonna get the recipe and test this type of thing out for some time. Your comments have convinced me to move forward. So many of you talk about the homemade lotions and balm and wow. The world is a bit bigger than I once knew. Thank you for helping me understand that a little better. And thanks for posting so many helpful hints about how to make my little walk on the wild side successful.

  462. gwapo-gorilla says:

    I just finished making my first batch…and I am waiting for it to cool now.
    The math in the above article seems a little off to me. It states you will get 48 loads from making a 3 gallon batch.
    My math comes up like this:

    1 gallon =128 fl. oz. , so 3×128=384 fl oz.
    plus, add the 16 oz. of water you disolved the soap and borax into…384+16= 400 fl oz total
    There are 4 fl. oz in a cup, you suggest using 1 measuring cup per load, so, 400 oz divided by 4 oz per load = 100 loads.
    I spent $2 to make a 400 oz batch…which comes to 2 cents per load.

  463. adymax says:

    We found washing soda and Borax at my local Jewel-Osco(Albertsons) store for around $8 for both. We looked for it before but couldn’t see it. Arm&Hammer costumer service told my wife that Jewel carries it and than we look with more attention and found it across from softener sheets.

  464. mr dprince says:

    This seems like a good idea if you have the time and willing to make the effort. For myself it isn’t worth the time. But, it did work.

  465. melissa says:

    I use the cheap hand cleaner, the kind of cleaner you use when you work on cars to clean your hands. ( from the dollar general) on greasy cloths and it works good. It’s only about 1.00 and last and lasts.

  466. Howard says:

    Sorry, this tip doesn’t do it for me. I never really understood the people who buy Tide or whatever overpriced name brand detergent they like best.

    I’ll buy Arm and Hammer or whatever off-name brand hypoallergenic is on sale and stock up. We’re talking $1.99 (at most) for 32 loads…big whoop so it’s costing me 6 cents a load instead of 3.

    It’s really amazing the draconian lengths you’ll go to in saving $20 or $30 (at the absolute max you’d pay for $1.99 for 32 loads) a year and for some reason get the idea that you are an expert at formulating laundry deteregent. What happens when your slime f*cks up your machine and it costs $400 to replace?

    gwapo-gorilla – congrats…$2 for 400oz beats out the $8 for 400oz the $1.99 for 32 load stuff costs me. Between the time and energy cost to make your $2 batch, I’d guess I came out way ahead.

  467. Hope Hesed says:


    Have been cruising in cyberspace today to find do-it-yourself stuff….not only in the interest of saving money but also in the interest of this question: “What if store-bought things become unavailable to us?” (Interpret my question as you will.) So, having said that, let this line of thinking be an answer to anyone who thinks that DIY
    is a waste of one’s time. I’m very grateful for sites and articles like these.

    Now, my practical questiton: Our septic recently failed (only 5 years old ) we were told that powdered detergents can clog septic systems and keep the guck from leeching out properly into the drainfield. So I am wondering especially about the borax. Any takers on this one. Any ruralites out there?

  468. supermom says:

    This works great in an HE washer. I have one and have used this soap for some time now. I love it, it is nothing to make-doesn’t leave a mess and is very easy to clean up.. No problems so far.

  469. Vicki H says:

    Wow, this stuff is terrific! Made a batch, and used some. For those questioning it’s use around those with sensitivity issues, it’s not a problem. I have COPD. It seems clean and fresh. No smell, really. The only thing that bothered me was the smell of several bars of Fels Naptha soap I purchased. I stuck them in a double bag of ziplocs and no more problem there. I’m so glad to have discovered this. Thanks yall!

  470. Julie says:

    Glad you enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. The slime sounds awesome!

    I would also like to mention a very natural alternative which is commonly referred to as soap nuts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap_nuts). It cuts your laundry costs down to around 8 cents per load depending on where you get them. So you might be spending an extra 5 cents a load in comparison to the slime, but the soap nuts not only serve as a natural chemical free detergent, they also act as an amazing fabric softener! Highly recommended!

    I also like to dip my washbag in a diluted essential oil mixture to give my clothes a fresh smell as the soap nuts leave no scent (which is great for babies or fragrance sensitive people).

  471. crystal says:

    I have been using this recipe for a month now and I love it! It has cleaned my fiances clothes like the major brand names did. By the way he is a plumber so you know his clothes get nasty.

    Crystal@3:38pmon april 12,2009

  472. Angela Goodson says:

    You can get washing soda at Publix

  473. Sherri says:

    I do have hard water. Does someone have a recipe for a laundry detergent that will work for me? Left Out

  474. Mike says:

    We have been using this in a powder form. Here is the recipe we use.

    1 bar of soap
    1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
    1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax

    Use a metal cheese grater to shred the bar of soap. Mix some shredded soap & powder in a Cuisinart SmartStick Hand Blender CSB-77. This chops the shredded soap into finer pieces. This is done until all the soap & powder has been run through the blender. Blending the soap & powder together will prevent the soap from clumping. Put into a plastic contain & shake & turn until all is well mixed. Takes about 5 minutes.

    Use 2 tablespoons to a load. Very little to no suds, everything is clean, & smells good.

  475. jen says:

    We made our own laundry detergent awhile back. It worked very well but if you are going to do it, Remember that the more borax you add the thicker it will get. If you add too much of it, You will be able to get it into the bottles but as it sits you wont be able to get it back out. If you have hard water, borax is a good water conditioner. But don’t forget about the thickness of the liquid detergent. I was thinking about mixing up a batch of the dry mixture and just adding alot more Borax to the mix. Our water is seriously hard at our new house.
    When grated our soap we used a cheap cheese grater from the dollar store. It took a bit longer but dissolved faster. We also added a bit of scented oil to it. I am a big fan of good smelling clothes ;-) Homemade detergent doesn’t suds up much. But it doesn’t matter suds don’t get your clothes clean. Store bought detergents have sudsing agents such as sodium lauryl sulfate added to them, But people have been debating for years about their safety.

  476. Stacy says:

    Do you know if this is safe for washers that require HE detergent ?

  477. Cam says:

    I’m wondering how many grams a bar of soap is in the U.S.. Trying to fiddle with the concentrations of this, as sometimes the water separates from the mixture and leaves a semi-solid mass up the top.

    I’ve been very happy with it otherwise, though.

  478. Claudio says:

    Question…My wife and MOM love to see Suds…they think seeing more suds that the detergent is doing its job..So how can we make it to produce more suds and is their a way to make the detergent look blue…


  479. I wonder if this concoction will work in front loaders. We have to use special “he” soap in our front loader, otherwise there’s a buildup left we need to clean up using other special soap.

  480. Keith says:

    I found all of the ingredients in Springfield, MO at the Dillons on E. St. Louis. This works great, though I prefer to make it a powder so that it is easier to store. Also, it only takes about five minutes to make a batch.

  481. Chris says:

    If you use Zote brand soap (Walmart has it) it will not sud. Then you can use it in the state of the art machines.

  482. Miranda says:

    WHen using this in a HE washer, how much do you use? Would you still use a cup!?

  483. nikki says:

    In case no one metioned before this is also great for keeping those plastic bottles out of the landfill

  484. Lecia says:

    Empty liquid laundry detergent jugs can easily be reused to contain the slime if anyone ever needs to take it to a laundrymat.

  485. Vanessa says:

    I read this page exactly a year ago, and have been using this recipe ever since. I make a small batch a laundry every other month and changes the essential oils. Saved a lot of money, and have been using and re-using the same containers. Love it.

  486. Paige says:

    gwapo-gorilla there are 8 fl oz in a cup, not 4.

  487. Sharon says:

    Also note that a Canadian (and I assume UK) gallon is larger than a US gallon. Trent uses the US gallon, I am sure…

  488. FunFrugalMom says:

    I’m definitely going to try this. In regard to making it portable. I would put a couple of cups of it into a gallon sized Ziploc then just double bag it to protect against leaking. When you get to the laundromat just unzip and pour into the machine.

  489. Bill Pressley says:

    I made a batch of this stuff about 3 weeks ago and my wife and my mother have both tried it and loved it. Niether of them plan to buy store bought detergent again. By the way. I added Pomegranite oil for scent. Everyone is in love with it. Couldn’t find the washing soda so I went to the pool supplies in walmart and got the pool cleaner. It is sodium hydrogen carbonate. works great. Thanks all

  490. katie k says:

    Claudio (Comment #482): If you really need suds there is a addititve called Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate. I use it to make foaming bath bombs and get it mail order from a company called Majestic Mountain Sage. It might work but with the amount of water in the slime it might do all it’s foaming during the making of it.

    As for the color, one thing to look for is an old fashioned laundry product called “Bluing” which was used to make whites look whiter. I would be nervous to use anything like food coloring. The same place that has the foaming stuff also has a lot of different dyes and pigments that can be used in shampoo, bath gel, etc so one of those might do what you want.

  491. Talya Galaganov says:

    A couple of questions:

    1) Both the washing soda box and the borax box recommend adding 1/2 cup to a load. This is far more than the recipe calls for per load. Would it be recommended to add these to this recipe?

    2) Salt is sometimes used to remove stains. What would be the effect of just adding salt to the recipe? If it is a good idea, how much?

    3) Glycerine is also used to remove some stains. Can/should this be added? If so, how much?

    3) Same question for Menthylated spirits or euchaliptus oil (though these may be too expensive to use in a detergent)

    4) Would adding “bluing” to the general detergent make it unsuitable for use on colored loads?

    5) Is pre-treating still necessary? Can this be used to pre-treat?

    6) Does this detergent work in cold water?

    7) Is the borax already used up (because it already became hydrogen peroxide) by the time this detergent has been made?

    Any response would be appreciated!

  492. Talya Galaganov says:

    Correction to question 1)…. I meant to ask whether I should add these to each load when using this recipe of detergent. In other words, use the detergent, and then add to the washer additional borax and washing soda.

  493. Clark T says:

    The “washing soda” mentioned in the recipe is not generally available in stores. Regular baking soda will NOT work. You need sodium carbonate NOT bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). You can find sodium carbonate at any swimming pool supply store.

  494. Amy D says:

    If I made the powder version, would I need to wash in hot water to melt the soap?

  495. V says:

    Just wanted to let everyone know that tea tree oil is a natural bug repellant also. Mix 1 ounce in 8 ounces of water and you can spray dowm the dog the cat and the kiddos works great. [snip]
    Michelle @ 2:17 pm February 13th, 2008 (comment #242)

    I know this was posted over a year ago, but I want to warn never to use tea tree oil on a cat. Tea tree oil is highly toxic to cats! Thank you.

  496. shirley says:

    Re: I know this was posted over a year ago, but I want to warn never to use tea tree oil on a cat. Tea tree oil is highly toxic to cats! Thank you.

    V @ 10:30 am June 12th, 2009 (comment #499)

    ************* V is right except ALL E.O.s are toxic to dogs, cats, ferrets & bunnies. They are especially deadly to cats but all are immunosuppressive to these critters.
    Only one may be used in extreme dilution for dogs, that being Lavender E.O.
    A scant 4 drops to 4 ounces of water or EVOO. Good for drying up hot spots, minor wounds and scratches, cleaning ears by the ‘shake out ‘ method. In Classical Homeopathy this what we practice.

  497. shirley says:

    OK Kiddies, I have been making my own laundry soap for many years mostly because I do not care to wear chemical detergents in my clothes.
    After a few washings clothes will become softer because you have rid the detergent residues from your clothes and in your washer & dryer.
    Too bad Mr. Corporate America, Now we do not need the petroleum based fabric softeners either hee heee !

    I use a dry mix, less work , less mess and way less time.
    Grate 1 bar of Fels laundry soap
    or Zote (Hispanic) laundry soap on your box grater or I use my food processor with the disk that has the smallest holes.
    Mix with ………….
    1 cup of Borax
    1 cup of Washing Soda ( not baking soda)

    Use approx 1/4 cup per large load, or less if needed.
    Make a few batches ahead of time and store in a tightly covered container.

    Cleans everything from delicates to our farm work clothes ;-))

  498. Donna Brown says:

    I’ve looked and looked for Arm & Hammer Washing Soda then I got this tip. Go to 1-800-524-1328. That is Church & Dwight. Tell them you are looking for A & H Washing Soda and give them this UPC code# – 33200-03020. You may have to wait on the line for a while, and ignore the recording that says if this is a medical emergency, etc. She will ask for your zip code and will tell you if it can be bought in your area. NOBODY had it in my area. You can purchase it from them for $4.50 per box and they will waive shipping costs if you purchase 2 or more boxes. She said it was pulled from shelves because it was giving laundry detergent companies a lot of competition.

  499. Talya Galaganov says:

    Is this pretty much the same as Charlie’s Soap?

  500. Elaine says:

    I grind my soap up in my old salad shooter. It takes minutes to do this way. I first slice it in thinner sections and then run it through. I also add a 1/3 to a 1/2 bar of Fels Naptha for stain power.

  501. E. Dup says:

    If you use Fels-Naptha bar soap ( inn the laundry isle at the store)and grate it there will be “no suds” for the washers that need low to no suds, also using the Fels-Naptha soap my whites have never been cleaner…

  502. dlm says:

    Consumer Reports: Front loading HE washers are fine using smaller amounts of nonHE regular soap; the machines do cause mould because of the way they’re built.

    Fabric softener sheets are bad for cats.

  503. dlm says:

    I’ve been using leftover soap slivers from Ivory bars — make liquid hand soap by soaking in water, then pureeing in a blender, filling a hand-lotion or Listerine pump bottle — just use a bit in the washer.

  504. dlm says:

    Powdered laundry detergent seems to leave dusty white marks on dark clothes so I’ve been using a squirt of green dishwashing liquid instead. Soap is soap.

  505. dlm says:

    Shampoo — why not use the soap bar you already have in your hand?
    Conditioner — perhaps some vinegar, if necessary.

  506. christy says:

    if you are going to use vinegar in your washer for any purpose (fabric softener) please be aware that you should not use bleach in the same load. The chemical reaction is bad, bad, bad. I won’t say what happens just DO NOT DO IT.

  507. christy says:

    there are so many repeated questions in posts, to answer many of them:

    1. this takes less than 15 mins to make
    2. any bar of soap will work
    3. use a cup a full load for top washers
    4. use 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup for a front load/HE washers
    5. yes it is safe for HE washers (if you have a mold problem with your HE washer leave the door open after you are done using it to let it air dry, it’s not this soap or any soap, it’s the stupid washer you just had to have)
    6. suds don’t do anything but make you think something is working, if you don’t see any suds, relax.
    7. this soap won’t harm your washing machine. Washing machines don’t last 20 years like your parents did, they all break eventually, it won’t be the soap that killed it.
    8. it works in hot or cold water, hot water isn’t what cleans clothes anyway, you don’t heat the dirt out of them! soap, water, agitation, friction of clothes rubbing and rolling against eachother is what cleans the clothes.
    9. face facts, if advertisements didn’t sell stuff they wouldn’t plaster them all over to bombard you. You don’t need 99% of what you buy, you’ve been had, duped, lied to. You don’t need store bought detergent, you won’t be a loser if you don’t buy it. Schticks, Gimmics, Snake-oil salesmen. Don’t be such an easy mark.
    10. you may end up with slime, or non-slime (I end up with something like egg-drop soup) big deal, stir it, scoop up a cup of it and do your laundry.

    Been using this stuff since Dec 08, LOVE IT, will never ever go back.

  508. Melody says:

    I made my soap but it did not gel-two days now, not gelled. I followed the procedure exactly I just used Castile soap one bar. Will it still work?

  509. adymax says:


    Try again…It will work. Follow post #79 modified:

    Recipe is 1 bar shaved into 4cups hot water
    when completely dissolved mix 1 cup borax and 1 washing soda until dissolved.
    remove from heat into bucket with 6 cups hot water and stir. Mix in another 6 cups plus 1 gallon water,stir and let sit over night.
    This is a total of 2 gallons of water.

  510. Mj says:

    Wow, sounds like a great idea. I might start with a smaller batch. I love finding homemade recipes for household items. I think I saw a recipe similar to this in the past, but haven’t tried it yet. Thanks for the concise directions!

  511. rebekka says:

    I do not think my detergant is going to gel. Any ideas what I am doing wrong.

  512. Trent is a tool says:

    #162 Trent @ 10:58 am October 21st, 2007

    Not having children is very short-sighted. It’s far better to have children and teach them well, so they can spend their life being good people. I agree with “don’t have children” if you’re basically just going to turn them loose to run amok without educating them.

    What the hell kind of a crack is this? You think there are NOT enough people polluting this planet now? And who are YOU to tell people something this personal? I suppose you support legal rape, too for women who chose not to breed.

  513. Olga says:

    Everyone should try this recepie, if not for the sake of your wallet, then for the sake of the planet. Toxic detergents polute water, this is much better way to clean clothes.

  514. CB says:

    I buy whatever is on sale at the grocery store.

    I have been using Purex for years now and for me it works great. I have some jeans that are over 12 years old and just now needing patching. Most comfortable jeans I own.:-)

    I have not paid over $2.50 for a 32 load jug of detergent in my life. Sometimes I get it on sale for $2.00. That works out to 6.25 to 7.8 cents per load.

    This sounds like a fun project and I may try it just for the heck of it, but I don’t think it would ever replace what I use. I think it would be easier to just buy a few bottles at the store when they go on sale.

  515. Nicole says:

    I loved this recipe but had only one problem that maybe someone can help me with. After I washed my clothes I did notice that there was white marks on my darker clothes. Maybe I didn’t mix well? Any help would be great! Thanks!

  516. nathan says:

    stuff is GREAT. easy to make. last long time. also have another money saver , get rid of those dryer sheets and truy this, buy a fairly big bottle of downey fabric softener and dunp all of it into a 5GAL. bucket, now fill bottle twice with water and dump that into same bucket, now buy 4 orthelo sponges (without the scruby on them) put those into downey water solution, when ready for drying take ONE sponge and lightly squees sponge so it is still very wet throw in dryer with wet close and you will love your clothes when they come out, solytion lasts long time.

  517. Mandy says:

    Wow – I can’t believe I read through all of those comments. I have looked for washing soda before, and never come across it, so I am glad to have the number for Arm & Hammer. I’ll call in the morning. And I’m glad to know that I can try a pool supply store, or the generic oxyclean from Target. Great post. I’m excited to try it.

    Trent – I read your story last night, and then got about halfway through your e-book before I decided I better go to sleep (well after midnight, by this point). Thanks – I am looking forward to exploring the site. How does that old saying go…something like “Wise men learn from their mistakes, but very wise men learn from the mistakes of others.” You can’t learn from other people’s mistakes if nobody shares them, so, again, I thank you.

  518. Debbie says:

    I have used Tyler’s laundry detergent for years now. I’ve taught my daughter-in-law’s how to make it as well. As newly-weds, on a tight budget…and a baby on the way with diapers needing to be washed, this was a God-send. The detergent is completely gentle for diapers…no irritation for the baby. Also, it is not time consuming at all. As stated, it takes 15 minutes at the very most. However, I use my salad shooter on the shred setting, and my bar soap is done in seconds! :) Which shaves even more time (no pun intended!) If you use Ivory soap, it is plain enough to use essential oils and give your detergent any fragrance you want…baby powder scent is a favourite of mine. Just wanted to let you know, it works…works great..isn’t time consuming, and cheap to make. It also gives a great sense of satisfaction to know you made it, it works, and saves you money!

  519. Emma says:

    Hello. I haven’t read all the comments (I think I got to around #200), but I wanted to add that Borax has been banned here in the UK. Dri Pak does something called Borax Substitute and is available on ebay (check out the dri pak website).

    I’ve just made my first batch and it is a lot more thicker than I was expecting, like someone explained as Tofu floating on water. I’ve given it a good stir and it is still a bit lumpy…. We shall see.


  520. Emma says:

    After whisking the mixture to get the lumps out, I left it again and it has still separated. The soapy mixture (now a good consistency) at the top and water at the bottom. Is this normal?


  521. Nick Bank says:

    Excellent tip and great post. I never knew you could make washing detergents from such basic materials – what a saving!!!

    Wonder if this will work on most washing machines – I mean those high efficiency Energy Star qualified models like Miele, or just on basic washers.

    Have to test that out when I do laundry this weekend.

  522. adymax says:

    Try few times and you’ll get it.
    I use a total of 2 gallons (7-8 liters) of water. Heat up ½ gallon of water in a pot and shave ¾ bar of soap in it. Stir well (5-7 min) until dissolves and its really bubbly but don’t let it boil. At the end add 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda and stir (1min) to dissolve. In a plastic container put another hot ½ gallon of water and blend the composition you just maid over it and stir continuously. Add another 1 gallon of cold water and continue stirring for few minutes. When the composition looks consist you are done. Let it sit over night.

  523. katie k says:

    @Emma: Mine always separates a little. Each time I do a load I just mix it up a bit with the cup I use to measure and it works fine. I figure it doesn’t matter if it is not totally smooth since it dissipates in the water anyway.

  524. Tori says:

    I use this recipe and tweak it just a little to my own preferance. I use the 1 cup recipe, 1 cup of each ingredient shown above as well as one cup of oxi clean wich needs to be added last when the mixture is in the large container as the oxi clean will foam up a lot! I use Fels Naptha soap ordered from soapsgonebuy.com it is an actual bar laundry soap and it is wonderful. I find the washing soda at Dillons super markets but all of the ingredients can be ordered online, I have found them easily online but I have found all but the fels naptha in stores as well.

    I do use less water (just 2 gallons instead of 3) I like to be able to store it in smaller containers and use less amount per load, 1/3 of a cup per large load (very large loads) it works great and I haven’t had any trouble with clothes graying or any funky smells… happy times and great savings…

  525. Muzhik says:

    Well, here’s a summary of results and comments and things I’ve picked up elsewhere:

    1. If you make this from leftover soap or from hotel soap bars, make sure they’re all the same kind. Also, some people using hotel “moisturizing” soaps have reported problems — the oils in the moisturizers don’t always wash out. YMMV.

    2. If possible, before using this, try running your towels through the washer without using any soap. Check halfway through the wash cycle: if you see soap bubbles, you’ve been using way too much soap. Run clothes through the washer without using soap for a few loads to get rid of the old stuff. “Re-calibrate” the amount of slime to use after a few loads by washing a load of towels without soap, etc.

    3. Adding Borax is especially for people with hard water. It helps “boost” cleaning power by “binding” the hard-water minerals. (I believe Oxy-clean works the same way.) To make sure these minerals rinse away, add 1 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle.

    4. The vinegar in the rinse water should not affect the scent of the clothes; if it does, use one of the recipes on the web for a home-made dryer sheet (usually a washcloth soaked in a solution and thrown in with the dryer load.)

    5. Do a “Google” or “Bing” search for “essential oils” to add to your slime for scent. One person reported getting her husband to like the way the clothes smelled by adding a small amount of fabric softener to the slime.

    6. Places to look for Fels Naptha, Borax, or washing soda: your local grocery store in the laundry aisle; your local Target or Wal-Mart in the laundry aisle; or your local hardware store.

  526. Jason A. says:

    I have done this with great results.

    My daughter, who is a messy eater, dirtied up her bib for me to test. It came out white without bleach. There was only 1 stain that was set in and even Tide didn’t take it out. I will say I have varied the ingredients a little bit to make it work for me. I have a LG HE washer and this is great.

    My results

  527. T. J. says:

    I did find Fels Naptha & washing soda at Tops & Borax at Wal-Mart. Only 1 trip down that isle for maybe a year & no more trips from the car to carry it in. What a time saver!!!
    I am also going to make Dishwasher Detergent with the same items plus sugar free Lemonade Kool-Aid and White Vingar.
    I used this adorable thrifted glass jar because going green doesn’t mean losing my sense of style.

    Here’s what you need to make Dishwasher Detergent and a Rinse Aid:
    2 cups of Borax
    2 cups of Baking Soda
    4 small packets of sugar free Lemonade Kool-Aid (you can also use 4 tablespoons of citric acid–if you can find it)

    Mix everything together by either dumping into a big bowl and stirring it really well or dumping it into a container with a lid and shaking it up. You can keep it in your lidded container or re-use your old detergent box.

    Use this in your rinse aid receptacle:
    White Vinegar

    Use 2 tablespoons per load. (1 tablespoon in the open cup and 1 in the closed locking cup) Pour some White Vinegar into your rinse aid receptacle and your glasses will come out sparkling! (If your dishes end up covered with a white residue, you probably have hard water and need to experiment with the amount of Borax to use.)


  528. Satya says:

    Hi Gurus
    I have tried this formula and it works great for me.But not happy with it’s finishing. I wonder why it is not smooth ( like blue dilute honey ) as Tide ? What chemical I can add to look like Tide where chemical is dissolved completely and I don’t have to shake it before use. Any lead will be highly appreciated. In short how to make it like comercial grade ?

  529. Dawn says:

    I love this recipe – easy as pie and so much easier on my nose than the powder that used to make me sneeze (which I only bought because it was cheaper than the liquid). I use a paint stirrer (from Home Depot) to make sure that it is mixed up when it separates (which seems to happen with some soaps more than others)which works like a charm, and I collect the slivers of leftover soap from the master bath (Irish Spring is a pain to shred, btw) for an occaisional batch (when enough of it has accumulated). I’ve been trying different soaps to see which ones don’t separate and the best results have been with Lever 2000 and a laundry soap I never heard of before, called “Zote”, which is made in Mexico. The Fels Naptha is the worst one of all for separating.

  530. At Home Mom says:

    Been using a home mix for awhile and I love it. For ones who want that smell good laundry soap just add smell goods to your batch, and if you are finding that your have oil left in your clothes (my hubby is a Iron worker. Lots of oil) add more bar soap. I use Ivory. So if your reciepe calls for one bar add two. that helps clean the oil out of your machine and your clothes. Last but not least inorder to remove any and all soap build up in your hoses and other parts to your machine run a load with 1/4 cup vinegar. I use it in my white load helps keep the white whiter. I loved all the many post and how everyone is working together to help one another to continue to survive in thisw nasty economy.

  531. Meg Garrison says:

    Surely you meant 3 cents a load, not 3 cents a gallon.

  532. ANANTH says:


  533. Auburn says:

    I’ve been doing this for almost two years now, clothes come out smelling of fabric, not perfume. Love it, Love it, Love it!!! I spend less time making a batch of laundry goo than I did figuring out which one to buy at the store. Also, didn’t read all responses as there are so many, but noticed that there was some doubt about using this in High Efficiency machines. My mother has an HE and uses this same basic recipe. She uses Dr. Bronner’s (because she had that on hand) with no difficulties. I use Ivory (because that’s what my husband uses in the shower so we always have it on hand) and it is definitely a low-sudsing soap. I’ve noticed that greasy clothing (hubby is a machinist) won’t get fully clean, but I put a squirt of Dawn in those loads and they come out beautiful, but I did this in the Commercial Detergent days, too. Also, straight vinegar in a Downy ball is great for fabric softening and tough odors on clothes.

  534. hannah says:

    I found washing soda labeled as “lectic soda” and advertised to “relieve tired muscles”. It consists of calcium carbonate and water, and I found it in the laundry aisle, just not packaged the way I expected it to be.

  535. Doris says:

    The whole idea is saving money and being frugle, this country is going to hell in a handbasket I really appriciate someone taking the time to share his idea’s. My mother is 90 years young this year and I have heard many stories about the depression ALL sugestions help! Thanks I’ll get right on it and make a batch of goooooo. Saving even a dollar can by 2 potatoes, to some people this is a feast. Thanks again!

  536. Leo says:

    I tried this but it did not work well for me. Clothes did not come clean, especially my work clothes. My neighbor tried it also and had the same result. We were wondering if our hard water is the problem? I had to go back to using my detergent I buy from the store unfortunately.

  537. Tiles says:

    How to save dosh on your washing by making your own liquid detergent. Not as time consuming as it seems providing you have space and can be bothered to do it. Just think though, every penny counts. The techinque can also be found here

  538. Joe says:

    I agree with Meg above. Someone’s math calculations are WAAAYYY off.

    Other than that, this works great and does give a huge savings, plus, it’s better for the environment.

  539. blanca from mexico says:

    great help here I make bath soaps for almost 2 years and now i will make detergent i love it i will make the softener also. thanks for all this great help.

  540. Shawna says:

    I have been using this laundry soap for over a year now and love it. I have always used Fels Naptha and found it works great, clean smelling. I’ve only been able to find the washing soda and Fels Naptha at Winco. After I have let my mixture sit overnight in the 5 gal bucket and while the lid is tightly secure, I shake the bucket to get it mixed well then pour it into old detergent bottles for easier use. This truely is a great money saver!

  541. Zote Soap says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I’m just starting to convert to more natural products. Zote Soap is fantastic for Washing and cleaning. Made from coconut oil and tallow, Zote soap has a natural but incredibly effective cleaning power that will have you in love with cleaning. It’s been used and trusted for many years making it one of the most reliable and popular brands in Mexico. Zote bar soap also has a great tantalizing scent that you will not be able to resist. Made from citronella oil, Zote soap has a naturally refreshing scent that some would describe is slightly like lime. Zote Soap

  542. sebrana h says:

    iam glad some one found this out it would of saved me lot,s of money if I knew this years ago when my 3 kid,s was growing up . I seen this and tryed it .It reay work,s and it don,t sud up .like the other does . I sure use this it save,s me money . Ive done made 15 gallons sence .I found this out .I still have more of the borax and the arm&hammer left to make mybe 15 more gallons this is out of one box of both and 2 bars of soap so compare your self thanks

  543. Kathy Robinson says:

    Whoa @Trent re: message #255–using gasoline as a prewash solvent apparently can be dangerous: my washer (and every washer I’ve ever owned) has a sticker inside the door warning not to wash clothes with gasoline on them due to fire/explosion risk. I’ve always wondered what you’re supposed to do with clothes that have gasoline on them, just toss them I guess :-/ It’s hard for me to imagine a wash load exploding, has anyone had this happen?

  544. Justin Kubicek says:

    You can buy washing soda (and borax) at Fleet Farm. Someone at Walmart said you could make something dangerous with washing soda so they don’t carry it anymore. After they told me that I asked myself, “Who would sell something that is extremely useful, but possibly dangerous?” My answer was Fleet Farm. If you can’t find what you’re looking for I recommend calling around. It gives the employees and excuse to take a break from their regular routine. I use Goog-411 when I can’t find stuff at the store. ( http://www.google.com/goog411/index.html )

  545. Moxie says:

    So I tried this last night and I woke up this morning to…liquid and not slime. Is this still going to work and where did I go wrong?

  546. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    Don’t worry about it turning out like liquid or slime. It depends on the exact content of whatever soap you used, but if you used some sort of soap, it’s fine if it’s watery and it’s fine if it’s like a chunk of Jell-O and anything in between.

  547. Jason says:

    I haven’t had a chance to read through all the comments, but would I be able to store it in large used laundry detergent containers?

  548. I’m a pretty avid camper and need to admit that I’m anal about my tools. If there’s one thing that I don’t like, it is when my tools break. This is why I always purchase quality gear to gear myself up and be ready for most anything the trail throws at me.

  549. Jess says:

    My youngest daughter and I just made our first batch of homemade soap! I haven’t read through all the comments, but I suggest letting the kids help :) She’s five and was amazed that mommy was MAKING soap! Anyway… I didn’t even think about cutting up soap over a steaming pot until it was already burning my hands. That was a very duh moment for me! I suggest a cheese grater and a medium size bowl, and just toss in the shavings a hand full at a time. Much easier and melts faster, IMO. Thanks for the recipe! Even if it doesn’t work the way I hope, we’ll probably make it again because it was fun :)

  550. Jess says:

    I forgot! I also wanted to try different types of scents. I made my first batch of soap just to get the “feel” for it. With our next one, we’ve saved several pickle jars to separate the mixture into and add a bit of different things for different smells. I’m really excited to add a little Fabreeze to a jar, my grandmother wants to try essential oils, and I would love to have some other suggestions for scents!

  551. Salee says:

    Wow! I can’t believe that I actually read through most of the 552 comments posted here.

    #1) Thanks for posting this article. With the recession and the state of things, I find that saving any money is a good thing. I can’t believe that there are people who would argue against it.

    #2) I had been making the dry soap mixture until I used Kirk’s Coco Castille. After I butchered the soap in my food processor, I had to turn to your recipe to make a liquid laundry soap. You can see my experiment at my blog:


    #3) I have just finished washing 4 loads with my new goopy soap and things are looking great!!! I am wondering if this homemade soap will be a good replacement for Dreft for my babies. Right now, I buy Dreft because some marketing guru says I must to protect their sensitive skin. I have a newborn coming in November and using castille soap was my attempt to make a sensitive soap mix for the kiddos. Any ideas on that?

  552. Hey All,

    I didn’t have time to read all of the posts, but you could easily make this HE (high efficiency) friendly by adding a few tablespoons to the liquid or powder version. Baking soda use #4689 (okay, I made up that number, but it’s probably actually higher than that!): Suds controller.

    I’m going to try this detergent with a bit of baking soda to make a chemical free, cheap alternative to expensive cloth diaper detergents.

  553. ErynDogFreak says:

    I used this recipe for a science project. My friend and I made this detergent downsizing the detergent too 4 tablespoons of Washing Soda, 2 tablespoons of borax, a quarter of a bar of soap, and 12 cups of water. We did the experiment and the Homemade detergent didn’t clean the mustard as well as Tide. Great stuff, but not good enough for Tide!

  554. haverwench says:

    I’m always puzzled when people talk about how much they save by making their own laundry detergent. The last bottle of detergent I bought (on sale) cost $1.50 and is supposedly good for 32 loads, but I can easily stretch that out to 100 loads since they always tell you to use way more soap than you really need. We do 1-2 loads per week, so that one bottle will last over a year. Is it really worth the effort to save $1.50 per year?

  555. Louise says:

    I like it! Now how do we make softener?

  556. not thinking about the fact that I usually use the unscented

  557. More Info says:

    Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

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