Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Duggars' Liquid Laundry Soap

I have a fascination with the Duggar family from "19 Kids And Counting." I am forever amazed at how they stay so organized and how their children are so well behaved. In an episode that aired a long time ago, they talked about how they make their own laundry soap because it's so much cheaper than buying it. It really didn't look very hard. I kind of put it away in that "maybe I'll try that one day" corner of my mind.

A little more recently, someone pinned it on Pinterest, and I thought, "Huh. I guess I should really do that." So I went to the store and bought all the stuff I needed for it. I brought it all home and it's been sitting in my laundry room for like two months now...

Last night I did some laundry and realized I was almost out of laundry soap. I was pretty bored, so I decided I might as well try making laundry soap! It really was easy, and I think it really works! I've done two loads of laundry with it so far, and both have come out just as clean as they did when I was using store-bought detergent.

I was able to find everything at Wal-Mart by the laundry stuff. I apologize because I honestly don't remember how much I paid for everything, but I think it was around $10-12, not including the five-gallon bucket. Next time it will be even cheaper because all I'll have to buy is the Fels-Naptha soap. If you have the time to do it, I think the savings is worth your effort!

The Duggars' Liquid Laundry Soap
from duggarfamily.com

4 c. hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 c. washing soda (it has to be washing soda, not baking soda)
1/2 c. borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted (this took me about 10 minutes). Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. Stir again and fill a used, clean, laundry soap container half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use because it gels up. It is quite watery.

If you want, you can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons once soap has cooled. I added 4 drops of lavender after I had put the soap into the old laundry soap bottle. That way, I can try a few different scents. The Duggars suggest using lavender, rosemary, or tea tree oil. My book on essential oils says you can use any scent you like but suggests citrus or evergreen oils. I chose lavender because my husband and daughter both have sensitive skin, and lavender is supposed to be safe. Next time I might try sweet orange.

This recipe yields 10 gallons of soap. For a top load machine use 5/8 c. per load (you'll get about 180 loads). For HE front load machines use 1/4 c. per load (you'll get about 640 loads).


  1. I'm so excited. I'm really going to try this. You inspired me!

    1. Amanda you are too nice! Inspired is such a strong word! If I can do it, anyone can do it! By the way, I washed a load of Bud's work clothes in it last night and they came out clean too! Well, as clean as they get, anyway. I'm thinking I may never buy laundry soap again!

  2. I am so excited about this. Thank you for sharing. I went out and got everything today si I can make it tomorrow. I will let you know how it turns out.