Thursday, June 16, 2016

Make Your Own Powdered Laundry Detergent

I have been making my own laundry detergent for a long time.  When I first started it was a process that involved grating Fels Naptha soap and making gallons of liquid detergent.  Next I switched to pink Zote soap which I tried using several different ways trying to come up with the easiest method.  They all worked great for cleaning clothes, but took more time than most people have.  If the Zote wasn't grated into a fine powder, it would sometimes leave a glob on a piece of clothing.  I have blogged about several of these methods, but my last attempt has been by far the easiest.  It is mostly dump all the dry ingredients together and make sure they are mixed.  It makes a very large batch which lasts a long time.

Laundry Detergent


1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax– $4

1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda– $4

1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean– $3

2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap– I like the pink for the scent but the white is fine. You can also use Fels Naptha or Castile soap)-$2

1 (4 lb) Box Baking Soda– Found in the cooking aisle-$1.50

4 cups of Epsom Salt-<$2

30-40 drops of Essential oils of your choice (I used grapefruit, lime and lemon)


First grate the Zote soap.  This is the only tricky part.  If you use Fels Naptha it is quite dry and grates easily.  Zote is a softer soap and clogs up the grater.  I googled it and found if you cut the Zote into pieces and put them on a microwave safe dinner plate for 2-4 minutes, it dries the soap out.  It puffs up and when it is cool, it crumbles easily.  I did it for about 4 minutes, watching it very carefully.  It took longer because my pieces were a little large. To crumble it, just put the cooled pieces in a food processor/blender.  It made a fine powder which I added to the other ingredients.

The Zote soap pieces look like this after they are microwaved.

Next mix all ingredients together in a large bucket.  I used a big 5 gallon bucket and it filled it about 1/2 full.

Use 2 -4 Tablespoons per laundry load.

This detergent dissolves completely even in the little detergent drawer.  The clothes get very clean and smell wonderful.  I am going to toss all my other detergent recipes and make this from now on.  It is so easy and inexpensive to make.  My cost is around $16 for the entire batch.

By adding the epsom salt you won't need any fabric softener either.  The clothes are very soft.  I used to make my own dryer sheets.  I cut reusable towels to fit my container.  Then I mixed a bottle of cheap hair conditioner, 1 1/2 cups white vinegar and 3 cups of water together.  I poured the solution over the towels.  I used one per dryer load and when I took out the dry laundry, I put the dry sheet on the bottom of the pile to absorb more liquid.  It worked great, but I don't even use them anymore.  My clothes are soft without it.