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Laundry Soap Recipes

Making your own natural, homemade laundry detergent is easy and healthy.  If you are just embarking on a journey of getting back to natural and simple living, this is a great place to start.  As an added bonus, this natural laundry soap recipe is also a great way to save money!

I am often asked, “Can this soap be used in a high efficiency machine?”  The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”  The main concern with a HE (high efficiency) washer is soap that creates too many bubbles, so a low-suds soap or detergent is suggested.  Natural soaps are low-suds.

Clean Laundry: Two Ways

This recipe can be made two ways: as a powder or a liquid.  One is not better than another.  It is really a matter of personal preference.  Here are a few pros and cons……..

  • The powder is much faster to make and requires much less room to store.
  • The powder transports easily for camping or taking on vacation.
  • The liquid is more effective for stain treating.
  • The liquid more effective for those with hard water
  • The liquid dissolves easier in cold water.

There are only 3 basic ingredients: borax, washing soda and pure soap.

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral made up of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. It is an ingredient in most of the natural soaps available now.

Washing Soda, sometimes called soda ash, is made from common salt and limestone or found as natural deposits.

Pure Soap – 80% vegetable oils, 20% coconut or palm oil


Dry Laundry Soap

½ cup Borax

½ cup Washing Soda

4 tbsp. Pure Soap

Mix well and store in sealed container, sealed plastic bag or glass jar.  Use 1/8 cup per load of laundry.  If laundry is very dirty add a tiny bit more!  If using a warm or cold water wash pre-dissolve by placing soap in a container with hot water and stir to dissolve.  Pour over laundry and water in washer.

If hand-washing laundry dissolve a tablespoon of soap in water.  Resist the temptation to add more!  The soap will not bubble.  You may think it isn’t enough to wash your clothing but it is!  If your hands feel slimy you have used too much soap!  Extra rinsing of clothing will be needed!


Liquid Laundry Soap

½ cup Borax

½ cup Washing Soda

4 tbsp. Pure Soap

Mix really well in a pot on the stove.  Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Stir to dissolve…about 5 minutes.

Add 2 cups cold water.  Mix well.  Allow to cool.

Mix with electric mixer for about 10 min until the consistency of whipped cream or whipped egg whites.  Your laundry soap will triple in size so be sure your mixing container is large enough to accomodate your expanding soap!

Store in sealed container or jar.  If it separates, simply shake or re-mix.

Use ¼ to ½ cup per load of laundry depending on size of load or how dirty your laundry is.


Here are a few extra ingredients that can be added to your laundry soap for an extra boost.

Baking Soda – removes odors and freshens clothing.    Add 1 tablespoon  to basic recipe and mix in with dry ingredients.

Essential Oils – Use 10 to 20 drops essential oil.  Mix into dry ingredients in dry recipe or add during final mixing in liquid recipe.  Good essential oils to use in laundry are lavender, sweet orange, tea tree or lemongrass for their anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.  Putting EO’s in the water will not make your clothes smell nice.  If it is fragrance you are looking for, save your Essential Oils for the dryer balls.

Vinegar – Inexpensive white vinegar can be used in the laundry to whiten, brighten, reduce odor and soften clothes without harsh chemicals. It is safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers and is beneficial to septic tanks and the environment.

Add the vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser or add the vinegar manually at the beginning of the rinse cycle.

Leaving wet towels in a hamper or a load of wet clothing in the washer can create mildew growth and a moldy smell. To get everything smelling fresh, fill the washer with water, add two cups of white vinegar and run through the wash cycle with laundry soap.

Vinegar will help prevent lint and pet hair from clinging to clothes.  Reduces static.

Fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar and keep it on hand to remove perspiration odor and stains on washable clothing. Spray the vinegar directly on underarm areas before tossing them into the washing machine. The vinegar will help to cut through residual deodorant left on clothing and prevent underarm yellowing.

Vinegar will remove soap and detergent residue that makes washable black clothes look dull.

Cleans washer, reduces soap scum that forms in washer.

May help hold colour dye in dark fabrics.

Sourcing the ingredients can sometimes be a challenge.  But lucky for you we carry everything here at Hidden Treasures!  We have pre-mixed dry soap available that is ready to use or you can make up the liquid version.  Each container is $9.99 and it will make up 3 batches.

Now that you have natural laundry soap, the next step is to get rid of highly toxic fabric softener or dryer sheets by making your own dryer balls!  Enjoy your journey of creative, simple living!

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