Soap directions

If you have not read my blog yesterday, I urge you to do so.  It relates to these directions.

I probably thought I was through with the edit to the blog and didn’t follow through.  That also is a message!  We are “. . .complete in Him . . . ”  (Col 2:10)  It’s done.  The redemptive work and fullness of all we can be is done!  Yet, we walk around wringing our hands and giving ourselves headaches with worry!  Why?    What we call “mistakes” is actually sin. I am going out on a limb to say, not trusting God is sinful.  Here, I made a mistake somewhere and did not complete the post.  I’m sorry.

Now:  Make Laundry Detergent.  Karyl’s way.  I have reduced the original directions because all of the directions on the internet make five gallons!  That would last me more than a year!   My soap works, so here we go:

You will need:  a clean 2.5 gallon bucket.  I converted an old mop bucket.

a bar of Fels Naptha soap.

Arm and Hammer washing soda

20 Mule team borax.           I have not used any other brands.  I trust these.

You will need a heavy pan and I use one I bought at a flea market cheap because it didn’t have a lid.  It is an old Everwear pan and now I use it for my laundry detergent and nothing else.  This stuff is so strong, it discolored the pan.  It would not affect stainless steal I don’t think.

1.  grate 1/2 the bar of soap with a food grater into your pan.  Add 6 cups warm water.  Heat to a near boil and stir occasionally.  Watch it because if it boils over, well, you will have a mess!           2.    While the soap is melting, measure 16 cups of cold water into your bucket.   3.  When the soap is melted into the water, add 1/2 cup washing soda, and 1/2 cup of borax to the hot mixture and stir until it is all dissolved.  (I have learned NOT to use a wooden spoon as it seems to absorb the soapy mixture and leaves an aftertaste.  Use plastic.)  4.  Add the hot mixture to the cold water in the bucket.  Stir.  Let sit for 24 hours.  I cover it with an old towel just to keep debris from possibly falling into it.  While it is in this waiting stage, it congeals and you will wrinkle your nose and wonder about it.  Don’t worry.  It breaks up.  5.  After the 24 hours, stir again to break up the mixture but if it is clumpy, that’s okay.  Doesn’t hurt a thing.  6.  Put into a container.  I use an old gallon vinegar bottle or a gallon bottle from juice, even an old bleach bottle.  The yeild is 1.5 gallons. This is the messiest part and if you have a funnel, that is a good thing!   This is strong stuff so you need only 1/2 cup to a large load.  If you use too much, the clothes will “grey” because it doesn’t rinse out well enough.  I still add bleach to my whites and of course, don’t use it on anything that requires “delicate.”   This soap does not have a foaming agent so you won’t have all the bubbles you expect from Tide.

The bar of soap is about a dollar.  It makes 2 batches.  The washing soda and borax will make many many batches.  The pioneer woman in me leaps out everytime I make a batch.  Debby lets me “cook” up detergent for her too.   Let the “pioneer” come out in you and enjoy the clean aroma.


I am not an expert but if you have questions, please comment, then check the box, “follow comments” so that we can help each other.






  1. Thanks, I appreciate it. I used to have a recipe for a wonderful all-purpose cleaner using washing soda, borax, and something else–can’t remember–this is very similar.

  2. I also use this detergent to clean my tub and toilet bowl. Works great. This spring I decided since this stuff seems fairly strong (it is the lye in the soap, maybe?) I’d use it to soak my recycle bin which had lots of winter dirt in it. Well, I poured it in, let it sit for about 30 minutes, used the pressure sprayer on the hose, and it came out sparkling clean. Problem? The grass is now dead where I cleaned the bin. So, maybe carefully used, it would kill weeds in the driveway! Hot vinegar works for that, I know. My thinking is: hey this is cheap to make, and experiment with it, after all, if it doesn’t work, you haven’t lost much.

  3. Reblogged this on The Shepherd's Presence and commented:

    This topic has come up three times in the past week so I am reblogging. This is so easy and saves money. Happy Laundry Day(s)!

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