making laundry soap

Yesterday I was doing my hair and looked at the calendar wondering when my next appointment was to get my roots addressed.
I remembered then that I had never posted the laundry soap recipe that my hairdresser gave me.
I've been using it now for over a month and feel I can now give an endorsement to the concoction that costs pennies per load and leaves the laundry clean and fresh.
The only thing I find is that I do need to give my whites a bit of a boost now and then, but other than that. .
dirty farm clothes come out clean.

  • 4 cups hot tap water
  • 1 sunlight soap bar
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup borax
(I bought all these ingredients at W*lmart)

  1. Grate the bar of soap and add to the hot water in a medium sized pot.
  2. Stir over medium heat until it is melted.
  3. Fill a five gallon pail with hot water.  Add the melted soap as well as the washing soda and the borax.
  4. Stir well.
  5. Fill the bucket with additional hot water, almost to the top,  Stir,  cover and let sit overnight.

  • Open the bucket and give it a good stir as it will have become a concentrated jelly.
  • (the above picture was overkill. . .I only asked him to stir)

  • Like I said. ..serious overkill.
  • Fill your empty laundry soap containers and use. 
  • I find that for the front loader I use 1/4 cup to a 1/3 cup and top load machines you would use closer to 5/8 cup.
  • There is almost no scent at all. . .just a very light lemon fragrance from the Sunlight bar.
  • The mixture will be a bit lumpy and goopy and I give my container a light shake before using.
Since my laundry is done. . .I'm going to take a short sabbatical...
Enjoy your weekend and I'll see you Monday.

All for now .. .


  1. Lovella, use the powedered version 4lbs. washing soda, 4lbs. Borax, 3 bars of Fels Naptha or Zote, and 4 lbs. of Baking Soda. I tried using Ivory bar soap but didn't get the cleaning power of the Fels Naptha. The baking soda made the difference for my whites and softened my water. Sometimes I add some bluing to my whites like Mrs. Stewart's. This is a dry mix. Use 2 TBS per large load. I love it. Store in a container with a lid. Have never had a problem with it dissolving in any temp water. Do you remember your Mom or Grandmother 'sprinkling' the clothes for ironing, rolling them up and putting them into a bag, then into the fridge to iron the next day? I have many memories of washing and ironing with my Gram when a little girl. She made us matching aprons ... memories ....

  2. Thanks Lovella..I'm chuckling! Recipe sounds so easy..I'll be making this soap but not going to tell hubby to stir..there could also be serious overkill I'm thinkin':)

  3. Pam, where do you buy the Fels Naptha or Zote? Is it in Canada?
    Thanks for the dry recipe, it sure sounds simple and I do have my bluing for whites.
    I remember my mom's sprinkler . . I wonder what happened to it.

  4. Most interesting...and tempting to try...though I don't have one of those handy-dandy stirring gadgets! Does in produce a lot of suds in the front-load washer?

    Maybe you could post this recipe over at the MGCC blog as well. Maybe we could have a new category...'something the men can stir up'.

  5. Judy, It seems it rinses much cleaner and there are not many suds at all. Even when I add clothes into my front loading machine after the washer starts. . the suds are very minimal.

  6. Ah, the Constantly Cooking Mennonite Girl expands her field of influence to the laundry. Perhaps a recipe for something to clean our Gulf of oil could be tackled next?

    I'm game to try this as soon as B. is home to stir it with his power tool. He hates it when Terry gets a chance to use a power tool and he doesn't.

  7. I can almost smell the lovely light scent from here. Love the clothes on the line photo!!

  8. Looks like a great mix! Once I finally get my laundry machines connected in my basement again, I will definitely have to give it a try!

  9. I've used this for over two years and love it! The only difference is I use Ivory bar soap, but I'm definitely going to try the sunlight bar in my next batch. My kidlets often help me make it. They think it's like a fun science experiment :)


  10. I never heard of this recipe. Thank you for sharing it with us, and even telling us where to buy the soap.

    Hope you have a fun weekend break.

  11. That sounds like a neat recipe... I think I'll try it... I much prefer gel to dry laundry soap, but why couldn't you just add some Baking Soda after you've heated it?

  12. Lovella I love to read your blog everyday it is such and insperation. I have a question about the solution to clean the stones at the cemetary. What is the solution that you use as I need to clean stones.

  13. Hi Jane,
    Thank you for your kids words,
    We usually have a spray bottle of some soapy sudsy type solutuion. We don't use anything special, it could be any household cleaner. We did find last time we went to our cemetery that they don't have access to water so a bucket of water is necessary to bring along to swish away the dirt.

  14. I find the Fels Naptha and Zote in the cleaning section of the stores. It was originally used as a laundry stain bar which I have always used. Really good on the collars of men's shirts. You can buy it online. I am from PA in USA. I meant that you should try using in the post! Sorry! And I do not have any trouble with it dissolving. I use my Food Processor to shred the soap bars. I do have to cut them down to fit the in the processor shute. It cleans up nicely and saves on my wrists and arms! LOL! Works in HE front loaders too and yes it is low sudzing. I got the recipe from "Mary Jane's Farm." Some have even added the Oxi-Clean powder to it. I have not. But I have been using white vinegar in my rinse and I am shocked at how soft my clothing is and no smell. For $2.79 a gallon that's cheap softener! Try it on your towels and let me know. I do have my Gram's sprinkler ...

  15. I had to laugh at this...years ago my mom and dad always made their home-made soap.
    I'm happy to see he used an electric motor to stir.....
    Maybe you need to sell it on the MGCC website?

  16. I'm just about due to buy some laundry soap - i think i'm going to give this a whirl!

  17. Do you know if it's safe to use on cloth diapers? I would love to make this but don't want to ruin my diapers. Thanks!

  18. I haven't used it on diapers but use it on all my delicates and find it very mild. It should be just fine.

  19. Awesome! Thank you. I'm headed out to the store now. :)


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