Almost a year ago I was visiting home & I ran across a laundry soap kit at a local market. It was inexpensive, easy, and the soap worked. I had been using Seventh Generation or “unscented” soap because regular detergent had started to overwhelm me with its fragrance and it made my skin itch.
After that I tinkered with different recipes; but they all contained three basic ingredients: castile bar soap, borax, and washing soda. As my latest supply was dwindling down I researched different DIY liquid laundry soap recipes and decided to add in some citric acid & glycerin.
This time I made a large batch (it will last us forever & I can share it with my sister; she has highly sensitive skin and my homemade laundry soap works well for her.) I used a five gallon pail for this recipe and it filled 2 ice cream pails, 2 empty gallon jugs, and a large empty store-bought laundry soap container. I chose to use less bar soap this time because in past endeavors (to be completely honest) the laundry soap would turn from a liquid gel consistency to a solid gel. Then I would have to dilute it with hot water and transfer it into different containers. I don’t mind having a gel “mother” that I can dilute but I wanted to try using less soap for a liquid consistency (which is what I ultimately end up with when I dilute solidified laundry gel anyways.)
- Hot Water
- 1/2 bar Dr. Bronner’s Almond Castille Soap (love the smell!!!)
- Borax: borax is NOT boric acid; it is a laundry booster that will soften hard water, whiten whites, increase stain removal, disinfect clothing, neutralize odor and it removes soap residue from clothing
- Washing Soda: softens water and removes grease & stains (there are recipes out there where you can make your own)
- Citric Acid: brightens colors
- Glycerin: great for stains and de-greasing
- Essential Oil
- Hot Water: I used 4-5 cups to dissolve the soap and added another 4 gallons to the final product
- 1/2 bar grated castile soap *I used Dr. Bronner’s
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1/2 cup citric acid
- 2 Tbsp glycerin
- 10-20 drops essential oil *I used Peppermint Oil and Tea Tree Oil
- 1 Five Gallon Pail
- Add 4-6 cups of water to a medium sized pot on your stove top; bring to a boil over low-medium heat
- Grate the soap
- Add the soap to the boiling water and stir until the soap dissolves
- Carefully pour the soap mixture into the bottom of a clean five gallon pail
- Add the washing soda, borax, citric acid & glycerin (the citric acid will bubble a little); stir *I used the end of an old broom for stirring
- Add enough hot water to almost fill the pail (I added 4 gallons of hot water); mix well
- Cover the pail and let sit for 24 hours
- Add your essential oil and stir carefully
- Transfer to containers
I use 1/4 to 1/2 cup for my front loading washer. The clothes are clean, basic stains are removed, and I am saving a ton of money in the process. The borax & washing soda were in the laundry aisle at my local grocery store, the castile soap can be found at a grocery or drugstore, the citric acid came from Wholesale Supplies Plus, and the glycerin was purchased from Amazon.
I am just now making a new batch of laundry soap. We now have a top loading washer and I use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of soap per load. Our old washer was in rough shape & had draining/spinning issues–making the clothes smell a little musty… I can really tell that this soap works & smells great with the new washer. I have also discovered a trick for keeping your washing soda & borax from clumping: throw in a couple of those “do not eat” silica gel packets that are thrown in when most items are shipped to you.