Laundry Detergent Formula

Formula for Liquid Laundry Soap – Front or Top Load Machine

Ingredients / Items Needed

  • 4 Cups Hot Tap Water
  • 1 Bar Fels-Naptha Soap
  • 1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
  • 1/2 Cup of Borax
  • Saucepan
  • Grater
  • (A clean) Five-gallon Bucket with Lid
  • Large stir stick or spoon
  • Used and rinsed laundry detergent or fabric softener jugs (# jugs should equal about 10 gallons)
  • Funnel (to fill jugs)
  • Permanent Marker (to re-label jugs)

Instructions – Day 1

  1. Grate the 1 bar of Fels-Naptha Soap and add it to saucepan containing 4 Cups of Hot Tap Water.
  2. Stir continually over medium-low heat until the Fels-Naptha Soap dissolves and is melted.
  3. Pour hot tap water into an empty five-gallon bucket until it is HALF FULL.
  4. Add the following ingredients to the five-gallon bucket that is now half full of hot tap water:
    • Fels-Naptha melted soap mixture,
    • 1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, and
    • 1/2 cup of Borax.
  5. Stir the mixture of ingredients in the five-gallon bucket until all powder is dissolved.
  6. Add more hot water to the five-gallon bucket until it is filled to the top.
  7. Carefully stir the mixture of ingredients in the five-gallon bucket again.
  8. Cover the five-gallon bucket with the lid and let mixture sit overnight to thicken.

Instructions – Day 2

  1. The next day, remove the lid on the five-gallon bucket
  2. Optional: Add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Only add if mixture has cooled.  Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
  3. Carefully stir the mixture in the five-gallon bucket with a stir stick or large spoon.
  4. Using the funnel, fill the empty laundry soap jugs/containers HALF FULL with soap mixture and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
  5. In large and legible writing, label each container/jug of detergent with permanent marker as “LAUNDRY DETERGENT”


  • Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
  • Top Load Machine – 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
  • Front Load Machines – 1/4 Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer “Super Washing Soda” – may be purchased in some stores or online.  Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent – It must be sodium carbonate!!. Original source of formula (from is found here.

Here’s a short video of the detergent being made!

You can also download the Liquid Laundry Soap – Formula.

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