Homemade Laundry Soap for Sensitive Skin (or any type of skin)

When did laundry detergent get so expensive?!  Why am I spending $12-$20 on products that I am just washing down the drain?!

We have always been a Tide detergent family.  Liquid…powder…it didn’t matter as long as it smelled good and was Tide.  My husband is a mechanic, so his clothes always come home greasy.  Tide was the only detergent that would remove the stains.

Then my son came along, and our laundry story changed drastically.  He has very sensitive skin, and cannot tolerate anything but a free & clear detergent. (Check out my post on baby powder for sensitive skin)

Free & Clear wasn’t working for me because I like my laundry to smell good.  So, we ended up buying 2 types of detergent: 1 for adults and 1 for baby.  Crazy, huh?

I finally got tired of spending wasting money on brand name detergent that was mostly water.  I found quite a few recipes online, but none really seemed “easy”.  I admit it…I’m a lazy effortless housewife and like things simple and no-fuss.  A lot of the recipes for homemade laundry detergent required grating, cooking, mixing, and waiting. Basically wasting a whole Saturday morning making soap.   Uh…no thanks!

So here is my no-fuss, super-simple recipe for laundry soap!

I use this for my son’s clothes and have had no problems with his eczema.  My husband usually washes his own clothes (I know….he’s a keeper), and he still doesn’t believe a homemade version works as well as his beloved Tide (which we still have a bottle of because he refuses to switch.) But when I get a load of his clothes, I use the homemade version and he never knows the difference. (Until now…sorry honey, now you know.)

Homemade Laundry Soap (Powdered)

Great for babies, sensitive skin, or anyone really

**NOT RECOMMENDED FOR HE WASHING MACHINES (I have another easy recipe for HE washers, come back later for that recipe!)

***The Zote Flakes are what is not recommended for HE washers, but if you use Fels Naptha soap, I believe that is okay for front loading machines.


  • 4 cups Borax
  • 4 cups Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (not baking soda)
  • 2 cups of Oxygen Booster/Cleaner (OxiClean)
  • 1 box Zote Laundry Flakes (or 2 bars of Zote White soap, or 2 bars of Fels Naptha)

All of these ingredients I found in the laundry aisle at Wal-Mart.

The Zote Laundry flakes is a fairly new product, and may not be available everywhere.  If you can’t find it, just grab 2 bars of Zote White, or 2 bars of Fels Naptha (both in laundry aisle).  Put them in the microwave for about 90 seconds.  This causes the soap to break apart and will easily crumble for you.

Grab a large bowl and layer each ingredient, this helps make mixing easier .  Then  grab a spoon and start mixing.

1 tablespoon per load, or 2 tablespoons for heavily soiled clothes.

I store this in a gallon air-tight canister, but use whatever you have.

That’s how easy it is to make your own laundry detergent!  I think it took a whole 5 minutes to make.

Check back soon for my liquid version of homemade laundry soap.

Send me some comments if you have any tips or questions.  I love to hear from you!

**UPDATE – I finally figured out the cost break down for this version of detergent.  The leading sensitive skin/baby detergent costs approximately $.29 per load.  My homemade version only costs $.07 per load, and yields about 200 loads per batch!!!  Let the savings begin!!

mop it up mondays


17 Comments on “Homemade Laundry Soap for Sensitive Skin (or any type of skin)”

  1. Meredith says:

    Ack! This is so timely and appropriate for us–my daughter has sensitive skin (as in, gets a rash at the drop of hat), and I was just lamenting about the cost of laundry detergent for sensitive skin–thanks so much for this!

  2. […] another WordPress.com site Homemade Laundry Soap for Sensitive Skin (or any type of skin) […]

  3. Erin says:

    Will this work in an he machine? Thank you so much!

  4. Amy says:

    Is there a way to incorporate Purex Crystals to make it smell good?

  5. Leanna says:

    My Celsius naphtha bars did not crumble when I.put them.in the microwave so.I shredded them instead. However I wondered if I can use them in my washer because it is not front loading nor is it an he washer? Is it ok? Will it dissolve the same?

  6. Shelby says:

    If I wanted to make a smaller batch, like half, how many cups of the zote flakes would I use?

  7. Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking the time and actual effort to make
    a really good article… but what can I say… I put things off
    a whole lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

  8. Jennifer says:

    This is awesome! I made this at the end of April this year and we have a household of four, including a newborn. We still have about 1/8 of it left. Getting ready to make more.

  9. Rae Dawn says:

    I have made the liquid version in the past-not with Zote(not in my area) but with fels napa- the liquid needed shaken with each use(mixed)-i’m anxious to try the powdered version-thanks

  10. Megan says:

    Would this work with the dove for sensitive skin? I have a ton of that on hand and would love to use it if possible.

  11. Megan says:

    Would this work with the dove for sensitive skin? I have a ton of that on hand and would love to use it if possible.

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