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Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

March 6, 2015 (Last Updated: August 3, 2019)

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Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

I have been intrigued with homemade laundry soap for years.  We go through a lot of laundry soap at our house, so the idea of not spending a ton of money to get clean clothes sounded great.  Then there’s this part of me that loves the idea of making things …and not just grabbing it off the shelf.  So after a few years of contemplating making my own soap, I finally did it!

homemade soap

Ingredients for homemade soap

I did a lot of research.  Do I make liquid or powdered?  What ingredients do I use?  How am I going to store it? I finally landed on liquid soap.  My primary reason…I already use liquid and it just seemed like a natural direction to go.  Plus, all of what I read on the powdered soaps suggest dissolving the soap first in hot water and then adding clothes.

I just don’t see my kids, or my husband, or quite frankly me, taking the time to make certain the soap dissolved first.  I also had flashbacks as a kid when we used powdered (I don’t think liquid even existed then) and there would be times when my jeans would have caked on white powder after they were clean.  Nope, I decided powdered wasn’t for me.

I purchased the ingredients and then waited until I emptied a couple of bottles of my existing detergent. I needed something to put the soap in and this seemed like a sturdy option.  Finally the day of soap making arrived.  My daughter dove right in and started grating the soap.

I have read some recipes where people use their food processor to grate the soap.  I was too afraid to try this…what if it ruined my processor!  The grating took some work, but really it wasn’t all that bad.  I used a bar of ZOTE.  The bar I chose was white and it was slightly scented.  Taylor thought it smelled a bit like citronella. I usually buy unscented soap, so I was a bit concerned about having perfumed laundry.  After using it to wash clothes, I don’t notice any scent remaining.

The recipe sounded easy.  Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add the grated soap, stir then mix everything into a 5 gallon bucket.  Luckily I used a large stock pot.  Our soap flakes didn’t seem to melt right away.  As the mixture got really hot, it foamed up really high.  I was very glad that I had used the large stock pot or I would have had quite a mess.

Everything was then added to a 5 gallon bucket, stirred together and then it rested for 24 hours.  After the wait, I stirred it up again.  The mixture was quite gelatinous.  I stirred it the best I could, and then using a ladle and a funnel, I put it into my empty jugs.

We’ve done several loads, and so far so good. The clothes are clean and they don’t have any sort of perfume scent.  The soap is still clumpy and because it is thick it is  bit messy to pour into the lid of the bottles.

grating soap

Grating soap for homemade laundry soap.

Soap Shavings

Soap Shavings

foaming soap

Pot of foaming soap


Homemade Laundry Soap

A Few Notes:

  •  Use Washing Soda, Not baking soda.  This is found in the laundry area.
  •  Use a large pot.  Ours really foamed up once it came back to a boil.
  • Give your jug a shake before each use.  This will help remix the ingredients.
  • You can add a bit more water if the mixture becomes too thick.



  • 1 Bar Zote
  • 1 Cup Borax
  • 1 Cup Washing Soda  
  • Water      


  1. Grate the bar of soap
  2. Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a large stock pot
  3. While stirring, gradually add grated soap
  4. Keep stirring until soap is melted. You might have a few clumps that have formed.
  5. In a large 5 gallon bucket, add three gallons of warm water. Add Borax and Washing soda. Stir to mix.
  6. Pour in hot soap mixture from stock pot. Stir well. Mixture will begin thickening.
  7. Cover and let set for 24 hours.
  8. Stir. Mixture will have thickened quite a bit.
  9. Use 1/4 -1/2 cup per washing load.

Recipe Source:  I probably read a hundred different ways to make soap.  They were all about the same.  The one I finally landed on to make my soap came from this site:  Mrs. Happy Homemaker


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  • Reply
    March 6, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Wow such a great post!!

    • Reply
      March 7, 2015 at 6:38 am

      Thank you, Ami!

  • Reply
    Lori from LL Farm
    March 6, 2015 at 6:34 am

    So glad to see a recipe for liquid laundry soap instead of powder. I would like to make my own, but my youngest has eczema, so we have to be careful….

    • Reply
      March 6, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Sensitive skin is always tricky and you don’t really want to experiment with different things that might aggravate it.

  • Reply
    Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg
    March 6, 2015 at 6:01 am

    The first thing that came to mind when I saw this was, “The first rule of Fight Club…” I love the idea of DIY soaps. Thank you for sharing!

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