Feb 16, 2016

Laundry Room Talk: Soaps for Homemade Laundry Mixes

I know you've seen all over the internet the homemade laundry soap/detergents.  There are many of them out there. Have you made your own laundry detergent or I should say soap yet?  I have been making and using some on most of our laundry for a few years now. Chuck needs the liquid store bought detergent and fabric softener on his working uniform simply because that is what he likes for work. His other clothing is washed with my homemade mixes.  Today I talk about some of the different bar soaps to make your own laundry soaps with.  Join me won't you...

I have used Woolite for my hand washables forever but now I make my own gentle and hand wash liquid detergent.  I posted a DIY recently here and I can tell you it is working very well and even smells great on the clothing, stockings, bras etc.  I have experimented with lots of recipes and will share my favorite soon.

People have been making their own soap for many many years.  In fact my great grandmother and grandmothers made their own soap.  I was too young to know much about it but I do remember when it was soap making day.  They had an old black wash pot that looked like the picture below.

Carolina Cooker from Agri Supply

I remember them getting the wood granddaddy had cut and building a fire up under the pot in the yard because it was soap making day.
Do you make your own soap?  I have lots of friends that do make their own soaps and that ideally would be the way to go.  Just think using your own homemade soap to make your homemade laundry soap.  I'll tackle soap making one day.

You may be like me and haven't ventured into the world of soap making and so for you I share the soaps on the market that are good for making your own laundry soaps/detergents.

Soaps for Heavy Duty Laundry The heavy duty laundry mix needs a soap that can clean and preferably made to clean laundry


One that is no longer being made and I really like the best (of course I do) is Octagon.  I remember that soap my entire life and finally began using it a couple of years ago.  Oh well I found a supply in a mountain general store and stocked up.  It is hard as a rock literally but when I get it grated it is excellent.  It was made for laundry and dish washing.

Once contained naptha solvent called napthalene but it no longer does
made by Dial
Reasonably priced at Walmart

Fels-Naptha has been around for quite awhile too and has quite a history one in which seems to be disappearing from the internet.

Did you know?
Used as Poison Ivy Treatment
To Clean Your Shower
Spray Aphids
For Black Spot Fungus on Roses
Fantastic Stain Remover
Thoroughly Washes All Clothing

I personally don't think it smells the best but it cleans extremely well so I add some fragrance crystals.  It then smells and cleans very well!

About Zote which is made in Mexico
Main Ingredients:  beef tallow and coconut oil

Did you know?
Zote pink Zote at least works well to catch catfish?  It does the citronella smell attracts this fish.  
A mixture of zote and sugar temporarily repairs leaky pipes.
The smell of citronella repells mosquitoes.
It contains an optical Brightener it is chlorine free so it does not fade colors
Among other things.


Heidi a friend of mine sent me a bar of this to use and I really like it but we don't have any locally that I can find.  You can find it at Amazon here

Did you know?
It too is made in Mexico and has been for 80+ years.
White with whiteners and brighteners is for white clothes only gets rid of dinge! sold here
Yellow multipurpose bar with added brighteners for all types of clothing. sold here
Pink with added softener for all types of clothing. sold here

I may just have to order some of these they are interesting!

Regular, Gentle, or Baby Laundry Detergents

Kirk's Original Coco Castile Soap

information here

James S. Kirk founder

I really like Kirk's Castile Soap for the smell and the gentleness,  I add it to my heavy duty mix as well it adds a better smell and gentleness. It makes a very good laundry mix. 
Did you know?  
Kirk's Castile is made in the USA and is family owned and operated. The soap has been made since 1839
You can make dishwashing soap with their recipe here and here
Liquid Laundry Detergent here
Powdered Laundry Detergent here (I make mine a little stronger, but then again my water is a little hard.)  You will experiment with ingredients and amount to use according to your laundry needs. That's the beauty of it!

Ivory Soap
Ivory Soap made by Proctor & Gamble Information & here

Did you know?
Ivory Soap has been around since 1879.  It is whipped with air and floats!  You probably already know that but if not it does!  It is a very good soap for bath and laundry. This classic contains no heavy perfumes, creams or dyes.

Ivory soap makes me think of my grandmother Goldie.  She used it so much so smelling it brings back wonderful memories.

The Ivory Liquid used for dishwashing is extremely gentle.  I use that in my liquid gentle hand wash and am testing but I can tell you already it is working well.

Dial Basics 
The best although it can sometimes be very hard to find a substitute can be Dial White Only

The best for extremely gentle or baby laundry detergent mixes.  This is one that I personally put together.  I started making and using a few years back and I can tell you it does indeed work!  I had not seen it anywhere but kept remembering that my children's pediatrician told me to use that for them and myself for the allergies we suffer from.  You can read more about that here at one of my other websites.

Lots of people use Dr. Bonner's Bar Soaps for a number of their homemade cleaners here I have yet to make anything with them but will let you know if and when I do.

Next time we'll talk about the essential things needed to make your laundry soap/detergent.


Join me over at Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #39


  1. I have stocked up on some of these varieties. To tell you the truth I must be a little strange because I have lots of packages of soap, really lots. I think I have over 100 bars of various kinds. Over the years I just kept buying them on sale and when I consolidated them I noticed I have probably more than the typical household!

    1. Kathy I think that is wonderful! I married into a very thrifty to the point of frugal family (not Chuck's). My sister in law would bring me care packages from Charleston. She would coupon and taught me and her mother to coupon like crazy. That was when a coupon was a coupon and you got at the time with certain sales money back! I lived in a larger house and could store all of the things and frankly never ran out of anything except stuff like milk bread etc. I do see and understand your grocery store storage and really wish I had the space here. If nothing else grate some of that soap and store it because it only gets harder and harder with time. It will be easier on you should you decide to make your own laundry detergent. If you're like I was you probably have the detergent too so you are one lucky woman..You brought back memories...thanks girl.