Thursday, April 2, 2009

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

Sandra's post reminded me that I had bought a bar of ZOTE soap on clearance at Target a few weeks back and forgot that I had it. My reason to buy it was that I wanted to try my hand at making homemade laundry detergent. After reading her post, I made my mind up that I was going to give it a try. After all I only have clean clothes to gain from this experiment. If it cleans well, then I have a low cost winner on my hands. The process was super easy and only took about 10 minutes to do. So that in itself made this fun.

The recipe I used came from One Acre Homestead. She actually used 1/2 a bar of Zote and 2 cups each of the washing soda and borax. I decided to double it and use the entire bar of Zote. So my measurements reflect this change.

How much did this end up costing to make?
Zote...$.48 cents
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda...$2.99

Now let's just say I get 40 loads out of this one batch, then it costs me around $.18 cents a load to wash. And the price will decrease the more loads I am able to actually get out of the batch (which by the looks of it I will certainly be able to get more than 40 loads out this one batch.) So this will end up saving us more money in the long run. I also use cold water instead of hot to wash with, in turn saving more money on top of it. That's what I call real savings.

Thank you Sandra & One Acre Homestead for giving me the gumption to do this.

Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 bar ZOTE soap
4 c. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
4 c. Borax

Cut ZOTE into large chunks.

Then using the grating blade of the food processor, grate soap.

Remove grated soap pieces from processor bowl. Change out grating blade to the chopping blade. Return soap shreds to the processor and pulse until bits are finely chopped.

Add in washing soap and borax, 2 cups at a time and process to mix well.

Remove from processor bowl and store soap in an airtight container. (I used an old jar that I already had at home, so this didn't cost anything extra. The size was just right too.)

To use: For lightly soiled laundry, use 1 Tblsp. of detergent per wash load. For heavily soiled laundry, use 2 Tblsp. of detergent per wash load. If you have an old coffee scoop this works great.

Now I'm off to do a load of laundry. I'll let you know what the results are after a bit.

P.S. We had a dear friend stop by this evening and she was very excited about the homemade detergent. She took a sample home with her to try it for herself. So once I see her again this week, I'll get her candid feedback for you. I can say this though...we all love the aroma of it. Even Hubby said it smelled nice.

Click HERE for printable recipe


Carrie of Farming On Faith said...

I have been making my own Laundry Soap for a while. My recipe is a bit different but I love it. I make 5 gallons for $2.50.

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

Do tell...what is your recipe? 5 gallons for $2.50 is a steal.

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

For those that are is Carrie's link to her super thrifty detergent.

Sandra said...

Now I really want to try, I'm just missing the Arm and Hammer, I forgot to get it at the grocery store.

I'll got take a look at Carrie's link too.

Ronda said...

Mornin' sweetie,
I have been using the liquid "gel" version of this recipe for over 3 years now. I LOVE IT!!
Oh my goodness, this is so cheap, and such a fantastic laundry detergent! My hubby's work clothes really get grungy (he is an electrician, in the maintanence department of his plant)and this stuff get's his clothes really clean.!!

Now I do also use in every load of laundry, a "cheap" oxy clean version (from $ General, huge bucket for $5 "sun" brand), and I also put 1/2 of a cup of lemon ammonia in every load of laundry that I do (except when using a lil bleach in my whites). My whites are really white, and doing my laundry costs near to nothing to get it done. I even use white vinegar instead of regular fabric softener, in the rinse cycle. The vinegar kills bacteria, freshens the clothing, and removes "ALL" soap residues that can and will build up in clothing. And "no" you can not smell any of the vinegar after the laundry is all done. And when you hang clothing out on the line to dry.....soft and fresh.

I just bet you will love your Zote detergent. I have well water with a lil iron in it, so I have to use the liquid "gel" version, and I love it. When I make it, I add essential lavander oil to it as I start combining everything into my 5 gallon bucket. It smells lovely too.

Hope you enjoy your detergent. Give some thought to trying the ammonia and vinegar suggestions also. The lemon ammonia helps stretch your detergent and helps remove grease, deoderant stains, scum, and any kind of protein stains (i.e. grass, blood, sweat etc) from the clothing.

Love & Prayers,

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

So Ronda,
How do you make your gel detergent? I had used the store bought gel detergent and love the fact that it dissolves well in cold water washes. So your version interest me. Thanks for all the tips. In fact I had used the vinegar tip before but never the ammonia. I guess I always had that preconceived notion that things would come out smelling bad if it were used. But I'll have to try it. Thanks for letting me in on this secret tip.

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Girl, I made this a couple of weeks ago and just love it. My clothes haven't been this white and sweet smelling in years.
Thanks for the tip.

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...


I am so glad you are enjoying it. Thanks for sharing your review.

~Blessings & Warm Cozy Wishes

Mrs.Dixon said...

I tried the basis of this recipe, but I had to use Ivory soap instead because the store I was at didn't have Zote. I also made a substitution of some baking soad in place of the washing sooad because I was short on that too, talk about unprepared that day! lol But I have to say I love it! The clothes are sooo soft and smell great so I'm glad that it worked out that way.