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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Duggars Laundry Soap

I've heard and heard and heard about the Duggars Laundry Soap, but it wasn't until our Teen Homeschool group made a batch as a service project, that I saw how cheap and easy it was!

It spurred me on! I went to Lowes and bought some 5 gallon buckets, bought the washing soda, borax and fels-naptha  at Smiths, and was good to go! I invited some other families over and we got started. By the way, this is the PERFECT Christmas-time effort for a local charity. Easy to make, not much money and can last a  long time! Take a bucket to your local mission or shelter!

We used a food processor to finely grate the Fels-Naptha. I highly recommend this vs hand grating!

Then we stirred it into boiling water...and it took quite awhile to fully dissolve.
Final step, adding additional water and stirring it all up!

Here's what the final version looked like. The buckets seal tightly with the lids, allowing for transportation without spilling! When you go to use it, it will require stirring as it kind of has a sludge ball in the middle.

See below for the recipe. We made the liquid version. Also, FYI we've been using vinegar as a fabric softener in the washing machine for about a year now. No smell, and it's cheap and effective!

These recipes are found at

  • I add tea tree oil to my whites and towels; it's a natural antiseptic.
  • I use my soap straight from the 5 gallon bucket. I don't dilute it again. You might want to if you have soft water, my water is hard. Plus I just don't want to mess with pouring it into something else.
  • If you make the powder make sure your grated soap is very fine! It won't dissolve otherwise.
  • I use regular white vinegar as softener. It works well and does not make your clothes smell like vinegar.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-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 and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

Powdered Laundry Detergent - Top load machine

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP: We use Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing Soda and Borax can often be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2 per batch.

Inexpensive Fabric Softener Recipes

Recipe #1
1 Cup White Vinegar
Add vinegar to rinse cycle. Works great. Removes residue and odors. Also helps to keep washing machine and hoses fresh and clean too.

Recipe #2

1 Container of Name Brand Fabric Softener
4 Inexpensive sponges, cut in half

Pour entire container of softener into a 5 gallon bucket. Fill empty softener container with water twice. (2 parts water to 1 part softener) Add sponges to softener/water mixture. When ready to use wring out extra mixture from one sponge and add to the dryer as you would a dryer sheet.

1 comment:

  1. I tried this soap, too ... and was loving it until I started noticing that a few things were not going so well with my laundry. Let me say that I know some folks that have NO problems with it, but I am thinking it must be a chemical reaction with something in our city water. Our clothing started to "yellow" and I noticed the fibers weakening in the fabrics.. and quick fading, as well as, increased staining.... BUT the smell was good and the clothes were clean. ;) I had to stop using it, though. I did get some advice about using the "correct" amount of my usual store bought laundry soap. It seems we all fill the scoop, but it only calls for half that amount for normal loads. Hope the homemade works for you, but watch for the signs and do not wait like I did until you are throwing clothes away.