Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe

Recipe for liquid laundry detergent. This one here is the best recipe - it only costs $1.47 for up to 100 loads! WHOA! happymoneysaver.com

If I am being honest, I will tell you I’ve been dragging my feet on making a homemade recipe for liquid laundry detergent. I just love my dry powder laundry soap recipe SO MUCH that I never wanted to try anything else. Seriously. It’s that amazing. My dry laundry soap recipe is so easy and costs under $20 for a years worth. But curiosity has once again gotten the best of me and I decided to give liquid laundry soap making a try.

My friend gave me her liquid Fels Naptha laundry soap recipe. She loves it and has been making it for a very long time now. It’s gentle, super thrifty and only requires 3 ingredients.

So without further ado… here is the recipe.

DIY Recipe for Liquid Laundry Detergent

Ingredients:

  • 1 Fels Naptha Laundry Soap Bar
  • 1 Cup Borax
  • 1 Cup Washing Soda
  • Water

Directions:
In a medium cooking pot start 4 cups of water to a on high heat.

Measure out the 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda, mix to combine.

DIY Laundry soap recipe.

Grate your Fels Naptha laundry bar. I used a hand cheese grater, but you can use a food processor or even a knife to shave off the pieces.

Fels Naptha Homemade laundry soap recipe

If the pot is boiling, reduce the heat to medium and add in your grated Fels Naptha bar.

diy liquid laundry soap tutorialHow to make homemade fels naptha laundry detergent from scratch.

You will want to stir this continuously for around 15 minutes until the bar if fully melted and incorporated into the water. You DON’T want to let the pot over boil so if the mixture starts boiling heavy and rising to the top of the pan remove it right away. It will be the biggest mess of your life if you let that boil over.  Not kidding. Just keep it at either almost boiling or barely boiling the entire time and keep stirring.

Homemade liquid laundry soap from scratch. happymoneysaver.com

After the first 5 minutes you should only have a few big pieces left to dissolve. But for some reason they take forever to dissolve. Keep stirring until its all dissolved (about 15 minutes).

Then add in your Borax and Washing Soda. Mix for around 5 minutes until they are totally dissolved as well. I can tell when it’s fully dissolved because there are no more grains at the bottom when I stir.

How to make homemade liquid laundry detergent from scratch.

Then add your mix to a large bowl. Add in 4 cups of warm water and stir to combine.

Making liquid laundry detergent from scratch. happymoneysaver.com

Allow this mix to sit for 6 hours.

After the 6 hours is up it will look a little jelly-ish.

DIY fels naptha liquid laundry soap recipe. happymoneysaver.com

Take a spoon or whisk and smooth the separated water and jelly until it’s as smooth as you can get it. It might still be really thick. Store this concentrated mix in a large sealed container or jar.

I have used my used liquid detergent bottle when it was empty. When your old bottle of liquid laundry soap runs out add in one cup of this gooey concentrated mix plus 7-8 cups of water. Shake it up well until it’s nice, smooth and incorporated together. You can also use your blender if you like. If at anytime it separates again just shake it up well again.

Making LIQUID laundry detergent. The best recipe around - happymoneysaver.com

I use the cap that came with the old liquid laundry around 3/4 full so around 1/3 cup of liquid detergent per load of laundry. If you have a high efficiency machine you will probably want to do a little less than that.

Adding homemade liquid laundry detergent to your washer. happymoneysaver.com

I got a TON of loads out of this concentrated mix, I’m guessing around 70-100. I need to really count the next time I make this recipe. Well, IF I make this recipe again I guess. I tell ya… I just LOVE my dry laundry detergent recipe so much more. I might just be a little bit lazy though. I love the easy dump and stir method of the dry one.

 Price Breakdown:

  • 1 Bar Fels Naptha $0.97
  • 1 cup borax $0.40
  • 1 cup Washing soda $0.40

Total = $1.77 for around 70+ loads!

4.34 from 3 votes
Print
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe
Course: homemade diy
Author: Karrie
Ingredients
  • 1 Fels Naptha Laundry Soap Bar
  • 1 Cup Borax
  • 1 Cup Washing Soda
  • Water
Instructions
  1. In a medium cooking pot start 4 cups of water to a on high heat.
  2. Measure out the 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda, mix to combine.
  3. Grate your Fels Naptha laundry bar. I used a hand cheese grater, but you can use a food processor or even a knife to shave off the pieces.
  4. If the pot is boiling, reduce the heat to medium and add in your grated Fels Naptha bar. You will want to stir this continuously for around 15 minutes until the bar if fully melted and incorporated into the water. You DON'T want to let the pot over boil so if the mixture starts boiling heavy and rising to the top of the pan remove it right away. It will be the biggest mess of your life if you let that boil over. Not kidding. Just keep it at either almost boiling or barely boiling the entire time and keep stirring.
  5. After the first 5 minutes you should only have a few big pieces left to dissolve. But for some reason they take forever to dissolve. Keep stirring until its all dissolved (about 15 minutes).
  6. Then add in your Borax and Washing Soda. Mix for around 5 minutes until they are totally dissolved as well. I can tell when it's fully dissolved because there are no more grains at the bottom when I stir.
  7. Then add your mix to a large bowl. Add in 4 cups of warm water and stir to combine.
  8. Allow this mix to sit for 6 hours.
  9. After the 6 hours is up it will look a little jelly-ish. Take a wisk and smooth the separated water and jelly until it's as smooth as you can get it. Store this concentrated mix in a large sealed container or jar.
  10. When your old bottle of liquid laundry soap runs out add in one cup of this gooey concentrated mix plus 7-8 cups of water. Shake it up well until it's nice, smooth and incorporated together.
  11. I use the cap that came with the old liquid laundry around 3/4 full so around 1/3 cup of liquid detergent per load of laundry. If you have a High Effenciency machine you will probably want to do a little less than that.

—> Buy all three ingredients on Amazon here in a laundry kit!

So what do you think? Do you make liquid laundry detergent or do you prefer the dry powder version? Is this recipe similar to any you have tried before? How do you like it?11 Comments

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe was last modified: November 2nd, 2016 by Karrie

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Comments

  1. I exclusively MYO powder (for years & years). I started with the liquid but then read about how Borax is activated by hot water & loses it’s super punch over time (in liquid detergent). My advice, if you are of liquid detergent folk them omit the Borax and just add it dry to the drum. Keep in mind that borax is most effective with hot water. My powder I have a cold water version (no borax) & a hot water version (with borax).

  2. Stephanie says:

    i make powder. Easier, makes more, works well, less bulky to store. Haven’t read anything that convinces me that it is worth it.

  3. I used to make powder detergent and loved it ~ until I realized it was making white spots on all my dark clothes. That recipe had borax in it as well and I think that’s what started the spots. Is there something that can be substituted for the borax that won’t bleach spot my clothes?

    • Happy.MoneySaver says:

      I have never had that problem with Borax on powdered or liquid recipes so I have never substituted it in my recipes. But I have heard that washing soda, baking soda and salt are good alternatives for a borax-free laundry detergent.


  4. Hello, I have sensitive skin & auto immune issues. My family uses Kirk’s Castile Soap instead of the Fels Naphtha or Pink Zote, we tried all three versions. We love saving money & if you have kids that love walking in there socks or just love to get dirty, We Use 1-2 cups Borax, 1-2 cups Washing Soda, 1/2 Baking Soda, 3 bars Castile Soap =12oz + your favorite essential oil plus tea tree oil & 5 gallon bucket with a lid. I only need 4 batches for a whole year & it cost us under $2 a gallon. I use 1/3 cup per wash. I would love a liquid fabric softner recipe using epsom salt H2O & lavender oil. Enjoy!! I rated this a 4 star because we did not like the smell of fels naphtha or how it felt next to our skin.


  5. I got this recipe the other day and the lad she graded the Fels Naphtha very fine and left out the water, making a dry laundry detergent.

  6. We don’t have Fels Naphta soap but I can get a soap flake made by Soap Works and it has borax in it already. Do you think that could be used instead?

  7. I have used the dry recipe for almost two years now. But it costs about $30 every time I make a big batch and it lasts about 2 months. I made the liquid (and much cheaper) version with just the Borax, Washing Soda, Zote and water. A bar of Zote, if you have never used it is HUGE. I mean like 2 1/2 bars of Fels Naptha. I used a whole bar for the recipe and ended up with a very VERY thick gel substance. I mean, turn the container on its side and nothing moves thick… It made 2 full gallons plus. I tried it once in my top load washer…put it in the soap receptacle at the top and found water all over the floor because it was too thick for the water to dissolve! So…I put some of the gel in a mason jar and added water, shook it up and now it is in a usable form. This stuff is gonna last FOREVER. However, it does not remove odors like the fancier dry recipe. I even added some scent crystals in the wash. I will try adding in some essential oils to the mix and see if that does the trick. I really wanted it to work as well because it costs like $6 to make and it is going to last like 6 months, even with me doing laundry on a daily basis.

  8. I just finished making this recipe using Zote instead of Fels Naptha. I will never do this again. First, making the liquid detergent takes so much more time and effort than making the dry detergent it just isn’t worth it to me. I had such a gigantic mess by the time I was actually done. Second, the reason I made the liquid this time instead of the dry was that I got a free bar of Zote, but read somewhere that Zote doesn’t dissolve as easily in cool water. I figured I would use it to make the liquid detergent to get around that problem. Zote is definitely not interchangeable with fels-naptha. I have used both Fels Naptha and Dr. Kirk’s castile soap in the dry recipe and both work fine (although I prefer the castile soap), but Zote is very different than the other two. If you use this recipe, I would stick to the exact ingredients listed, but really the dry detergent is so much easier and faster.


  9. I make my own laundry detergent and it is very similar. My husband works for a
    vet and I am allergic to animals, but this works very well for us. It lasts about 2 years for 2 people, 2-4 loads a week and costs me <$30. It makes about 32 gallons of soap, I keep it under my kitchen sink. We use an HE top loading washer, tho I have used this in front loaders too.
    My Recipe
    6 bars kirks grated, put in 5 gallon pail, cover with boiling water and let it sit, it gets like jelly, which is good.(I usually do this the week end before I get ambitious.) ($6)
    1 box 20 mule team borax ($4)
    1 box arm and hammer washing soda($3)
    2 1lb boxes baking soda ($2)
    about 24 oz of Sal Suds (<$14)
    Hot to boiling water to fill pail
    Stir, stir, stir (I use an old broom handle), add hot water as u stir to dissolve powders.
    I made a lavender tea ( lavender cut from our garden, strain thru cheese cloth) with the last pot of hot water this time and it smells nice, but really doesn't leave anything on clothes, I use white vinegar in the last rinse.

    From this monster pail, I take 20oz of mix put it in a gallon jug (I use my empty vinegar jugs) and fill with hot water.
    I do 4 gallons at a time, 1 cup per wash, if its a full load. Less for a smaller. A gallon does somewhere around 18 loads.
    A gallon lasts close to a month. I have never seen any fading or spots, I pour it directly on my clothes.I have the same swimsuits that I wear to YMCA 3 days a week, for three years and the colors are still bright. I can't use commercial bleaches, softeners or detergents.

    Your mileage may vary, but using several different recipes, this is the one that works best for us, I am in my 60's and have very sensitive skin.

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