Homemade Laundry Soap Separated?

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Homemade liquid laundry detergent can separate if the batch was not made correctly. If your homemade laundry soap separated you can fix it.


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October 10, 2004

I just made my first batch of laundry soap (fels naptha, washing soda, borax combo). After sitting for 24 hours, it didn't gel up like it should have. Instead, it serparated into liquid with a waxy, 1 inch top (kinda looks like how fat rises on soup when refrigerated). What did I do wrong? Can it be fixed by re-heating the batch? I thought I followed the directions exactly.

Leann D


October 11, 20041 found this helpful
Best Answer

Ok, I fixed the batch, and now it's gelled nicely (I re-heated the whole batch and stired it every hour or so until it cooled). Here's the recipe:
1/3 bar fels naptha laundry soap - grated
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
Put fels naptha into a pan and add about 6 cups water.


Heat, stiring constantly, until soap is melted. Stir in washing soda and borax. Continue stirring until dissolved. Fill a 2 gallon bucket with hot tap water. Add soap mixture and stir well to combine. As it cools it will turn into a gel. Use 1/2 cup per load of laundry.

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November 4, 20051 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have some more specific intructions for it. The first time I made it it came out a little too watery and lumpy. After practice I have it down and it is a nice gel consistency.

Liquid Laundry Detergent

3 Pints Water
1/3 Bar Fels Naptha or Ivory Soap, Grated
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
4 Quarts + 1 Pint Boiling/Hot Water
optional: 15 drops Lavender Essential Oil (or whatever EO you prefer)
optional: 10 drops Tea Tree Oil

Mix Fels Naptha soap in a saucepan with 3 pints of water, and heat until dissolved.


Stir in Washing Soda and Borax. Stir until thickened, and remove from heat. Add 1 quart hot water to bucket. Add soap mixture, and mix well. Add another 2 quarts boiling hot water and 1 additional quart plus 1 pint hot water and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load.

I use cloth diapers on my two boys so I have a lot of laundry. I make up the detergent two batches at a time in a 5 gallon bucket. I love this stuff!

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March 18, 2014

I started making natural laundry detergent in my home, but when I put it in the gallons it separated. What is the cause?



March 22, 20141 found this helpful
Best Answer

That's normal. You just shake it before using.

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July 3, 2018

I made laundry soap, but when I put it in the bucket it separated how can I fix it?


July 3, 20180 found this helpful

Our beloved Thrifty Fun as a link with a best answer on this one!


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July 3, 20180 found this helpful

Just mix it before using.

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July 4, 20180 found this helpful

I think giving it a solid shake will do the trick.

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July 5, 20180 found this helpful


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July 25, 20180 found this helpful

this may be just inherent in the product because fo the different viscosity and density of the materials used - just like with oil and vinegar they will always separate nd you always have to mix it beforehand, unless you purchase/add a binding agent


this is a very interesting post discussing the perils of 'home made laundry soap' naturesnurtureblog.com/.../

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March 15, 2019

I am looking for DIY hacks to keep homemade liquid laundry soap from separating.


March 15, 20190 found this helpful

You have to gently shake the detergent before each use, as it does separate.

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March 16, 20190 found this helpful

Keep it in a bottle with a good lid and shake it...I have not found a recipe yet that does not separate. It does not hurt anything. I look at the shaking part as exercise :)

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