Homemade Hippie Liquid Laundry Soap


This is the laundry soap that I used before I discovered soap nuts. See all about soap nuts HERE and other ways to use them besides laundry HERE. I was at my girlfriends house the other day and she was complaining about the high cost of laundry soap and all the chemical junk that it contains. I showed her how to whip up a batch of homemade laundry soap. Her cost: $0.83 cents! This does 60-64 loads of laundry. That is one penny per load baby!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

  • 3 pints water (6 cups)
  • 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap grated (we cheated and grated it in her food processor . ha!)
  • 1/2 cup washing soda (not baking soda)
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1 Quart hot water (4 cups)
  • A 2 gallon bucket with a tight-fitting lid (we used an old coconut oil bucket, if you’re really nifty you can funnel this into an old detergent bottle and nobody will even know you’re a cheap skate!)
  • cold water to fill bucket

1. Mix Fels Naptha in a saucepan with 3 pints water, heat on low until dissolved. Stir in the washing soda and borax. Stir until thick and remove from heat.

2. In the 2 gallon bucket add 1 quart of hot water. Add soap mixture to the bucket and stir well.

3.  Now fill the bucket with cold tap water (leaving room to stir).

4. Set bucket aside for 24 hours. Uncovered. It will turn into a gel.

5. Place lid on bucket and you’re ready to wash some clothes.

Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup per load. You can stir in any essential oils that you like, if you are a fan of scented laundry.


Related Articles:

What the heck is a Soap Nut?
Soap Nuts around the House (and on your head)

Homemade Hippie Orange Cleaner

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

Homemade Hippie All-Purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant

Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Hippie Windex for 0.12 cents a bottle

ALL Homemade Hippie Recipes

What is a Soap Nut?

I discovered soap nuts several years ago and I decided to give them a try. I remember my first question was “What on earth is a soap nut?” I had never heard of such a thing, and my curiosity got the best of me.

Soap Nuts (Sapindus) are a genus of 5 to 12 species of small trees and shrubs in the Lychee family. They are native to warm, temperate climates and tropical regions. Members of the genus are known as soap berries or soap nuts because the fruit is used to make soap. The soap nuts contain a saponin which is a natural surfactant and have been used by native people for thousands of years.

So now that you know what they are, what do you do with them? Well there are hundreds of uses, but in my house I mainly use them for laundry. The process couldn’t be easier. You take 4-5 soap nuts and place them in a small, cloth bag and tie it closed. You throw this bag in the washing machine with your laundry. This replaces your normal detergent, and it is also a natural fabric softener. Wash the laundry in warm or hot water. You will really be surprised by the results. The laundry comes out perfectly clean and soft. You can reuse the same bag of soap nuts for 5 loads of laundry! I figured it out once and each load of laundry costs me .11 cents. My previous detergent was costing me .67 cents per load.

I have purchased soap nuts from 5 companies. The only company that I can recommend is Naturoli. They presort the nuts, and only send you the highest quality pieces. They also select nuts from regions that are sustainably farmed. I have called their customer service twice and they are very helpful and friendly. (i don’t make a penny if you buy from them, just a simple recommendation)

The other uses for soap nuts are vast. They can be used in the dishwasher, boiled to make a liquid soap, ground into a powdered detergent, as shampoo and much more. I like to make the liquid soap because it works great in a cold water wash. Isn’t it amazing that soap grows on trees?

This post is part of Fight Back Fridays sponsored by Food Renegade

Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent

English: A pile of Borax based washing detergent.

Image via Wikipedia

About a year ago I acquired my very first dishwasher. I actually had to google “How to load a dishwasher” people! I am a hand washer from way back. So recently I was at the store checking out dishwasher detergent and of course reading the labels (that’s what I do) and I was not happy. The ingredients contained all sorts of surfactants and chemicals and soaps that I don’t ever use in my house. The eco-friendly dishwasher detergents were almost $5.00 for a 32 oz bottle! So for about a year I have been hand washing the dishes and using this beautiful new dishwasher as a drying rack. I had the idea to make my own dishwasher detergent, but too many other things going on to actually take the time to do it.

So finally, using ingredients that I always have around, I started playing with a recipe. It took a few tries and a few loads had to be washed by hand, but the final result is wonderful. Streak free, sparkling dishes every time. I don’t ever take the time to pre-wash the dishes before I load the dishwasher. I rinse of the worst of the gunk, and throw them in. I was also very surprised at how inexpensive this recipe is. My total cost is only 0.33 per load!

Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup Borax

1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

1/2 cup Kosher salt

1/2 Citric acid

I mix the borax, washing soda and salt in a jar and keep in under the sink. You can add the citric acid to the mixture, but the ingredients tend to react to each other and get all clumpy. My OCD doesn’t like clumps 🙂 So I keep the citric acid separate and add 1/2 Tbsp per load.scouring powder

Borax and washing soda (not baking soda) can be found in the laundry detergent aisle of most major grocery stores. Kosher salt in the spice aisle. I checked out several places to purchase citric acid and found the cheapest source was a candle supply store. They sell it to me in bulk for $3.00 per pound.

For each load of dishes I put 1 Tbsp of detergent in the soap dispenser and add 1/2 Tbsp of citric acid.

For people with soft water, you can skip the citric acid all together and make this detergent extremely inexpensive! For people with very hard water, you may need a full Tbsp of citric acid per load, or your dishes will turn out with a funny white film on them. Experiment with using the least amount of detergent possible and still get your dishes clean. You may be surprised how little it takes. Let me know what works for you!

Related Posts:

Homemade Hippie All Purpose Cleanser and Disinfectant

Homemade Hippie Windex for 0.12 cents per bottle

Homemade Hippie Bug Spray

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

Homemade Hippie Orange Cleaner

Homemade Hippie Wrinkle Cream

Homemade Hippie Hand Lotion, Body Lotion, Lip Balm


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