homemade dishwasher powder and laundry soap.

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

O.K I have finnally been able to find 2 good recipes to make my own dishwashing soap and also the laundry detergent. I have tried both and they work really good, plus I will save $ which is what I am trying to do.

Recipe for laundry soap.
2 cups of Borax
2 cups of washing soda.
1 bar of soap grated ( I use Ivory soap)

Mix it all and place it in a container.

I have an energy efficient front loading washer and I use about 1 TB of detergent, I keep a plastic spoon in the detergent compartment.
For regular washers you only need 1/4 cup.

Recipe for Dishwashing powder.
Equal amounts of borax and washing soda mixed, I add about 2 plastics spoons of this mixture into the compartment and then I place a drop of dish soap on the compartmet as well. I have heard some people placing white vinegar for the spot treatment instead of the Jet dry but I really have not tried it yet since I bought a huge container at Sams club and I am still using it. I have tried this twice and my dishes come out clean with no residue, just as if I was to use the regular dishwasher powder.

Hope you find these useful, let me know how it goes for you when you try them.

I would love to learn of other recipes that you use in your household that saves you $.

One last one, since I have carpet and I have kids, dogs etc... I have been using white vinegar for my carpet shampoer instead of the expensive carpet cleaner and it really cleans well, plus the vinegar smell just goes away as soon as the carpets dry.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

I had never hand washed anything other than hosiery until I moved here and all of my co-workers hand wash our kitchen towels. They use bar soap to wash with and I am stunned at how perfectly everything looks. Even mustard stains come out with just a little bit of rubbing. I wish I had known this 40 years ago....

mobile, AL(Zone 8a)

My mom swears by dish detergent to take stains out of clothes, that's what she used to rub things with and it worked. Never thought of using a bar of soap thpough thanks.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

They had been using dish detergent and then a soak in soapy bleach water. It worked ok, but not great. A new worker brought in a bar of plain 'ol soap (dove?) and all of those old things were suddenly white and new looking.

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Thank you for the recipes! This may be a dumb question, but do you add liquid to the laundry recipe? I've heard some people do. It would take up less room if it was not dissolved in a liquid, so I am just wondering how you do it.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the recipes. I've saved some containers to make my own soap but still have gotten "a round to it". Maybe this winter when I'm stuck inside...

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

LadyPearl ~ there are recipes for both dry and liquid laundry detergent. I don't do the dishwasher soap so don't know about that one. I have made both liquid and dry and prefer the dry. I use Zote soap and it dissolves well in the washer and doesn't leave 'tracks' on the clothes.

The liquid soap


Laundry Soap

1/3 bar Fels Naptha, 5.5 oz bar
1/2 cup of washing soda (not baking soda)
1/2 cup borax powder
1 Tbsp essential oil (optional)
2 gallon jugs (recycled white vinegar jugs)

Grate soap in large saucepan with 6 cups of water over medium heat. Heat the mixture until the soap melts. Add the washing soda, borax and essential oil if desired. Stirring constantly until dissolved. Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes. Fill each jug halfway with hot water and shake well. Continue to fill the jug to the top with hot water. Shake again, then put aside for 24 hours. This gels up and looks like egg whites.

Use 1/2 to 2/3 cup per load. This will not suds up like most detergents but the clothes smell wonderful. Also add 1/2 cup vinegar to rinse water to soften the clothes. All ingredients can be found in the laundry aisle of the grocery store.


Powdered Laundry Detergent (My favorite)
1 cup grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup 20 mule team borax
Mix and store in airtight container or bag. For light or small loads, use 1 tablespoon. For normal loads, use 2 tablespoons. For heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons. Cost per load .15.

To make a large batch - grate 6 bars of Fels Naptha Soap and then add 3 cups of Washing Soda and 3 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax. Mix well and store in covered container.

There was a really long and good 3 or 4 part thread on here about the laundry soap. If you are interested, I will find a link and post it.

Jarrell, TX

Just don't try to put commercial laundry detergent in the dishwasher

Wesley Chapel, FL

Thank you everyone for the posts!! Very helpful!!

Jarrell, TX


Thumbnail by lordJammerD
Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

Yikes! That was a hard lesson to learn.......what a mess!

I was looking through the Frugal Living Forum and *knew* that I had seen a thread on making laundry soaps....here it is: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/540316/

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I recently had that mess with my high efficiency front loading washer. I washed some of my granddaughters clothes using Dreft, and that is a no no. It locked the washer up and I had to scoop suds out with my arms.

I used to use the homemade laundry soap using the Fels Naptha, but I haven't used it with this new washer. I only have a soap receptacle for liquid detergent.

This message was edited Nov 1, 2010 4:55 PM

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Yeowch ~on the dishwasher. That was a big bobo!

Joan ~ this laundry soap blend doesn't suds at all and I would think would work all right on a front loader.

Iowa Park, TX(Zone 7b)

Good info! Thanks!

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Always ask to an expert for having the right laundry soap, a friend of mine is working in yacht laundry fort lauderdale.I always ask him for such kind of suggestions , they always recommend me the best soap for washing the clothes.

This message was edited Dec 14, 2017 3:20 AM

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