Liquid Laundry Soap made from Scratch

I love saving money for our family. The more ways I can funnel money away from one thing by making it from scratch the more if frees up money for other things. Like pants. Samuel has grown this last year more than 3 inches and needs pants. This kid is going to be over 6 feet tall before I know it! Elliana was my helper today while we make Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap.

Elliana at countertop looking at ingredients

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Published February 23, 2021
Updated March 7, 2022
This page might contain affiliate links. In the event of a sale, I will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost for you).

Why make Homemade Soap?

About 6 years ago I went on my journey baking, cooking and making things from scratch to help save money on our family budget. We only had two kids back then, so the laundry was not piling up like it does now. Three-to-four loads a week seems like a cakewalk compared to now! How many loads does your family do? With 6 here, plus a dog and cat, I feel like I am doing laundry multiple times a day. Towels, sheets, Tyler’s work clothes, kids’ clothes, our clothes, blankets, pet stuff, someone spilled at dinner… 5,000 towels… It is never ending! The last time I counted, I did 8 to 10 loads weekly, conservatively.

Making liquid laundry soap is, in my opinion, super easy and quick. At literally 4 ingredients and an honest fifteen minutes of work, you can have a serious amount of Laundry Soap at your disposal! The ingredients include Borax powder, Arm & Hammer laundry booster, 5.5 oz Fels-Naptha soap and water: all in a 5-gallon bucket. That’s it! Sometimes I add drops of an essential oil, that is up to you, lavender, rosemary, lemon, orange… there are a lot of options. Additionally, you can get the three ingredients right at Walmart or Woodmans. I have not looked for them at other stores, so I am not sure if they are sold anywhere else.

Elliana smiling at camera next to Laundry Soap ingredients

Liquid Laundry Soap Directions

Ingredients

5.5 ounces Fels-Naptha bar
1 cup Borax powder
1 cup Arm & Hammer laundry booster powder (NOT regular baking soda)
4 cups HOT water
Cheese shredder
6 Quart pan
Whisk
5-gallon bucket

Directions for Liquid Laundry Soap

1. Shred a bar of Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar into a 6-Quart pan.

Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar on stovetop next to large pot
Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar shredded in large pot on stove

2. Add 4 cups hot water to the shreds in the pan, then turn the temperature to medium-high. This is to help the shredded soap to dissolve into the water.

water in a large Pyrex measuring cup
water pouring from Pyrex measuring cup into large pot with soap shreds for Laundry Soap

3. Cook on medium-high until the Fels-Naptha soap shreds are completely melted; around 10 minutes stirring often. The soap in the water will froth up, keep watching the pan and remove it from the heat for a few seconds when that happens.

Laundry Soap ingredients melting in large pot
frothy water in large pot making laundry soap

4. Fill bucket halfway with hot water. It is easiest to fill the bucket in the sink, then remove it to the floor to finish the filling the bucket.

water from faucet pouring into 5-gallon bucket

5. Slowly pour the water-soap liquid from pan into bucket, then stir with a whisk to combine.

contents of large pot pouring into 5-gallon bucket

6. Add 1 cup Borax Detergent Booster powder to the bucket, then stir well to combine.

Borax Box on countertop
measuring cup pouring Borax into bucket for laundry soap

7. Add 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda powder to the bucket, then stir well to combine.

Arm&Hammer Super Washing Soda box on countertop
Measuring cup adding Arm&Hammer powder to bucket

8. Fill up the rest of the bucket, with hot water, within 1 inch of the brim. Using the 6-Quart pan is easier and helps remove more soap mixture out and into the bucket. Then, stir carefully with whisk to combine.

faucet filling large pot with water in sink
5-gallon bucket filled with laundry soap

9. Cover with the lid and let sit a full 24 hours.

green lid on 5-gallon bucket

10. After 24 hours of letting the laundry soap rest, use an emersion blender to mix the soap in the bucket as there might be gel-like clumps.

11. Use 1/2 cup of liquid soap with each load.

As I need the soap I fill up old laundry soap containers from my bucket. This makes it way easier to use and measure. Just give the bottle a good shake before pouring as the liquid can separate and clump together.

white laundry detergent container on a washing machine

Cost breakdown

Borax Detergent Booster Powder $4.47
Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar $0.97 each
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda $4.12

Each of the powder boxes is enough for 7-8 servings. Today I used the last 1 cup in my Borax that I bought way back in 2015. That puts the Borax cost per serving at $0.55 for each 5-gallon and the Arm & Hammer powder at $0.51 for each 5-gallon.
The total cost to make a 5-gallon laundry soap is $2.03. Not too shabby for 20 minutes of work.
These prices above were from February 2021.
Below you can check out the three main ingredients for sale on Amazon.

Enjoy!
Monica

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe

Ingredients

5.5-ounce Fels-Naptha laundry bar
1 cup Borax Detergent Booster powder
1 cup Arm & Hammer laundry booster powder (NOT regular baking soda)
4 cups HOT water
Box shredder
6 Quart pan
Whisk
5-gallon bucket

Laundry Soap Directions

1. Firstly, shred a Fels-Naptha Laundry bar into a 6-Quart pan.
2. Secondly, add 4 cups hot water to the shreds in the pan, stir well with a whisk.
3. Cook on medium-high until soap shreds are completely melted; around 10 minutes stirring often.
4. Thirdly, fill bucket halfway with hot water.
5. Slowly pour the water-soap liquid from pan into bucket, then stir with a whisk to combine.
6. Add 1 cup Borax Detergent Booster powder to the bucket, then stir.
7. Add 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda powder to the bucket, then stir well with a whisk.
8. Fill up the rest of the bucket with hot water, within 1 inch of the brim.
9. Finally, cover with the lid and let sit a full 24 hours.
10. After 24 hours of letting the laundry soap rest, use an emersion blender to process the Laundry Soap into liquid, as there will be clumps.
11. Use 1/2 cup of liquid soap with each load. Additionally, you can transfer Laundry Soap into a Detergent container you have on-hand for easier use.

Published by Monica's Scratch Kitchen

I have not always had the skills to cook and bake from scratch. As a young wife, I bought every meal frozen or boxed and presented it to my husband with a flourish, believing myself a decadent cook. As our budget shrunk, and our family grew, I looked for ways to stretch our money to nourish our kids with the best for their hungry appetites. Hoping to find recipes and meals that they would love to eat. Through the last 5 years, I have learned so many cooking and baking lessons, and experienced many wins and failures. Come along with me on this journey as I share my recipes that work, how to make them on the cheap, and my tips and tricks to get my kids to eat homemade deliciousness! I will also share updates to our house that we have done in the last year since our move. With one income, we do most of the work ourselves and with amazing family and friends to help out, cutting costs but keeping style and money in the bank! I am a wife and mother of 3 boys and 1 princess. When I was a kid, I remember being asked what I wanted to be or do when I grew up. My response was, "a mom", and I am proud to grow up and be a mom to 4 amazing kids! Samuel is 11, Matthew is 8, Levi is 4, and Elliana is almost 2. We have been blessed to have kids who love to explore foods, to try new recipes, and enjoy helping us around the house. With 4 kids, you better believe they help clean! My husband Tyler and I have been married almost 13 years. We love our kids, we love outdoors, camping, canoeing, grilling, watching movies, and just hanging out making memories. A few years ago I gifted Tyler with his own "menu" book, where we write meals and foods we have loved to eat. Weekly our family decides what our meals will be and I make up a grocery list with what we need. It literally is my favorite chore! I love to shop, so shopping for food on a budget is my biggest win! Thank you for taking the time and visiting my site, Subscribe so you do not miss a post! Keep coming back to hear about new recipes, updates on our home, fun times with our kids, and how to make homemade deliciousness! ~Monica

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