Homemade Laundry Soap – 10 Years Worth for $10!

Making your own homemade laundry soap is cheap, easy and long lasting! We’ve used this recipe for years and I can vouch to it’s potency! I garden and raise our flock of chickens and ducks. My husband is a rock crawling Jeeper that spends his free time fixing and modifying jeeps. Needless to say, we both get dirty… a lot. This soap definitely take care of all of our detergent needs and smells great!

One large batch (see recipe below) will last us YEARS! We then take 1 cup of our powdered detergent and turn it into 2 1/2 gallons of our liquid laundry soap which makes it go even farther.


High Efficiency (HE), Septic Safe & Baby Approved

This detergent is high efficiency (HE) safe, because of it’s low suds. This is also the best laundry soap to use with septic tanks because it contains zero phosphates and zero fillers that cause commercial powder detergents to clog lines. It’s also completely non-toxic so it will not harm necessary septic bacteria like toxic detergents and antibacterial soaps. Since it is non toxic it can also be used for even the more sensitive laundry like baby clothes! Regardless of what type of washing machine you have, you can be sure that this laundry soap is great!

What You Will Need

Here’s a quick measurement note so you can figure out how much washing soda and borax you need to buy depending on which size recipe you use. Each box of Washing Soda holds 7 cups and each box of Borax holds 10.5 cups

Small Batch Ingredients (Small Container)

  • 2 cup (5 ounces) of shaved bar soap*
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • Essential Oils (Optional)

Medium Batch Ingredients (Gallon Container)

  • 22 1/2 cups of shredded soap or 4 bars of Zote (14.1 ounce) soap
  • 8 1/2 cups borax
  • 8 1/2 cups washing soda

Large Batch Ingredients (1 – 2  1/2 Gallon Bucket)

  • 56 1/2 cups of shredded soap or 10 bars of Zote (14.1 ounce) soap
  • 25 1/2 cups borax
  • 25 1/2 cups washing soda

Apocalypse Size Large Batch  (2 – 2  1/2 Gallon Buckets)

In emergency disaster some supplies may not be accessible. If you want to stockpile homemade laundry soap now or just don’t want to worry about doing it for a really, really, really long time. This extra large batch can last a couple of two easily 20 years or more. If converted into the liquid laundry soap it will last well into the apocalypse!

  • 112 cups of shredded soap or 20 bars of Zote (14.1 ounce) soap
  • 51 cups borax
  • 51 cups washing soda

*Use whatever soap you prefer. Some suggested choices include a homemade laundry bar, Dr. Bronner’s, Kirk’s Castile Soap, Ivory, ZOTE  (white or pink), or Fels-Naptha. We are using white Zote soap for this batch and have had good luck using Fels-Naptha soap in the past. We usually go with whatever is cheapest.

Supplies Needed

  • Cheese grater (some use a food processor)
  • Large mixing bowl (for holding shredded soap)
  • Container or buckets with lids for finished detergent*
  • Stirring utensil or paint stick (for larger batches)

If planning on making a medium – extra large batch of liquid laundry soap consider making a dispensing bucket. Click link below for instructions.


For medium to extra large batches of laundry detergent, we recommend storing the laundry soap in a two gallon 1/2 frosting bucket. If you are planning on making some of the powder into a liquid you will need one extra bucket to store the liquid laundry soap you intend to make.

*These frosting buckets are food grade and comes with an air tight seal-able lid. You can acquire them from any local bakery for FREE, just ask for them!


  1. Use a cheese grater to shred up bars of soap and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In your final storage container or bucket, mix one cup of each ingredient (soap, borax & washing soda) at a time and then repeat the process until the recipe is complete.
  3. Stir together thoroughly for several minutes.
  4. Store in a sealed container (with a small scoop if preferred)
  5. Enjoy your new laundry soap!
  6. Print out and tape recipe instructions to your container for both liquid & powder detergents (optional)

Use 1 Tsp per small load or 2 Tsp for large or heavily soiled loads. If you have really hard water, you may need to use more.

Lesson Learned: After turning on your washing machine, add laundry soap to the bottom of the washer. It will not dissolve properly if added to the top. You can also add it to your powder dispenser if you have one that pushes it out with water.

Cost Breakdown & Saving Money

One large batch (see recipe above) will last us YEARS! We make into a liquid detergent that makes it last 10 times longer than the powder form and the money saved speaks for itself!  Below is the total cost breakdown for the large batch recipe!

To make this the absolutely cheapest laundry soap available, contact all the manufacturers and ask for coupons. I contacted Borax and they sent me 3 coupons good for 3 free full size boxes! You should have no problem getting the coupons, I’ve written to them several times and they are always more than happy to send out some! You can also check online for coupons.

Here’s a breakdown of the money spent (for a medium batch):

  •  Zote Soap – Available at Dollar Store for $50 each. (4 Bars)
  • Borax – Reg. $3.49 – Totally Free! (3 Boxes)
  • Super Washing Soda – Reg. $3.49, $.50 off each. (3 Boxes)

Total Spent: $11.97 plus tax!

For comparison’s sake, a jumbo container of Tide at Amazon.com costs $28.99 for 96 loads, or a cost of $0.30 a load. Using the medium batch recipe, I will have some of the Borax & Washing Soda left over which is why it will be less than $10 for the entire recipe.

Cost Per Load Breakdown

If using 1 tsp per load of the concentrated powder form per load and use the entire medium batch recipe it will render 1,896 loads of laundry! That breakdowns to less than a penny per load or $.005 per load! For two of us, we average about 3 loads of laundry per week which means that this large batch of laundry soap in powder form will last us a whooping 632 weeks or 12 YEARS!

If that isn’t impressive enough, stay tuned for our recipe to turn 1 cup of our powdered laundry soap into 2 1/2 gallons of our liquid soap! At that rate you will definitely have enough to last well into the apocalypse and perhaps give you something necessary to barter with. Enjoy!

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