Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade Laundry Soap

originally posted on our interim blog at catspawfarmblog.com on 9/9/2021

Making your own homemade Laundry Soap is simple to make, cost effective, and great for families with members having sensitive skin, who want to get away from toxins and synthetics, and who like to know what is in their cleaning products. The ingredients can be found in your local grocery store. If you do not have extra handcrafted soap to shred, we sell 100% olive oil Castile which has been aged for at least 4 months (most for over a year) which is perfect for this project. We specify handcrafted soap because it is natural and does not contain synthetic detergents like commercial bars. Whatever your reason for making your own laundry soap it would be counterproductive to start off with a detergent bar, yes?

This is a recipe I came up with in the early 2000’s because I’ve had a detergent sensitivity since I was a child (much to the dismay of my Mom who really wanted her daughter to wash dishes!) It was less of a challenge to create an effective laundry soap recipe than to find a commercial product that didn’t leave me with patches of dermatitis wherever my clothing touched my skin.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 3 cups of shredded handcrafted soap (I recommend using castile soap or other unscented bar soap)
  • 2 cups Super Washing Soda ( baking soda is a ok substitution if needed)
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 3 mL lemongrass or lavender essential oil (optional)

You’ll also need

  • disposable plastic pipets for measuring the essential oil
  • grater
  • measuring cups
  • a 1/2 gallon sized bowl
  • either 2 gallon zip seal bags, or an air tight container/lid combination
  • a permanent marker for labeling your laundry soap bag/bowl
  • nitrile gloves (optional)

Grated soap

How to:

  1. Wear gloves if desired.
  2. Grate the handcrafted soap bars until you have 3 cups. Once grated, continue to crumble the soap shreds until they are as small as possible. You can also chop the soap bars and then use a food processor.
  3. In the bowl, combine shredded, crumbled soap with the washing soda and citric acid.
  4. Mix, mix, mix, mix, mix.
  5. Add essential oils if desired. (If using essential oils add them sparingly!)
  6. Mix, mix, mix, mix, mix. Voila! Homemade Laundry Soap!!
  7. If using zip seal bags, put one bag inside the other. Yes, use 2…you’ll thank me when they do not burst like a single bag most likely will. 
  8. Put the laundry soap into the bags, or into an air tight container.
  9. Label your Laundry soap.
  10. Use it and enjoy your amazing Laundry Soap!

Finished Laundry Soap

You can utilize your Homemade Laundry Soap in HE washing machines and it works fine in cold water. We use about 1 tablespoon per load of clothesin ours. It is appropriate for hand washables, too.

If you need a bit more of a boost for extra greasy, dirty laundry try scrubbing it into the stain with a brush and hot water and possibly adding a bit more washing soda directly to the stain and scrubbing. Let it sit for awhile (but not so long the wetted area dries out), and then launder as usual. Check the stain prior to drying.

Thanks for reading! If you want a hard copy of this recipe just let me know. I have them printed on glossy stock here at Cats Paw Mercantile. They're the perfect size for affixing to the tub you make your soap in or filing for future reference. I’ll send you one. Check out my other posts for more tips, ideas, and recipes, too!

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