Homemade laundry liquid

One of our ‘go to’ books for simple living is Rhonda Hetzel’s ‘Down to Earth’. Last week I made her recipe for laundry liquid as part of our never ending quest to cut the big supermarkets out of our lives.

The recipe is very simple:

  • 1 cup soap –  (I used Velvet)
  • ½ cup washing soda (powder not crystals)
  • ½ cup borax.

I bought my supplies from Woolworths and Foodland.


The laundry liquid is ridiculously easy to make.

First grate the soap.


One bar = one cup.


Add the soap to 1 ½ litres of water in a saucepan and heat on medium until the soap is completely dissolved.


Slowly add 1/2 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup borax.


Stir until the additions are dissolved and the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat.


The next part I do in my laundry sink. Pour the mixture into a 10 litre bucket or larger (mine is 12 litres). Add cold water until the level reaches 10 litres. Stir frequently.


The mixture thickens very quickly. Leave to cool.


Once cool pour into containers. I used three 2 litre milk bottless and a 2 litre juice bottle. As I did not want to spill the mixture I used a ladle and a funnel to fill the containers. Leave enough room at the top of each bottle so the mixture can be shaken as it tends to thicken.


Store in the laundry. This liquid is safe to use on all clothes, towels, sheets etc. Rhonda suggests adding napisan or similar when washing whites. We have a front loader and I always use cold water plus 1/4 cup of the liquid per wash. So far I am more than happy with the results.


I am even happier with the price!

  • 1 box Velvet soap 1 kg @ $6.98
  • Washing soda       1 kg @ $3.99
  • Borax                       1 kg @ $9.04

Accurate costings per measurements:

  • soap                         250 g @ $1.75
  • Washing soda       125 g  @ $o.50
  • Borax                       125 g  @ $1.13

TOTAL                                               $3.38

$3.38 worth of ingredients made 9.5 litres of washing liquid!

Compare this to the usual washing liquid we buy:


If I was to buy 9.5 litres of washing liquid @ $9.99 it would cost me $94.90. So that’s a total saving of $91.52!

That is a lot of money! I am assuming that as I use the same amount of liquid it will last me as long as the product I usually buy – 5 weeks or so per litre =  48 weeks. Almost an entire year worth of laundry liquid for the bargain price of $3.38.


I planned to take a photo of our line full of washing to insert here but I forgot – instead please admire our Queen Anne’s Lace in the spring sunshine.


About A Kailyard in Adelaide

A Kailyard in Adelaide! We are working hard to be domestically sustainable in the foothills of Adelaide. As we both work fulltime this is not an easy task, but we do our best growing much of our own produce in our yard and in our community garden plots. We reduce, recycle and reuse as much as possible and try hard to not consume mindlessly. We have 5000 l of rainwater, a 5 kw solar system, and use a green energy provider for all our excess needs. Rachel: Mother, partner, teacher, writer, reader, crafter, cook, gardener, artist. Jamie: Father, partner, lecturer, therapist, would-be-politician, gardener, photographer, music lover.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Homemade laundry liquid

  1. Great post, Rachel!
    I have the same book and use this recipe. I have also tried the gel as hand soap (very good!) and it can replace shampoo as well. The best part is that you can just keep re-using all the containers and substantially cut back on plastic waste. I know it can all be re-cycled but that requires large amounts of energy, hence more pollution.
    By the way the borax is optional so the total cost can be 30% less!

  2. Dani says:

    Well done 🙂

    I was just wondering if you have tried this for dishes? We use soap nuts for laundry but haven’t found something ideal for washing dishes yet.

    Thanks so much

  3. I love queen anne’s lace so that final picture is very welcome 🙂 but I need that toilet paper! what a laugh!!

  4. Thanks for that! I use the same laundry liquid that you previously used…so the sums apply to me. I really want to do this.

  5. Bunny says:

    I absolutely love this recipe – just wondering if essential oil can safely be added without it staining clothing? Cheers again for the inspiration 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s