Make Your Own Laundry Soap for Big Savings

Save big money with this DIY laundry soap!

We used to spend a small fortune on laundry soap.  My husband does the laundry and he does at least two loads a day – especially now that we are a family of 6 with kids ranging from 0-8.  We used to buy All Free & Clear and follow up with Snuggle fabric softener (still both great brands but DIY is way cheaper!).  I had to set aside a decent amount of money every month because we would blow through so much of the stuff.

My husband would always turn up his nose at the thought of making it ourselves.  I tried a couple of recipes and encouraged him to try it and we always ended up back with the expensive stuff (and I know there are more expensive ones out there!).  We tried to buy with coupons and on sale but eventually I found a recipe that we loved and we have further tweaked it to meet our needs.

This makes a large amount of laundry soap and we keep ours in a five-gallon bucket with a gamma seal lid.  The gamma seal lids are amazing because they keep the powder safe from small hands but are easy to unscrew when you want a scoop of detergent for the washer.  Even with as much laundry as my hubby does, this will still last us at least 3 months.  If you do laundry less (like most normal people) you should easily be able to get 6 months or more out of this recipe.

It was a bit of a switch to go from the liquid detergent to powder.  This has definitely been worth it and I actually have found that I prefer the powdered detergent!

All the ingredients to make your own laundry soap can be found at your local stores.  The only thing you might want to shop around for is the Oxygenated Bleach.  We have found the cheapest at Kroger, but Aldi is really close if you don’t have a Kroger nearby.  The most expensive would be to buy Oxi Clean, but you can if you like or if you can’t find an off-brand version.

The original recipe said it was safe for cloth diapers, and to be honest I’ve used it on ours without any problems, but I can’t be sure it would work for all brands (we’ve used Charlie Banana and G-Diapers with it).

DIY Laundry Soap

1 box borax ($4.47)

1 box washing soda ($3.97)

4 lbs baking soda ($2.24)

2 tubs oxygenated bleach ($4.47 each)

3 bars soap (you can use Fels-Naptha or another brand such as Dr. Bronner’s.  We often use 2 Fels-Naptha and 1 Dr. Bronner’s.  You can use Lavender or Peppermint or another scent if you like, too!) (Fels-Naptha is $1.56 each)

Total:  $24.30 at Wal-Mart prices without coupons


  1. Grate the bar soap with a box grater.
  2. Add in the powdered ingredients and mix well (this is where a five-gallon bucket comes in handy).
  3. Use the small scoop that comes with the Oxygenated Bleach for a full load of laundry.  We never use more than one scoop and it always turns out great!

We never use fabric softener anymore.  Occasionally there will be a bit of static with a furry blanket or my robe but the cost savings are waaaaay worth it!!

What DIY laundry recipes have you tried?  Leave a comment below.

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