homemade whipped laundry soap

I have been wanting to make homemade laundry soap for years.  Literally…  years!  I was mostly intrigued by the cost savings, of course, and let’s face it…  I just like making things homemade!  :o)

I had been procrastinating and trying to decide between making powdered or liquid laundry soap (powdered being easier…  both taking up quite a bit of room – which I just don’t have in my tiny laundry room/pantry) when I came across this idea of a whipped laundry soap!

Apparently it’s a bit more work than powdered or liquid detergents, but it definitely wasn’t hard and I love that it is much more compact, making storage and use that much easier!

Why is it whipped?  Well, as far as I can figure, this soap is whipped for 2 reasons…  #1 being that it’s just too firm to use after the first phase is done…  & #2 being that whipping it incorporates air, stretching the concentrate.  Much like adding water stretches the concentrate in store-bought liquid detergent!

I got the idea from my sweet friend Carrie, over at The Backyard Farmwife…  who got the original idea from Dana over at The White Silk Purse!  Thanks for the inspiration ladies!!

Homemade Whipped Laundry Soap Recipe
adapted from The Backyard Farmwife & The White Silk Purse

2 bars Fels Naptha* laundry bar soap
2 cups 20-Mule Team Borax*
2 cups Arm&Hammer Washing Soda*
6 cups water (+ more if needed!)

phase 1:
In a large pot, heat 6 cups of water on medium-high heat.  While the water is heating, grate the bars of Fels Naptha soap.  (You can use your food processor, or do this by hand!)

Add the grated soap to the heating water and stir frequently until completely melted (around 10-15 minutes!).  Be careful not to let this boil over!

When the soap is melted, turn off the heat and add the borax and the washing soda.  Stir continuously for about 3 minutes, until the powders have dissolved into the liquid.

Pour the liquid equally into 4 pint jars.  Add just enough water to bring the contents up to the “shoulders” of the jars.  Place the lids (I like the plastic ones!) on the jars and let them sit at least 8 hours or more… overnight or a few days if your life gets crazy sometimes like mine does!

phase 2:
In the morning (or whenever you get to it), take a knife and cut down into the soap… breaking it up so that you can get it out of the jars (it will be firm, crystal-y, jell-like…  whatever.  Don’t worry about how it looks at this point!).

Dump the soap, 2 jars full at a time, into the bowl of your stand mixer.  Pour about a tablespoon of hot tap water into each jar, swish to rinse a bit, and add to the mixer.

Beat on low speed for a few minutes and then up to medium speed until the soap is thick and creamy and looks just like butter and sugar you have just creamed for cookies!  (Just don’t lick the beaters!!)

Spoon the whipped soap back into clean pint jars and put on the lids.  Repeat the process with the remaining 2 jars of soap.  You will end up with more jars of soap than you started with…  I started with 4 jars after phase 1, and ended up with 6 after phase 2!

Store the jars in the laundry room with a tablespoon measure (in an empty jar) to use for measuring.  One tablespoon of this soap will clean a full load of laundry!!

Enjoy having fun with all your leftover laundry-soap money now that you have made such a cheap alternative!

*Fels-Naptha laundry bar soap, Arm&Hammer washing soda, and 20-Mule Team borax can all be found (VERY CHEAPLY!) in your laundry soap aisle of most any grocery store!  Note:  Washing Soda and Baking Soda are not the same thing!

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  • Ash

    This sounds great! I wonder…can we add scents like essential oils to the mixture?

    • http://arthomas.blogspot.com annaliseree


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  • Kathy

    Does it stay frothy or do you have to go back and whip it again?

  • Chris Olson

    I have made soap with Fels, the same recipe but not whipped.You think the Zote I switched to would work equally as well? I like the smell of Zote better. ;)

  • Moriah

    I have made powdered detergent using these same ingredients and ratios. Can I turn it into the whipped version at this point or is it too late since all 3 ingredients are already mixed?

    • Serenalicious

      The powdered detergent has the ingredients for this, alas you’ve already mixed them for powdered and this calls for 2 4oz bars of soap and 2 cups of washing powder (16oz) so it would be off, but you could try if you understand that it may fail. Because yours is 50/50 you could do 2 cups of your washing powder which should be 16oz (8oz of soap and 8oz of washing powder) and then add an extra cup of washing powder. The only bad thing is that this is too inaccurate and I would never recommend doing this, plus the soap is the only thing that needs to be added when the water is crazy hot and almost boiling, the rest can be added a few minutes after it is taken from the heat, you don’t want too many crystals to form in your laundry butter.

  • Katie D

    Do you put it in the soap dispenser or in with the clothes?

  • Veronica

    Do you mean four 4 pint jars or four 1 pint jars?

    • Serenalicious

      4- 1 pint jars