Why I make my own laundry soap

Posted 01-30-2012 at 11:08 AM by whitneywalters

About a year ago I woke up one morning and I had hives all over my arms and my legs. At first I thought it was caused from working in my flower garden because I have been known to break out from different grasses and weeds. I took a shower and some allergy medicine but by later that after noon I knew something was not right. The hives were everywhere even on my face. I called my doctor and they got me in right away. It only took my doctor about thirty seconds to diagnose me. I was allergic to my laundry soap.

Ever since I was a child I have had very sensitive skin. My mom was only able to use tide on my clothes, anything else caused my skin to get dry or a minor rash. As an adult I was able to use a few more soaps and then all of the sudden I could not use anything with even the smallest amount of scent. I had been thinking about making my own laundry soap for awhile, I knew it was cheaper but I was just not ready to take the plunge. After my doctor telling me I really needed to stay away from all scented soaps I made the switch.

Over the next couple weeks I tried a couple recipes, played around with amount and finally we decided on what we liked for our soap. We went with the following recipe -

1 full bar of Fels Naptha
1 small container of oxi clean ( the off brand works the same and that is what I usually buy )
1 large box of washing soda
1 large box of baking soda
1 average sized box of borax

I mix this up in a large container I have and this lasts me months of washing. It takes 1 full scoop ( I use the scoop from the oxi clean ) for regular laundry and 3/4 scoop ( plus a rinse ) for cloth diapers.

If there is a stain I rub oxi clean and soak it first. Otherwise all my clothes comes clean, my diapers are fresh smelling and best of all my skin is soft and hive free.

Filed Under: Family Health

Comments

15 Responses to “Why I make my own laundry soap”

  1. Deanie on January 30th, 2012 4:25 pm


    Does it get stains out? I really want to try this, but am hesitant about stains…..

  2. crysntony on January 30th, 2012 5:21 pm


    I LOVE fels naptha for stains. I have a squirt bottle full of water that I use to wet the stain and then I take my bar of fels naptha and rub the wet spot till I get a rich lather and then I put the clothing item in the laundry bin till I get around to washing it. Stain is gone every time I pull the clothing item out of the washing machine. That stuff is magic!!! and CHEAP :giggle:

  3. 7arrows4Christ on January 30th, 2012 7:19 pm


    For our large family we use the Duggar’s homemade soap recipe. Which doesn’t have the oxiclean or baking soda in it, and love it for all our clothing. Including cloth diapers. What is the difference adding regular baking soda and oxiclean? Would this be harsher on babies buns, or on clothing? Very curious :o)

  4. shouldbedoinglaundry on January 30th, 2012 9:03 pm


    I just made a liquid laundry detergent using fels naptha and it works well. However, I do use a stain fighter on the tough stains. I have found that fels has a lot of fragrance, though. Does it come unscented?

  5. esastinker on January 30th, 2012 10:29 pm


    I use ivory soap instead of fels naptha.

  6. hiding57 on January 31st, 2012 6:32 am


    How do your clothes old up over time? Does it cause a lot of wear? It seems like some homemade laundry detergents make clothes look old quickly.

  7. KaiMommy on January 31st, 2012 10:23 am


    I use the same, I love fels naptha. Love making my own detergent.

  8. xraymom23 on January 31st, 2012 1:22 pm


    This is pretty much the same reciepe that my Grandma gave me. It works well and we’ve never had problems with it. Of course, her reciepe did not have Oxiclean in it, but pretty much the same. We love it here in our sensitive skin home too!

  9. whitneywalters on January 31st, 2012 4:05 pm


    If I am worried about a stain I scrub it with oxiclean paste or fels naptha before washing. Rarely was there a stain I could not get out. I have not noticed any extra wear on the clothes either.

  10. bonillaphotography on January 31st, 2012 4:24 pm


    Is this a powder detergent recipe? Do you just shred the fels naptha or how do you deal with it?

  11. lilac0226 on January 31st, 2012 11:11 pm


    I make a liquid version with those ingredients, I’ve never used high end laundry detergents (like tide) but feel like my clothes hold up as well as they did with store bought laundry soap. I like that it is cheap, if I buy all the supplies they last around 6 months so I never have to run to the store to get soap, and I feel healthier like we don’t have all the chemicals of smelly laundry detergent. I usually use less of the fels napis soap than most recipes call for. And as far as stains, I’m a big believer in soaking clothes over night or at least a few hours, most stains come out that way, or with boiling water.

  12. amb2j on February 1st, 2012 7:04 am


    A “small” container of oxiclean…how many oz are you referring to?

    I used to make my own laundry detergent, but then I got lazy. Im thinking of taking the plunge again.

  13. Punkin on February 1st, 2012 8:19 am


    Hi Mama, how do you incorporate the fels naptha? Do you shave it?

    What does this avage out for you in terms of coat, would you say?

  14. whitneywalters on February 1st, 2012 2:33 pm


    Yes this is a powder recipe.

    I have a cheese grater for shredding the fels naptha.

    I go to a local dollar store and get the small off brand oxiclean, not sure on oz sorry.

    What do you mean in terms of coat, sorry drawing a blank on that one lol.

  15. hlucas777 on February 1st, 2012 8:57 pm


    Hey Whitney, how long have you been using this on your diapers? It doesn’t make them less absorbant or anything? What do you think of borax? I make the duggars version also (liquid) and would like to do this powder form but I keep reading that fels napha and borax aren’t good for diapers. I read on wiki that borax may cause testicular problems with little boys. Do you know if that holds any truth? Would love love love to unravel this mystery so that I can make this soap and use on my diapers if it is safe. :) Thanks so much.

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