Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fight Club - Make Your Own Laundry Soap

Yes, you can make your own laundry soap.  The formula is a bit different from the one in the movie, "Fight Club," and if you've seen it, you'll be glad that it is.  If you haven't, well, it's not for kids, but a good movie if you like Ed Norton and Brad Pitt.  I've been told it's a must-see for "intellectual hippies."

But I digress.  Back to the soap.  It's cheap, it's way easy, and it really works to get clothes clean.   I can't take credit for this recipe.  Credit goes to my cousin, Gen, who shared it with me.

Here's what you need:

1 bar Ivory soap (or soap of your choice)
½ c. washing soda
½ c. Borax powder
½ ounce essential oil (optional)

Grate the soap into a sauce pan.
Add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts.
Add washing soda and Borax powder.
Stir until it dissolves.
Remove from heat.
Pour 4 cups of hot water into a bucket.
Add soap mixture and stir.
Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.
Add essential oil if you like.
Let sit for about 24 hours.
Mix well (a hand blender or stick blender works great) and pour into storage container. 
(A saved / recycled detergent container works perfectly).

Use ½ cup per load.
Use ½ cup per load of white vinegar as fabric softener.  (optional)

I also use a scoop of Oxi Clean in the drum before putting clothes in (front loader HE machine). - Also Gen's idea...

For further savings, wash those clothes in cold water.  Let the soap do the cleaning-- not your energy bill.

Good luck and good cleaning! And please remember the #1 Rule of Fight Club.


  1. If eco, then why not choose a neutral, non-toxic soap like Castile Soap. Ivory contains fragrance, synthetics chemicals and slaughtered animal fat (tallowate).

  2. Great suggestion. Do you know how Castile soap is in HE washing machines?

    The recipe I posted was just one that was passed on to me, but there is always room for improvement.

    Thanks for posting!

  3. Ok, so I don't know my grocery stores inside and out... would "washing soda" and "borax powder" be in the cleaning products isle? (Ivory soap, I know.) Do you have suggested brands too or will the cheapest thing do as well as any other?

  4. Instead of bar soap, I have tried pure liquid castile soap from a health food store. It seems to work well. Hard to keep the whites white though. My husbands tshirts were turning grey. I ended up using an all natural bleach called eco. It only contains deionized water and hydrogen peroxide. Apparently hydrogen peroxide is a great whitener and more friendly on the environment than bleach.

  5. Just found this recipe in Mother Earth News. I'm definitely going to give it a try!
    (It makes a big batch, so you might want to scale it back a bit until you're convinced).

    Another recipe for home made, DIY, cheaper, better Laundry Soap:

    Simple Washing Powder

    16 cups baking soda
    12 cups borax
    8 cups grated castile or glycerin soap flakes*
    3 tablespoons lavender, lemon or grapefruit essential oil

    Combine baking soda, borax and soap flakes. Add essential oil and mix with a wire whisk. Use 1⁄8 cup per load.

    Yield: This recipe makes enough powder to last a family of four one year.

    *Try Sun Feather Natural Soap Company, or buy bars of castile soap (e.g. Dr. Bronner’s) and grate with a kitchen grater.

    Read more: