Pinterest Tested: Homemade Laundry Soap

Welcome to Pinterest Tested! Ever wonder if that miracle cleaner is really miraculous? Or what about that homemade facial cleanser? Does it work? This is the place to find out!  I am testing Pins that catch my eye to see if they really live up to the claims made on Pinterest.

I am excited about the test for today. It’s one I’ve seen Pinned over and over, so I had to see if it actually works.

The Test: Is this recipe for laundry soap actually cheaper and does it wash clothes as well as regular detergent?

I went to Wal-Mart to see if I could find all the ingredients I would need and guess what? Wal-Mart had everything and all the ingredients were even next to each other on the shelf in the detergent aisle! I was thinking I would have to hunt all over the store, but nope. All together. How nice! This is what I came home with:

One box Borax
One box Super Washing Soda
One box Baking Soda (large size)
Two small containers Oxyclean (I used store brand)
Three bars Fels Naptha

The total came to $16.55 including tax.

Another hesitation with this project was if it was time consuming to put together. I grated the bar soap and stirred everything by hand in less than 20 minutes. It was easy! I would recommend wearing a mask (or tying a scarf around your face like I did) while mixing to avoid breathing in the dust. It made me choke a little. Or you could do as one reader posted in the comments section and dump everything into your bucket or a garbage sack and shake. Smart!

So my next question was how many loads I would get out of one batch. The original post said it only takes one tablespoon per load. So I measured, oh yes I did! And I was going to do it one scoop at a time until my brilliant husband stated the obvious and had me see how many scoops were in a two-cup measuring cup and then just figure the results from there. Duh. haha. According to my calculations, I will get 462 loads from this one batch.

That means the cost of this detergent is 3.6 cents per load. The detergent I was using before cost 5.3 cents per load (and it was a cheap brand that I got on sale).

The original recipe says that the oxygen cleaner is optional. If you left that out, the detergent would be even cheaper…2.7 cents per load. Don’t know if it would clean as well though.

Now for the big question…does this stuff actually clean clothes as well as store-bought detergent? My answer is YES! I can’t tell a difference from what I was using. I’ll post something if I stop feeling that way after I’ve been using it for a few weeks.

This Pin passes The Craft Patch test for sure!

THE RESULTS: A homemade cleaning solution that seems to work as well as store-bought detergent. It was easy to put together and it really is cheaper.

Update: I finally used the last of this soap in mid-March. That means it lasted for one year and two months! Wow!

Read more about the second time I whipped up a batch of this laundry soap HERE.

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  1. I've been making my own detergent for months now! I have a messy one year old eater…on top of the fact that he is constantly drooling and anything that goes into his mouth ends up on his shirt. I also have a 5 year old that loves soccer…grass stains! My husband is pretty messy as well and loves to use his pants as a napkin! I love my homemade detergent! I have never been able to afford Tide and such so i have always used the cheap detergent. For me, my homemade detergent cleans better. I don't use the oxy stuff. And I do use 2 tablespoons instead of one. And I love that when I run out I always have the ingredients on hand to make another batch…quickly!

  2. I have seen this too and just made the first batch for us to try next week when I do laundry! Amber my idea was to do 2 Tablespoons too instead of using the Oxi stuff. I also found a recipe on Pinterst for homemade oxiclean should it need an extra boost! 🙂 Thanks for sharing that it works to clean your clothes!

    • I use this in my HE washer. I use vinegar in the rinse section, and put this soap in the dispenser. I am on my second batch of this soap and love it. I will never go back to harsh chemicals.

  3. I have been using this detergent recipe for more than 2 years now and will not go back to the store-bought kind. It cleans better. Our son notices the difference if I run out of the "good stuff".

  4. Danielle–

    I don't have a HE washer, but I have heard from others that you CAN use it! I know at least two of the ingredients say right on the box that they are HE compatible. And since it only requires one tablespoon per load, I can't imagine it would make many suds, which is the main concern for HE machines, I believe.

    Hope that helps! Let me know how it goes if you do try it!

  5. Glad it has worked…do you have an energy efficient machine? I am worried about using this because nobody I know that has one has tried it and I am concerned it could gum up my machine? Do you know if it is okay for that? I saw the page it came from and they said it was, but I prefer an endorsement from someone I know.

  6. I love your pinterest tested posts!! I'm so glad someone is doing this! Thanks for being everyone's guinea pig, please keep up these posts, I'm always anxious to see what you had to say!

  7. I've made the liquid version of this laundry detergent and I do have an HE machine. It makes very little suds..even less than tide and I think it works just as well. It certainly doesn't leave the fragrance behind…something I don't miss at all!

  8. Waaaaaay late, but when you have to make this again, microwave the bars of soap first! It seriously cuts down the work involved with grating it and the texture is more like granules instead of grated cheese bits.

    In my microwave, the fels-naptha took about 3 minutes to get nice and puffy while a bar of ivory I added (great smell) took about 1:30 or so.

    Just be careful because the soap gets HOT!

  9. Thanks for the tip on melting the soap! I love that idea, especially since my 3 year old is convinced that I put cheese in our laundry soap. haha. Next time I make a batch (which might be a while since it makes so much), I will try melting it!

  10. If you miss the smell of store bought detergents, you can just add a container of Downy Unstopables or Purex Fabric Freshners to the mix!! I love the smell of Gain but wanted to try out the homemade stuff and the smell was the only thing I was missing so……….

  11. I have been using homemade laundry soap for about 6 months and I love it. I added Purex crystals to it and love the scent. It seems to last a long time.

  12. get the oxyclean stuff from dollartree.I use ivory 3 pack soap they have coupons to in the paper from proctor and gamble. I use all the ingredients and use my blender until it is a fine powder. Looks just like tide and smells lovely fresh scent like glade linen or something

  13. I know this is a bit late, but instead of a scarf because of the floating powder. I pour everything in a garbage bag cinch it up and swish the bag around with my hand. Then put it in my container and open it and let it pour out.


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