Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been reading on different blogs and the internet about making homemade laundry detergent. Back in May I finally worked up the courage to mix up a batch.
I made the detergent and have been using it since May and have been extremely satisfied with it's performance. Our clothes are coming clean just fine. I estimate this recipe cost about $2.00-$3.00 to put together.

There are several ways of making detergent. Some make a dry mix and others a liquid detergent. I decided to go with the liquid.

These are the three ingredients used to make it. I found Zote soap at a smaller grocery store in our area. I could not find it at the big chains. Also found the Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda there also. Remember Washing Soda not Baking Soda.
The Recipe:

1 Bar of Zote Soap (some use Fels-Naptha)

2 Cups of Borax

2 Cups of Arm & Hammer SUPER WASHING SODA

Pot with lid

Clean 5 gallon Bucket

Use a grater and grate the entire bar of soap.

Place the grated soap in a large pot with a lid. Pour in enough warm water to completely cover the soap. Bring heat to medium and completely melt the soap. Stirring as it melts.

In your bucket (I actually used a 4 gallon bucket that my pool chemicals come in. It has a lid)
add the washing soda and the Borax and SLOWLY fill with hot water. Stirring continuously to dissolve. NOTE: Leave enough room in the bucket to add the soap later.

Add the soap and continue to stir until all is well mixed. You may need to come back and stir every hour or so to keep it from separating.
The consistency is like a jello. I keep mine in the bucket I mixed it in, but after a couple of days and the mixture completely cools you can re-package if you'd like.

I have a front loading washer and use about 3/4 cup of the detergent. If you have a top -loader I would put the detergent in and let the water help to dissolve it before adding the clothes.
Using 3/4 - 1 cup of the detergent.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. It was a messy process to put together, but I'm happy with it and will continue to make this as I run low in the future.
Great money saver.


  1. Thanks for posting this, Joy. I have made 2 batches in the past but ran out recently and have not redone it. Your post is a much needed reminder and kick in the seat of the pants. I think this time I am going to try the dry powder mix and see how it works. When I get around to it I'll post that "recipe".

  2. Hi Joy,
    I'm going to have to try this recipe. I did a similar one using grated Ivory soap, I wasn't real impressed with the results. Maybe just needs some tweaking.

  3. I would not use Ivory Soap. Ivory is not really for clothes.
    The Zote soap is made for handwashing clothes probably on a scrub board.

    It is used a lot in Mexico. If you have a grocery store that
    caters to our neighbors south of the border you will more than
    likely find it in there.

  4. I bought some zote at wlmart last year...$.98 cents! I just have not gotten around to makin any more detergent...:o)

  5. Now, that comes in handy. Thanks for the receipe and tips. Blessings.

  6. Thank you for this recipe! I think I'm ready to take the homemade plunge too:)