Show Your Plastic Challenge: Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

Plastic Challenge: Plastic Free

Plastic Free - Laundry Soap Ingredients

On our plastic free journey, I discovered that this was one area that we were already avoiding plastic consumption. I have been making my own laundry soap since 2009. I’ve never enjoyed the faux fragrance of laundry detergent. Especially now that I realize the fact that most of the synthetic fragrance is derived from fossil fuels. Plus, it makes me feel good to know that I’ve saved who knows how many laundry soap bottles from being produced and discarded.

This is a very easy way to reduce plastic consumption and be frugal at the same time. I once calculated the cost of this laundry soap at less than $0.02 per load. Yes, that’s right $0.02/load! I previously was a loyal Tide consumer. Today on a bottle of Tide 2x Ultra for HE machines is $17.97 for 96 loads. That’s $0.187/load before any coupons. I used to spend $220.00 per year on laundry soap, conservatively. Now, I spend under $15.00 annually to make all of my laundry soap. I only need to make this laundry soap every 4-5 months.



Step 1: Grate bar of soap
Step 2 - Dissolve soap in hot water over heat.
Step 2 - After melting soap remove from heat.
Step 3 - Add water, borax & washing soda.
Step 4 - Dissolve ingredients in water.

To enlarge on step 4, in a container that can hold 5 gallons, fill it with 2 1/2 gallons of water and dissolve all ingredients (borax, washing soda, and dissolved bar soap mixture). Lastly, fill with remaining 2 gallons of water and stir. You will have made 5 gallons of concentrated liquid laundry soap. The batch of soap needs to sit to cure for 24 hours before use. I used a 8 gallon stainless pot to mix and cure my soap. We found it second-hand for brewing homemade libations. It works very well for this purpose. You could also use a 5 gallon bucket with lid.

To use: mix 1:1 concentrate with water and shake. For front loading washing machines, use 1/4 cup diluted soap. For top loading washing machines, use 5/8 cup diluted soap. I have a front loading HE washing machine and have perfect results every time.  I have a repurposed container that I premix my diluted soap in to keep by the washing machine (1/2 water, 1/2 soap). I just shake and measure and voila! Each batch of soap makes approximately 640 loads.

Plastic Free - Laundry Soap Ingredients

You can choose to store your concentrate in your container that you prepared it in or pour it into glass jars for long-term storage. Word to the wise: Don’t use milk jugs. If you poke a pin hole in them you’ll lose your precious soap and have a big mess to clean up. Believe me, I’ve been there. It’s not fun.

I hope you enjoy making your soap as much as I enjoy using it. It makes me giddy every time. 

PLASTIC FREE living is good!

2 thoughts on “Show Your Plastic Challenge: Homemade Laundry Soap”

  1. Greetings! Thank you for your interesting posts! Question re: this, do you use the 4 cups of water to dissolve the soap or a different measurement? It looks like the 4 cups of H2O is for a later step.


    1. Hi Susan! I do use four cups to dissolve the soap and then continue to add your other ingredients to the same water once it is removed from the heat. After your mixture is stirred through you will actually need to add more water to your 5 gallon bucket or whatever you plan to store it in as well!

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