Homemade Laundry Soap with Ivory Soap

I would like to give everyone the recipe for homemade laundry soap. This will cost you only around $7 a year to make your own soap!

You will need:


  • bar of Ivory soap
  • 1 cup of washing soda (Arm and Hammer for example)
  • water


  1. Fill large bucket or container with 3 gallons of hot tap water.

  2. Grate the bar of soap into a saucepan. Add just enough water to cover the soap, and heat, stirring constantly until soap is dissolved.

  3. Add soap/water mixture to the hot water in the bucket. Stir to combine.

  4. Add 1 cup of washing soda and stir (do not mix up these steps).

  5. As this cools, it will turn into a white gelatinous soap. Thickness depends on the size of bucket used.

Use 1 1/2 to 2 cups per load of laundry. You can add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the load as well. Use 1/2 cup vinegar in a Downy ball as a softener (the vinegar smell does not stay in your clothes).


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August 16, 20010 found this helpful

Can any bar soap work? I have never cared for Ivory's smell.


Do you have to be careful about the dye in soap ruining clothing if you use another brand,say coast? Thanks

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August 17, 20010 found this helpful

I also want to know if another soap, Dove or Cashmere Bouquet or even a glycerine soap, can be used as I am highly allergic to Ivory Soap.
Mrs Kathy Cohen
Northfield, VT

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August 30, 20010 found this helpful


I have seen similar recipes using Fels Naptha bar soap grated as in this recipe, probably any bar soap would work. Ivory is less dense that most however and does melt easily. It might take more mixing with a harder soap. I would think that a glycerine soap would also work.

I'd recommend using a neutral colored soap although many liquid laundry soaps are colored and don't seem to stain the clothing.

- Staff

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By breezeetew (Guest Post)
October 18, 20041 found this helpful

This works with about any bar soap. I have used Dial's Pure and Natural hypoallergenic soap and also Zote laundry soap. Since this produces no sudsing, I have sucessfully used a small amount in the dishwasher as well.


Another good mix is 4 ounces soap, 1/2 cup washing soda (not baking soda) and 1/2 cup borax
The mixing directions would be the same, add the borax at the same time as the soda.
Use 1/2 cup per regular load, more for large loads or heavy dirt.
I did the math, and for me, the cost is less than a penny per load of laundry, compared to about 10 cents per load with store brands on sale.

You can use either recipe dry, as well, the suggestion is 1-2 tablespoons per load.

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March 16, 20050 found this helpful

Dove, deoderant soaps, zest can also be used with this recipe. I also add 1/2 cup of all fabric bleach with the washing soda and borax. I love this recipe and have no problems with laundry.

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By magikbarns (Guest Post)
July 16, 20051 found this helpful

I have tried this laundry recipe and a couple of others that used Fels Naptha and Borax and Washing soda. They said to use 1/2 cup per load. (some said 1 Tble spn) This left our clothes smelly and unclean so I developed my own recipe that works wonderfully. It has gotten stains out that I thought were permenent. It is only about .05 cents or so per load, depending on where you get you supplies. I go to Walmart. Here is the recipe. Gather all your old bar soap (about 1-2 cups more or less) 1 full bar of Zote soap, 1/2 bar of Fels Naptha, grate all this and add it to 6 pints of hot water. Heat gently until melted. Add 2 cups Washing soda, and 2 cups of Borax, stir until dissolved . It should thicken and become creamy.


Do not stir or leave on heat beyond this point. Remove from heat and add 3 quarts of hot water and stir well. Then put into a 5 gallon bucket and add enough cold water to make a total of 4 gallons. Stir well and let sit overnite. It will become very thick and creamy. I then use a hand blender and blend it further. It smells wonderful and my clothes come so clean I'm amazed. Use 1 cup per ordinary load and 2 cups for really dirty or smelly clothes. (diapers) I've been using this recipe for some time now and my clothes seem to come cleaner and cleaner each time they're washed. When you get down to the last gallon or so of soap, make more and add it to the remaining soap. The older soap helps the new batch to set up faster. Good luck

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By AJ (Guest Post)
August 23, 20050 found this helpful

I have tried using this recipe dry and it faded my clothes a lot. Has anyone else had this problem?


I am wondering if the problem was because I was using the ingredients dry. Have your clotehs faded with using this recipe as it is?

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January 30, 20060 found this helpful

I have tried the recipe using both Fels Naptha and Ivory soap, washing soda and Borax. I've made 3 batches so far and none of them have "gelled up". What am I doing wrong?

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By hilda (Guest Post)
March 8, 20060 found this helpful

its my first time visiting your site so helpful

if i can not afford to buy ivory soap is it possible to use any other soap

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March 8, 20060 found this helpful

safe the hassle and get a laundry ball! I bought one at www.abundantlifeessentials.com for 35 $ ( i think its on the supplements page) and I have been using it five years now.


I have used no other detergant. So I spent 35 for 5 years of laundry. The vinegar in the downey ball is a wonderful idea. It also doederizes your clothes.

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March 3, 20070 found this helpful

I don't mix all the ingredients together. I get Zote soap and use a paring knife to cut it into small pieces. Then I put some of the pieces into a container (about half of the container) and cover it with water. Any size container will do. Put on a lid and shake it. I don't measure it. Every time I go into the basement for something I shake the container. After about a week it it usually dissolved and gelled. I pour it through a colander and put the liquid into an old detergent bottle. I smush the remaining pieces, put in more soap and water and repeat the process. When I wash my clothes, I just use a capful of soap, put in the borax and washing soda into the water and do my laundry. No need to heat, or mix. Also, borax will lighten and fade your clothes. It is good for light loads, but not dark clothes.

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By angie (Guest Post)
January 1, 20090 found this helpful

Is it safe for high effiency washers?

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March 18, 20090 found this helpful

What exactly is "washing soda"? Are you talking about powdered laundry detergent? Also, how long does this last? With just my husband and I we don't do that much laundry. Most of our clothes are worn twice unless soiled the first time. Towels get washed each use due to dermatitis I develop ( rinsing does not remove all detergent and when you use the towel to dry, the dampness reactivates the detergent which causes dermatitis on me. Undergarments, dish cloths, bath towels/wash cloths and socks all get washed after every use.

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