Liss Favorite Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe

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liss-favorite-liquid-laundry-detergent-recipe
Making your own liquid laundry detergent is easy & dirt cheap. This low sudsing, softening recipe works great, smells great and makes 2 gallons.

1/3 Bar Fels Naptha Soap, Grated
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
1 c. Purex Laundry Softener Crystals (any scent you like)
2 Gallon Bucket
1 Quart Hot Water
Cold Water

Dissolve Fels Naptha in about 2 cups of water in a saucepan over low heat, until completely smooth, add washing soda & Borax. Stir until thickened, and remove from heat. In a 2 gallon bucket, pour 1 Quart Hot Water, add soap mixture, and mix well. Dissolve 1 c. of purex laundry softener crystals in the soap mix, stirring well. Fill bucket with cold water, and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens and gels.

This mixture will Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load.

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About Liss 4003 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.

26 Comments

  1. i tried this recipe last week and it did not thicken and gel. any ideas on what i did wrong? i really want to make my own liquid detergent.

    i made a powder version this week and i don’t like it as much. thanks.

  2. It might be that you did not heat the bar soap up enough to melt it thoroughly so that the ingredients would incorporate. The texture of your finished product should be like heavy egg drop soup.

    • It might be that you did not heat the bar soap up enough to melt it thoroughly so that the ingredients would incorporate. The texture of your finished product should be like heavy egg drop soup.

      Ok. I know I wasn’t suppose to bring it to a boil but I may not have let it heat up enough.

      I will try it again and see what happens. Thanks for the info. I still used the top layer of it, but it never mixed throughly with the two gallons of water so I tossed the rest of it and tried the powder, which was good but did not seem to last very long.

  3. where can you buy the purex laundry softener crystals?i live in canada and don’t recall seeing it here.i know i can’t get fels naptha because i have made my own laundry soap before and used another bar soap and it was quite successful.this one sounds like i would be able to use it in my he machine because it’s low sudsing.

  4. Where can you buy the Purex laundry softener crystals?

    Walmart, in the laundry isle.


    Fels Naptha is available on Amazon with Free Shipping (if you’re a Prime member) for $4.35 a bar- Still dirt cheap compared to Laundry soap prices. Walmart also has fels naptha near the clothing dyes in the cleaning section.

  5. just made the detergent, does the fels naptha smell like gojo hand cleaner to anyone else? and how much does it thicken up in the 24 hrs because its not that thick ruight now, very thin in fact. though i dont see its thickness making a whole lot of difference in how it cleans

  6. It does to me too Mechelle, that’s why I use the purex crystals. It’s usually pretty thin the first 2 hours and then becomes rather thick within 4 hours and like a really thick egg drop soup overnight.

  7. i have made something like this before but never heard of using the softener – 1 c. Purex Laundry Softener. is this for hard water or does it improve the soap recipe?
    thanks,
    glennda

  8. just a few things i have found:)

    i have used a similar homemade detergent recipie.however i dont add the fabric softner. i have made my own softner and use a downy ball. i prefer this, because the detergent recipie makes alot of detergent, and i like to switch out scents.

    also if you cant get the fels naptha soap, you can use any heavy duty laundry soap. there is another type here, but i can’t for the life of me, remember the name. i have seen recipies with normal bars of soap.

    my fear in using those is the amount of glycerin and/or sudsing action you might get.

    it is important to heat the soap till everything is disolved. there is no difference between grating it fine or large. it just disolves faster is all.

    it took a full 24 hours for mine to gel. And it wasn’t solid. There were large pieces of gel in the bucket.

    It doesn’t stir or mix. At first I used my hands because it was kind of neat to play in, but then I got tired. Best investment we made, was to go to Home Depot and purchase a “paint stirrer” attachment for my husband’s drill.

    They are inexpensive and make the job of stirring more like a giant blender! Also gets a more uniform mixture.

    Because you use so much less than regular detergent, it will last a while. We kept ours in the bucket with a lid and poured what we needed into one of those water deispensers with the spout that goes in your fridge. It comes through the spout fine.

    However, we bought a (I think) its a 2 gallon container..? It can seperate a little. All we do is just pull it out, give it a couple shakes and its good as new.

    Its low sudsing (the laundry soap) so if you dont see suds, dont worry, its working.

    I used the Fels Naptha soap bar. It smells kin of citrus-like. We added no oils, because I wanted to see how it worked first. Although it smells kinda like citrus in the container and when you take your clothes out, it doesnt remain in the dryer.

    It just smells..clean.

    Although I have made my own softner, I am having difficulty getting the scent to remain in the clothes after drying. But that could be because my brain has been taken over by corporate America:P So I admit I do have a bottle of Purex crystals in the cupboard if I need them. But the softner recipie does soften great and it doesnt seperate at all.

    We use the same water container, just smaller. So they sit in the cupboard and have little spouts on them. Super cute.

  9. i tried this on tuesday, and it still is not thickened, at all. has a foamy scum on top but has not thickened. lbest maybe be right and we are not getting it mixed well enough.

    i was careful to heat it gradually and make sure that all the fels was dissolved before adding the soda and borax. (by the way use a large pan, the soda reacts with the fels and foams alot). anyway i am going to use the soap anyway, because i do not see how thickening is going to make it clean better.

    i like the crystals this stuff smells awesome :party1:

  10. lbest maybe be right and we are not getting it mixed well enough. i was careful to heat it gradually and make sure that all the fels was dissolved before adding the soda and borax. (by the way use a large pan, the soda reacts with the fels and foams alot).

    maybe it’s due to the type of pan you’re using because i make this recipe all the time and it doesn’t foam at all.

    i use a 5 gallon plastic pail rather than a pan. I only melt the fels naptha in the pan, THEN add it to the plastic bucket of remaining ingredients.

  11. to those of you having problems with thickening it is because of the purex crystals. i make my own detergent with these same ingredients, one time i melted the purex crystals along with the soap and that batch of detergent came out significantly thinner. i always just sprinkle the purex crystals into the washer with the laundry.

    i think their new tropical scent is fantastic 🙂

  12. i love this laundry detergent but i just make it with fels naptha, borax and washing soda just using the dry version. i do not add water, i do add purex crystals for scent, but you dont have too, it smells fresh enough as is. my daughter uses this also and adds equal portions of oxy clean and baking soda to her receipe.

    i dont like the goopy liquid version. it is messy. i much prefer the dry version.

    i use two tablespoons per load and it works wonderfully.

  13. my friend made this soap, without the softener crystals and gave me some in a quart jar, i found that it got thick on top, but all i had to do was shake it each time before i measured it out and it was find. i love how clean the clothes come out and can’t wait for my batch to be ready to use! i use only 1/2 vinegar in my softener cycle and really like how the clothes come out!

  14. it would be crazy messy, but can you just make it in a bucket with a lid and mix it by hand? i don’t have an immersion mixer and my hubby is not happy at the thought of using our only hand mixer for a cleaning product. any suggestions?

  15. i just made this detergent and filled the container up with hot water and didn’t use cold water, will it still work? thank you very much!!

  16. I made it and used a bar of soap I got from Big Lots for just .99. For the life of me I cant think of the name of t. It has a real nice smell.

    My husband buys this ice cream that comes in plastic containers so I used those for storing it. The only thing I would say is next time I will be more careful to make sure everything is completely disolved. All in all I like it especially for the price but I have to be careful to not go over board and put too much in.

    I am definitely a person that likes to see the suds. I do not use the crystals.

  17. I want to make this sounds great but I gave up using fabric softeners. Aren’t softeners bad? I thought would build up on the fabric and inside my dryer?

  18. i tried this and even after bringing it to a boil, i ended up with a wax like solid disk of blue on top once it cooled and no fell action at all. I’ve made this befor minus the pure crystals with no issue. and to be clear i used pure crystals , not the downy scent blaster things.

    the only conclusion ive come to is the crystals caused the problem

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