How To Make Phosphate-Free Liquid Laundry Soap


The decision to make our own laundry detergent was driven by both cost and environmental concerns regarding phosphates in our waters. This recipe addresses both.

By utilizing this recipe you will be taking responsibility for a bit more of your personal space by not adding more toxins to our atmosphere.


one bar of soap …any kind will do…your preference

One cup-Arm and Hammer washing soda…………there are surely other brands…this is just what I used

half cup of Borax…..the only one I could get was 20 mule team

about 3 gallons of water


You will need a container to heat the water in and actually make the detergent. As long as it holds at least 3 gallons of water it will do. A way of making the soap into small pieces so that it dissolves easier……I use a cheese gratergrater which works quite nicely. For the finished product I usually pour the detergent back into any old containers that originally held liquid detergent sold in grocery stores as they often have a measuring unit built into the lid which comes in handy when figuring out how much detergent to use.

Start out by bringing about a gallon of the water to a boil. Grate the soap with a cheese grater and then add it to the hot water and stir until it dissolves.

Turn down the heat to a simmer and add the rest of the water.

Toss in the washing soda and the borax and stir to make sure its all mixed up well.

At this point you can take it off the heat and let it sit for 24 hours, preferably covered.

It will thicken as it cools and by the time 24 hours is up it will probably be a gelatinous goo. Give it a good stir and it is ready to use!

Now don’t be thinking that this is a plan “B” detergent. Not at all. In fact I did several tests to see how it stood up to the popular store bought brands and it was every bit as good a performer.

20Mule Teamarm and hammer

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