What Are the Best Tips for Making DIY Laundry Soap?

Tara Barnett

The best tips for making DIY laundry soap are to follow the soap recipe precisely and to test the soap on clothes before using it for a wash. While it is true that you can make soap suitable for a laundry machine at home, clothes may react badly to ingredients you use in the soap if the recipe is complex. Most laundry soap instructions involve bar soap, borax, and washing soda, which are combined in specific ratios that are effective at washing clothing. Even though this is very similar to store-bought soap, it is still a good idea to test any new product on an inconspicuous patch before use. With practice, anyone can mix up an effective batch of DIY laundry soap.

Laundry detergent can be made by grating bar soap.
Laundry detergent can be made by grating bar soap.

Making DIY laundry soap is usually straightforward, but there are some problems that can arise. For example, if the bar soap used in the recipe contains a moisturizer, clothing can be damaged. Colored soap can also be problematic. Washing soda is not the same as baking soda, and mistaking these two substances can have negative results. Borax is usually safe to use on clothing, but some people find that if it is not rinsed out entirely it can cause burns on skin.

Washing soda may be featured in DIY laundry soap.
Washing soda may be featured in DIY laundry soap.

One common step in the detergent-making process is grating bar soap. This can be somewhat difficult and time consuming. Many people find that using a food processor cuts down on time spent grating. Having devoted equipment that is not used for food can make cleaning up after making soap easier. Some types of bar soap may be easier to use for this type of project than others, and there are bar soaps designed specifically for laundering clothes.

There are a few things to keep in mind when making DIY laundry soap. For example, if you are trying to save money by making this soap, you need to make sure it is financially viable and that it does not take up so much time that it is no longer worth the effort. Many DIY soap recipes are very straightforward and fast, so this is not usually a problem, but those recipes that involve large amounts of grating or unusual ingredients may not actually be helping you to save money. If you are making DIY laundry soap for environmental reasons, it is important to take into consideration the environmental effects of the ingredients you are using, as these will be entering the water system at some point. Just because you are making the soap yourself does not automatically make it cheaper or more environmentally friendly, so looking at the recipe critically is essential.

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