DIY Laundry Soap: (A Guest Post All the Way from Texas!)

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Hey y’all. I’m Kelly Harp. Me, my hubs and our two kids are living the super glamourous suburban life in Houston, Tx. Our dream is to move to the Texas Hill Country (that’s around Austin for you non-Texans) and do some serious homesteading, but for now we’re doing a little gardening, a little cooking, some experimental cheese-making in our smaller space. In my free time, I create and sell tees, onesies and whatever else I get inspired to do! It’s fun. It’s my life.
I’m glad to get to share a little with you here.

In my 30’s, I’ve discovered there’s this crunchy, granola hippie living inside of me. Who knew? She likes to whisper things to me like, “Let’s grow a big veggie garden and get chickens!!”. She’s crazy like that. My hubs, Clint has a hippie, Ray Lamontagne-type living in him too so it works. Until we can get a bigger yard, we do little things like making our own laundry soap…


Did you know you could do this yourself?

I KNOW! So cool. We’ve used this recipe for more than 6 months now and it hasn’t disappointed. My favorite part, apart from it being cheap, is the light, fresh scent the soap lends. Now that we use homemade, all the store bought detergents are way too over powering and give me a headache. When I used them all the time I didn’t really notice, but that smell can’t be so good for you.

Did i mention that making it is SO CHEAP??! I used to dread having to buy that big box of tide because it was so freaking expensive. Crunchy granola girl likes saving money.

You can find the borax & washing soap at several grocery stores, but I did have to search a bit. For example, my HEB doesn’t carry washing soap, but Kroger does. Anyway, just do a little investigating.


You only need one special item, which you might already have – a microplaner. It’s a grater, but makes tiny slivers and helps the soap to dissolve much better. Microplaners are great in the kitchen for things like parmesan cheese, or lemon/orange zesting as well. You’re likely to get some good use out of the investment.

So here you go…

Homemade Laundry Soap

You will need:

-6 cups Arm & Hammer WASHING soda (NOT baking soda)

-6 cups Mule Team BORAX

-4 bars of unscented soap**

+ First i grate the soap using the microplaner. Now, I’m not going to lie to you – this takes awhile, BUT it makes a great activity to do while catching up on some trashy television 🙂

+ Add washing soda and borax to the soap shavings & mix well.

+ Voila! that’s it! you only need 1/8 c. per load – amazing!! i use a 1/4c & fill it half way for each load.

finished prod.JPG

(Side note from Meg: feel free to add a few drops of an aromatic essential oil to the mix for a customized scent!)

**The original recipe recommends fels naptha soap, but I use this lavender soap from the dollar store for (you guessed it) $1 each.

I love the smell of the lavender. Ivory or Dove would work as well, I’m sure. I do think basic is best.
I ended up buying a bar of Fels Naptha soap the other day and it’s amazing at removing stains – i just wet the bar, used a little elbow grease directly on the garment and out came the stain!

So there you have it, laundry soap for about 7 cents a load. Not too shabby!


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