I was kind of nervous to make this homemade super laundry sauce. I’ve never made a DIY laundry detergent before, and I was kind of scared it would flop. But even though there’s a lot of steps, it’s really easy to make! And it smells AMAZING. You know that super fresh and sweet smell that clothes get when they’ve been hanging outside on the clothesline? So awesome!
My towels are about 8 years old. They’re still in decent shape so I don’t want to buy new ones until I have to. Every time I get out of the shower, I grab my towel, dry my face off, and take a big whiff of my towel expecting the luxurious smell of sunshine and roses. I do it pretty much every time I shower, and it never smells like that. They actually smell kind of dingy and I’m always disappointed. I guess it’s years of detergent build up on the towels? I’m not exactly sure? But after washing it with this laundry sauce, they smell SO GOOD. I mean, my towels are still old, and they’re still faded, but I feel like I’ve brought new life back to them. Or at least back to the way they smell.
I’m not sure why I find it SO MUCH FUN to make my own household products!? Maybe it’s because I’m kind of cheap? It doesn’t hurt that they have way fewer chemicals than store bought detergents too. But mostly I think it’s that it makes me feel like, “See, I’m such a good homemaker that I can make my OWN laundry detergent!”. Because let’s face it. I have a giant pile of laundry that has been sitting on my living room floor for about 8 days now, so I kind of need that homemaking ego boost. The kids now find their clothes and get dressed in the living room because I just haven’t had the energy to fold it all.
This is called laundry sauce because it’s not quite a liquid laundry detergent and it’s clearly not a dry powder. It’s more like the consistency of mayonnaise. It might be a new consistency from what you’re used to, but it works really well and no other detergents are needed with it in the washing machine.
And the crazy part is that you only need 1 Tablespoon per load. Yes, you read that right. 1 TABLESPOON PER LOAD! It’s super concentrated and only takes a small amount to get things clean. (Although, I should mention that in my desperate attempt to liven up my towels, I added 2 Tablespoons to that load. What can I say? That’s the rebel in me…).
This recipe makes enough detergent for 130 loads. I haven’t done the math exactly but I’m estimating that it costs about $3 per batch which works out to about 2 cents per load. When I buy detergent at the store, it usually costs me more than $20 for a box of Tide, so to me, this is crazy cheap! And I LOVE saving money!
Homemade Super Laundry Sauce
The full printable recipe and directions are at the bottom of this page, but here’s what you’ll need:
- Washing Soda (Not to be confused with baking soda)
- Sunlight Pure Soap (Or Fels Naptha… I just couldn’t get Fels Naptha in Canada)
- “Purification” Essential Oil
You can definitely make this recipe without using the Essential Oil, it’s just that you won’t get the same pure, summer fresh, laundry smell without it.
I really wanted to use Fels Naptha because I’ve heard it’s the best for preventing soap build up on your laundry, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I’m pretty sure it’s common in the United States and that you can even get it at the grocery store? You’ll have to take a look and see what you can find.
Cut it into chunks and put it in a food processor. Or you can try grating it by hand, but it would probably take awhile, and it might be hard to get the soap residue off a grater? The food processor was really easy to get clean after this.
Pulse it in the food processor until it’s as close to a powder as you can get it.
Bring a pot with 4 cups of water to a rolling boil and add in the powered soap.
Bring it back up to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. You don’t want this boiling over so keep an eye on the heat and turn it down if it starts to bubble more than what I’m showing in my pictures.
It takes about 15 minutes for the soap to completely melt. If it takes longer than that, you need to turn your heat up.
Then remove the pot from the heat and add the mixed together Borax and Washing Soda powders to the melted soap mixture.
It took about 5 minutes of stirring for the powders to completely dissolve. If you can still feel a “grainy” texture on the bottom of the pot with the spoon, then keep stirring. Once it feels smooth with your spoon as you stir, it’s ready! If you stop stirring too soon, it will have a grainy texture, and won’t dissolve as well in the washing machine.
Once everything was completely mixed up and dissolved I added Young Living’s “Purrification” essential oil. It’s a blend of Lemongrass, Citronella, Lavandin, Rosemary, Melaleuca Alternifolia, and Myrtle. I don’t know what most of those are, but it smells amazing, and it really refreshes your laundry! If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, you can check out this post.
Pour the mixture into two 1 quart (4 cup) mason jars. Try to split it as evenly as you can. You can see I was a little off on mine, but it doesn’t really matter.
Add cold water to fill the mason jars up to the shoulder, leaving about 1.5 inches of empty space at the top.
Then turn the jars upside down and let them sit for 4 to 5 hours to solidify and separate. I based this recipe on the one over at Budget 101 and she says that if you leave the jars any longer the texture becomes grainy. This is the first time I’ve made them, so I can’t verify that, but I’m willing to trust her on it.
Now here’s the REALLY cool part and I had no idea you could do this! Go find your blender, and see if it fits on top of your regular mouthed mason jar. Mine fit perfectly! It’s like an instant magic bullet!
How cool is that?! Then you can put it in your blender and whip it until it’s smooth!
When you’re done, it will have the consistency of whipped cream or mayonnaise.
Add the lid back when you store it and it will last for months! That is, if you don’t use it all up first.
Pretty cool! And all it takes is 1 Tablespoon! I still can’t get over the fact that you need so little! And I love that it’s way more natural than store bought chemical filled detergents, which generally don’t contain any soap at all.
Want another laundry tip? Try adding two drops of the “Purification” essential oil to a wet cloth and adding it to the dryer with your laundry. It’s like a completely chemical free dryer sheet that will make your laundry smell amazing!
- 1 bar Sunlight Pure Soap (or Fels Naptha)
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup Washing Soda
- 10 to 20 drops "Purification" Essential Oil
- 4 cups Water
- Chop the bar of soap into chunks and place it in the food processor. Pulse it until it has a sand like texture.
- In a separate bowl, combine the borax and washing soda and mix well. Break up any large clumps. Set aside.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a large pot over high heat.
- Pour the ground up soap from the food processor into the pot. Reduce the heat if necessary, but keep it at a gentle rolling boil. (Mine was on high heat the whole time)
- Stir almost constantly until the soap completely melts and dissolves, approximately 15 minutes. It will foam slightly (like in the pictures above). Watch the heat carefully and reduce if necessary. Don't let it boil over or you'll have a huge mess.
- Once the soap has completely melted, remove the pot from the heat and add the Borax and Washing Soda mixture, stirring constantly until the powder is completely dissolved, approximately 5 minutes. Stir until you can no longer feel a sandy texture on the bottom of the pan.
- Add 10 to 20 drops of the "Purification" essential oil and stir until combined.
- Pour the mixture into two 1 quart (4 Litre) mason jars, splitting it equally between the two jars.
- Add cold water to each mason jar to fill it to the shoulder of the jar, leaving about 1.5 inches of empty space at the top of each jar.
- Screw the lids on each jar tightly and turn the jars upside down. Allow to cool off, solidify and rest for 4 to 5 hours.
- After 4 hours has passed, remove the lids from the mason jars and attach your blender attachment to the jar (including the rubber gasket). Blend on low speed at first, gradually working your way up to high speed, for a total of about 1 minute. (If your blender bottom doesn't fit, you can use a hand held blender, or you can pour it into a large bowl and use a regular mixer).
- For both top loading and front loading washing machines, add 1 Tablespoon of this laundry sauce directly to the clothes. For very large or very soiled loads, use 2 Tablespoons.
This homemade super laundry sauce is easy to make and it’s SO CHEAP! It works way better on those tough stains than regular detergent and smells amazing! You only need 1 Tablespoon per load and it ends up costing only pennies per load. Clean clothes. Great smell. Super cheap. I’ll definitely be making this again!