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How to make the BEST homemade laundry soap | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton


Laundry.  Ohhhh Laundry. It’s one of those things… it doesn’t matter how fast you clean it… it just keeps coming back.

Like Ground Hog day.


Laundry has nasty laundry sex; multiplies and spawns dirty laundry babies.  Constantly.

It has dirty, unprotected laundry sex with oodles of grime and dirt.   Gross.


How to make the BEST homemade laundry soap | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton


Laundry causes good people to drop bad f-bombs {under their breath.} Or out loud.  Both work for me.  How about you?

When laundry starts to overflow out of the basket ~ all hell can break loose.

That…my friends, is an official laundry mountain.  Welcome to my world.  And I want out.


For the record… I want a glass of wine on the way out.  Because I like to be entertained while running away from laundry.


How to make the BEST homemade laundry soap | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton


When laundry calls my name… and I want to call back to it:  efffffff OFF 

I have better things to do.  Like eat milk duds.

Laundry is boring.  Blah blah blah boring, don’tcha think?

Until now.

There is only one advantage to doing laundry.

The money in the pockets.


I have four kids, a dog, a hubby (aka another kid) and three barn cats that think they rule the treehouse.  Have you ever tried to tell a cat what to do?   It doesn’t work.

REAL life :


How to make the BEST homemade laundry soap | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton


I normally find rocks, twigs, frogs, bubble gum and iPods in the laundry.  Yes.  I wash those too.  Like an idiot.

Let’s get to the money part.  That’s the best part.

Pay attention now.  This is important.   It is important for every soul on earth to have a stash of cash.  Do I need to scream those words or bang on my computer keys with CAPS LOCK?  Don’t make me do the nasty caps lock.


Rainy day cash is where it's at.

Rainy day cash = splurge money.

Splurge money = anything you wouldn’t normally buy.  Like ever.  Until now.


With a stash, the impossible becomes possible.


Make a goal.  A money goal. What do you want to do or buy ?  Pick something that you would never ever never…Taylor Swift never ever never ….buy or do.

Visualize it.

Your laundry money is going to make it happen for you.

And saving money by making homemade laundry soap is going to get you one step closer to that goal.

You’re welcome.


How to make the BEST homemade laundry soap | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton


How do I do it?

For me…. the impossible became possible with a road trip to Robert De Niro’s Greenwich Hotel in TriBeCa, NYC.

There is no way on Gawds green earth that I could typically afford to stay at the Greenwich.  But now with laundry money I can do it.  I have traveled to the Greenwich and just chilled like a freak rock star.

Staying at the Greenwich presents a challenge for me.  The challenge of : pretend to be normal and not jump up and down in idiotic glee when you see a famous face.

It takes massive effort on my part to pretend I’m calm, cool and collected.  Massive.

So I just sit in the Greenwich hotel lounge and sip Pinot and try to pretend that when Russell Crowe walks by… it’s all good.

Inside voice : Don’t gulp your wine.  Don’t gulp.  Don’t.  Uh-hhooo.   Too late.


#DIY Homemade laundry soap #recipe ! One that smells like Robert De Niro. LOL. https://lynneknowlton.com/homemade-laundry-soap/

Dear Pinot Noir, you are a dim wit.  Everything is your fault.


Are you wondering what Pinot Noir has to do with making homemade laundry soap?  Me too.


The Greenwich hotel carries a brand of soap, shampoo and candles made by Red Flower.


The red flower company has a tag line of :

A lust for life, a source of potent radiance and a deep belief in nature.


How to make the BEST homemade laundry soap | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton


Any company with a tag line like that is a friend of mine.  Red Flower is officially my bud.  Okay, they have no idea who I am… but I am in love with them.


Hellooooo….that soap smells like Heaven on earth.  Homemade laundry soap NEEDS to smell like that!!   So, of course, I steal from the hotel room buy some when I am in NYC.  I also eat every single candy in the room.  I return home looking like a fat kid in a candy store with muffin top….. but my hair and body smell good.

Homemade Laundry Soap.

Geesh, Lynne.



#DIY Homemade laundry soap #recipe ! One that smells like Robert De Niro. LOL. https://lynneknowlton.com/homemade-laundry-soap/

Homemade Laundry Soap Recipe :


4 cups Borax

4 cups Super Washing Soda (made by Arm & Hammer)

4 cups oxiclean (optional & great for extra cleaning power)

1 container Downy unstopables (optional for extra scent)

1-2 bars of Fels Naptha or grated soap.   You can use any soap that turns your crank.

Store in sealed container.

Use 2 tablespoons per load. (I totally cheat and use more).


I have no idea how much the cost is per load, but it is inexpensive.  Definitely value priced.


Cheap laundry soap.

Very inexpensive laundry soap.

Cheap cheap. Value priced.  Call it what you want.  You will be shocked at how inexpensive it is.

This laundry soap recipe will almost make you want to do laundry.  Uhm.  I said almost.  Don’t get too carried away.


#DIY Homemade laundry soap #recipe ! One that smells like Robert De Niro. LOL. https://lynneknowlton.com/homemade-laundry-soap/

My scientific official review of handmade laundry soap :

*   I lied about the scientific part.  I didn’t even look at the labels/ingredients.  These ingredients could have exploded when mixed together.  Like I cared.  Bye bye laundry.

*   The grated bar of soap is divine and fine, but if you really want a great kick of smell in your laundry, Downy unstopables sure make it smell YUM.

* I had never even heard of Fels Naptha before. What the heck is that stuff?  Some people just use ivory soap as an alternative.


How to make the BEST homemade laundry soap | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton


Now go forth and conquer that laundry pile.

Life is so exciting.   And clean.  And sexy.

Just the way we like it.



Does this mean we are easy, cheap and sexy?

Yes, that makes YOU a floozy.



#DIY Homemade laundry soap #recipe ! One that smells like Robert De Niro. LOL. https://lynneknowlton.com/homemade-laundry-soap/


In case you missed it, Design Mom interviewed me about our home and family.  I was sober for that one.  Imagine that?!  Waaahierd.  I know.  The truth is… I got right down to the nitty gritty of raw life & what I have learned along the way.  Want to read it?  Here you go: Living with Kids by Lynne Knowlton.

Like this post? Will you share with your pals on Facebook and Pinterest? I’ll kiss you.  Come and visit in cyberspace for a while.  Just don’t bring your dirty bag of laundry.

#DIY Homemade laundry soap #recipe ! One that smells like Robert De Niro. LOL. https://lynneknowlton.com/homemade-laundry-soap/

That cowgirl looks like Ree from Pioneer Woman. LOVE THAT !!


Would you like to have awesomeness delivered to your email box each week?  I blog sort of once a week.  I can’t dream anything up more often than that.  Not without hard liquor anyway.

I goof off in instagram too. It sure beats doing laundry.  Thank goodness instagram doesn’t have a breathalyzer filter.

Here you go…don’t be afraid to enter your email addy.   I will hold your hand.  You will be fine with your clean clothes and smelling like a hawt actor.  Not mentioning names.  Bob.

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  1. Penny says:

    Hey Lynne,

    Ordered and got myself some Di Nero soap. It came in three bars, did you use all three and which scent of unstoppables did you use with? Thankyou Darlin’ for the recipe for your laundry ” crack”

  2. Great article! I usually don`t put oxiclean. It is really optional. In addition you could add several drops essential oil. It doesn`t matter what kind of essential oil you are going to use. It will make your soap smell fantastic! Best regards!

  3. I have made the laundry soap and other than grating the fels naptha(yes it is tiring) I love it.

    NOW I have many sexy doors and all of our doors in our new container house(we are building a home with 8 shipping containers in southern Maine…coolest house ever) will be made with your diy door track hardware! One question…is there anything between the wood wheels that it tracks on (a washer for example).

    • Wow Dale !!!

      Making a home with shipping containers sounds ahhhhmazeballs !!!

      Yes, there is a washer thingy. LOL. Do you like that description ?

      I have had so many people ask me about the wheels, I am having some made and hope to sell them on the bloggy.

      I will be doing a blog post about it and you can see how the wheels look in the blog post too.

      Until then.. I will send you a photo to your email right now.

      Cheers !

  4. […] We do a lot of laundry around here.  Best part…. the clothes line.  That smell.  You know the smell.  It is like heaven and earth just jammed together and created an orgasmic scent.  Mother. Nature. Genius.  I created laundry soap with a bit of Robert DeNiro. The kooky story about DIY laundry soap recipe is here. […]

  5. Sandy says:

    OMG! Who are you? You must have magical powers – you had me laughing with the hanging door blog, crying over Oliver and smiling and crying with Cancer & Roots shoot! I always say the Universe sends you what you need – when you are ready. I had to live a lifetime to be able to be ready for and appreciate you. You are a wonderful writer, an Marketing “Evil” Genius, with a loving, generous spirit. I know you, and I love you (and I don’t even say that to my husband!) Imagine me holding my cowardly tail whispering “please be real, please be real”., because my cynical, new York, corrupt mind thinks – she is a fat lady living in a basement with 20 cats…she can’t be real – this must be her avatar!

    Please be real, please be real, please be real – keep up the good work (I don’t care if you are fat and your basement is filled with cats!) I love cats and I love your “Avatar Lynne”

  6. […] you happen to read Lynne Knowlton’s post on DIY laundry detergent? I was so intrigued by this, especially because you can create your own custom scent by grating a […]

  7. Jonee Nations says:

    Girl! I am sitting here in Mississippi at 4:00 pm about to crack open a bottle and read every post you have ever written. (Till the kids fall out on the floor screaming feed us supper). I have a pile of laundry lining my hall (5 kids 1 husband)
    Love your blog!!!

    • Thank you Jonee for making my day !!!! That is soooo epic that you lurve my bloggy. Cheers to you and I hope you did eventually get to that laundry in the hall. I feel your laundry pain sista 🙂

      Cheers !

      Lynne xx

  8. […] the kitchen are white and washable.   White is easier to clean than you think.  I use my homemade {delish} laundry soap and I use fantastic spray bleach for stains.  I discovered that stuff one time when I missed my […]

  9. Courtney says:

    OK, I bought the best smelling soap EVER…. just need to get the rest of the ingreds to whip up a batch of this amazing stuff- excited!!! yay. Will report back. xx

  10. […] the record, you should know that I just did a full day of camp laundry today.  I was armed with a clothes peg on my nose and I only dry heaved three times.  The smell […]

  11. Julie says:

    But what is the name of the fantastic soap?

    • Ohhhh I am not sure of the exact name of the soap.. but you can buy it at Red Flower. The soaps all come in different colours for each scent… so Red Flower will be able to tell you the exact scent of Mr. De Niro. LOL 🙂

      P.S. I think it may be called ‘Ocean.’


  12. Rho says:

    Can this soap be used with front-loading, ‘high-efficiency’ machines? Looks great!

  13. Rose says:

    Huh! just mail me my soap…thx

  14. Dominique says:

    Hi Lynn, this comment has nothing to do with laundry soap- but hey- have you ever heard of Finca Bellavista http://www.fincabellavista.com/ tree house living community!!!! My hubby and I want to go sometime in the near future…Enjoy the website!!! (I have never been to Finca and have nothing to gain from sharing this link LOL, I just think it’s something you ‘d enjoy.

    Still love your site…and I just painted my office “yam” and “lemon breeze”- No white here…

    • Hey Dominique
      It’s so cool that you sent me the link on the treehouse hotels. Funny enough, another friend sent me the link a few weeks ago. It looks so cool !
      I wrote to them, but they didn’t reply. Maybe they are playing with monkeys in the tree houses 🙂

      PS. “Yam” and “lemon Breeze” sound DIVINE !! I still use colours in some rooms of our house. Now I am tempted to YAM it up!! xx

  15. lisa thomson says:

    Oh, what fun you have made of laundry! Thanks for this recipe…oh Pinot…don’t stop the Pinot…ever! Lynn, I absolutely loved your interview on Design Mom. It was so inspiring. You are amazeballs-I stole that from you. Please stop by my facebook ‘book’ page and answer the wine question 🙂 . https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Great-Escape-A-Girls-Guide-to-Leaving-a-Marriage/218768681522446 ‘Wine and a good concealer”. I will kiss you. Please let me know your favorite all time bottle of cheap wine! Love ya.. Now I have to pin your pic’s.

    • Hi Lisa !
      It is soooo cool that you have a book for women! LOVE. Was it a huge endeavour to write and promote? I saw on instagram that it is selling like hotcakes 🙂 CONGRATS!!!

      • lisa thomson says:

        thanks Lynne. Yes, it was quite the endeavor but I’m very proud of it and hope I am helping women. It was also very rewarding at the same time. It’s so fun to know you!

  16. Anita says:

    Okay, you’ve given me a picture and a name and I still don’t know who the eff Scott Grimes is – so don’t feel bad. Hold the phone, I just Googled Scott Grimes. Ohhhhhhh – that Scott Grimes! Band of Brothers and ER dude. Thank god for the power of the interweb.

    • Ha ! You can say that again Anita!!
      The interweb is right up there with texting and … voicemail is JAIL!! hahaha…
      Scott Grimes did have a hat on. And my vision was blurred by alcohol. I have officially used every excuse in the book for my stupidity.
      Lynne xx

  17. Is it wrong that I kinda want to EAT that laundry soap?

    Curiously yours,

    • Linda,
      You crack me up. Your comment is BLANK. Does that mean that you are speechless? LOL. xxoo

      • Linda says:

        I commented a smiley face emoji… And an lol. I don’t know why it didn’t post????? I’m speechless now !!! Enjoying my wine…

        • Linda says:

          And now I know that emoji faces don’t show up

          • That’s a great test Linda! I haven’t tried the emoji faces yet in the comment section. You taught me something new today. 🙂 🙂 😉 ;0

            I do know if I type this 🙂 then it shows up as an emoji.

            Like magic. A magic happy face.

            Just like when we drink wine 🙂 xx

  18. I’m trying to write an intelligent witty comment but I can’t stop laughing this entry long enough to focus. I’ve done that. Sat next to a famous musician once and I had no idea who he was while my friends looking on were flipping out and I was like what is wrong with you people…

  19. Elizabeth says:

    I have made this. I think it works – meaning, that I don’t do a before and after inspection of each and every bbq stained tshirt of mine, that comes out of the washer, goes into the dryer, gets folded and eventually put away.

    The only thing I have a problem with is the “Use 2 tablespoons per load.” instruction. Come on ….. really? It’s a mental thing. I just can’t bring myself to add only two tablespoons. It just doesn’t “look enough” to clean well LOL

    • Hi Elizabeth

      Good point ! I adjusted to blog post to say exactly that. I actually use the scoop from the Oxiclean container. Not sure how much that is, but it’s probably more than 2 Tbsp.

      I do that with pretty much anything. Even liquid laundry soap. Ultra concentrated wigs me out. I still go over the line and use more.

      It is all in our heads 🙂

      Next thing you know… I will start to go overboard with the toothpaste 🙂

      LOL !
      Lynne xx

  20. Courtney says:

    This sounds amazing. I have a big glass of your “goodbye muffin top” water sitting right next to me I’m hooked). Now I have to try this. Please show it to me when I move in to the tree house. 🙂

    • Isn’t that detox water amazeballs Courtney? It is a total water game changer. Weird how great it tastes!!! It is so fab that you LOVE IT too. We can drink it together for our retreat weekend (and maybe spike it with vodka) haha!

      Treehouse sheets are washed in this homemade soap and hung on the line. That is the best feeling ever, isn’t it? Clothes on the line. Divine. xx

      Can’t wait to see you !!!!!!!!

  21. Michael says:

    What…. Now I know where my pocket cash is disappearing to. It’s the odd $50 that I can’t seem to account for. Know anything about that? Gives me some good incentive to pick up my clothes off the floor and clean out the pockets en route to the laundry bin. Do you think that will ever happen?
    Did you tell everyone how it is that I don’t do laundry? Shrink important clothing items of your wife’s and you get banned from the duty. Guess I end up ‘paying’ for it in other ways ha ha..
    Did I tell you I love that you do the laundry? Especially when you take me on road trips with the cash ‘stash’.

  22. mrsugarbears says:

    Lovely post. I may have to try your fancy smelling laundry soap. I have mountains of laundry right now that I chose to ignore over the holiday. I chose eating, drinking and laying out at the pool over the laundry. My poor family. XOXO

    • Oh how they suffer. ha.haha. Welcome to my world. If the laundry didn’t smell so bad, I would have thrown myself on the mountain pile. 🙂
      Sounds like you had a great fourth of July celebration !! Woot woot !!

  23. Danica says:

    Eeeeepppp do you think this stuff will clean a car mechanic clothes….you should see Branko when he walks in after working on one of his cars….I’m even buying a second washing machine because it’s so disgusting….I will definitely have to try this out because anything with Borax and Oxiclean sounds like it can work magic!

    AND while doing that I better find spare change…you know where that’s going…remember the purse talk! 😉

    Also, that tweet your re-tweet thing is pretty damn cool if Scott Grimes or Robert DiNero ever visits your treehouse you might find me lurking somewhere…just sayin

    D…..for Danica that ryhmes with Pizzzzza

    • Deeee for Danica that rhymes with pizza… Oh how that makes me laugh & I will FOREVER remember how to pronounce your name now. LOL.

      Good point about the second washing machine! I have a friend (one friend… haha), who owns an apple orchard farm & they do just that. The yuck ‘farm smells’ on the clothes, chemicals at times, dirt… grime…. she washes it all in a separate machine.


      Man, I have smart friends. I bet they don’t drink too much Pinot in front of movie stars 🙂 They are smarter than that. I can learn a lot from my friends. LOL.


  24. Janet says:

    I’m not much of a celeb follower – so i will admit I had to google Scott Grimes 😉 I recognized him but I never would have in a hotel bar! So you aren’t alone!
    Do you use this soap recipe in a front loader?

    • Janet !!!

      I agree, I am not much of a celeb follower either, but absolutely recognize Scott from soooo many movies. {NOW} He had a hat on that night, and he was singing at his table…so I met him out of context. LOL. Like …. at a table instead of on a movie screen. haha. xox

      He was super duper sweet tho. Loved him.

      Laundry soap… to tell you the truth, I don’t have a front loader so I don’t know. Maybe if I saved my laundry money for a front loader instead of hotel visits…. that might be smart.

      I want to google it now. My guess is that because you would use soooo little, it would be safe in a front loader. Hmmm. Research time 🙂 This requires another cup of java.

      Hugs, xx