DIY Laundry Soap {Castile Soap Laundry Detergent}

I love making homemade cleaning supplies. That should be pretty evident by now but I mean it. I really do. There’s just something about knowing that I am keeping my home clean and tidy without using a ton of harsh chemicals. Plus? Homemade cleaning supplies are so much cheaper than most commercial ones. What I don’t love is doing laundry. Laundry may be the very bane of my existence.

Nope. Nevermind. That’s dishes. 

In any case, I hate laundry (but not as much as dishes) which means that I don’t want to spend a ton on it and by default, I don’t want to spend a ton of time making my homemade laundry detergent. Normally I make my homemade powdered laundry detergent because it’s so quick, but a few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to try something new. Homemade liquid laundry detergent.

Laundry detergent is so expensive for what it is. It's just soap! Instead of buying it, make this DIY laundry detergent instead! Fels-Naptha and Zote Free and SO easy to make! Cheap too! Just $0.04 per load!

I won’t be replacing my powdered detergent with this one, but it will go on my list of things I stopped buying and started making homemade. It turned out great, but I still favor powdered detergent for some reason. To each his own I suppose. I will say though that this DIY laundry detergent recipe is actually cheaper than the powdered version by a few cents per load. This one? Comes out to just $0.04 per load! In case you are confused? That’s a great price for laundry detergent! Especially laundry detergent that works!

DIY Laundry Soap {Castile Soap Laundry Detergent}

In the past, I’ve tried different homemade laundry detergent recipes but I’ll be honest. They have kind of sucked. If you’ve used my powdered detergent, you’ll already be aware that I’m not a huge fan of Fels-Naptha or Zote. They both irritate my nose pretty badly so I try to stay away from them as much as possible. So when I went to make this recipe, I wanted to as well. That meant that I could either use Ivory like I do with the powdered stuff or I could use Castile soap. Since this would be liquid, I opted for Castile soap for the finished product. When I used Ivory, it created a gel a bit more than I wanted and the last thing that I want or need to be doing is spending more time adjusting the water content or stirring.

You’ll be using bar Castile soap for this recipe. That means you’ll want to find a great deal on it. The best prices that I’ve seen are Kirk’s Castile soap on Amazon, or Dr. Bronners Bar Castile soap on Thrive Market (plus you’ll get 15% off of your first order). You can also get it for a really great price over at Grove Collaborative (formerly E-pantry). They’ll give you a FREE $10 credit when you sign up so you could actually pick it up free to start! What better way to make sure you love a homemade cleaning recipe that with free supplies?


You will need:





To start, grate the entire bar of Castile soap. If you don’t want to use a hand grater, you can run it through a small food processor too. Just be sure that you either rinse it really well before you use it for food or that you have a separate one that is only used for stuff like this.



Next, in a medium stockpot, add the grated Castile soap, salt, washing powder and baking soda and stir to combine the dry ingredients well.


Fill your stockpot about halfway with water then heat on high. Do not let the water boil. Stir constantly until the soap and everything else is melted into the water.


Let your soapy water mixture cool for a few minutes then pour into the 5 gallon bucket. Top the bucket off with cool water making sure that you fill at least 75% of the way full. Add 40 drops of the essential oil of your choice and stir well. We use lavender essential oil for ours, but you can use any that you want. If you want to add disinfecting to your homemade laundry detergent, use lemon or four thieves oil for that and another for scent. Let sit for 24 hours before you use it.

To use, add 1 cup of your Castile Soap Laundry Detergent to your washer and use like you would any other commercial detergent. Keep in mind that this contains no sulfates so it will not suds like a commercial detergent.


Laundry detergent is so expensive for what it is. It's just soap! Instead of buying it, make this DIY laundry detergent instead! Fels-Naptha and Zote Free and SO easy to make! Cheap too! Just $0.04 per load!

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Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family . By the age of 30, she had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Her book, also called Six Dollar Family, has sold more than 7,000 copies since its release.

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  1. Hi, rather than grate the bar soap, do you think I could use Dr Bronners liquid castile soap? I already have the peppermint one.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Could you use the bar castile soap?

    • Stacy Barr says:

      Jennifer, any of the laundry detergent recipes on Six Dollar Family can substitute castile soap for whatever I have typed in it. For the liquid soap recipes, if you’re going to use a bar soap, I would suggest melting it first by making the homemade liquid Castile soap that we have posted first. It would very likely turn out better if you went that extra step.

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