I have become completely addicted to making home made cleaning products.  There are so many reasons people are attracted to the idea of making their own cleaning products- the ingredients are safe, they know what's going in them, it's fun (at least I think so),  and it saves money.  My favorite reason is they WORK.
I do a lot of laundry.  I have a potty training toddler, and my husband comes home from work covered in dirt and soaked in sweat.  I need a laundry detergent that works really well and I need a lot of it. I've tried a few home made laundry detergent recipes, but wasn't happy until I started making this one. I love this Home Made Laundry Detergent I originally found at onegoodthingbyjillee.com.  I made a batch almost 3 months ago, and I just ran out a couple days ago.  There were just a few things I wanted to do different this time.  Although the detergent worked great, I did not want to use Fels Naptha again as the base soap.  I used the trick of microwaving the soap instead of grating, and it ruined my microwave!  AND THEN, it took the coating off of the bottom of the pot I used.  So, the following is what I did this time around.
You'll need: 1 14 ounce bar Zote Soap 1 cup Borax 1 cup Washing Soda water a cheese grater a large pot 3 one gallon containers a funnel Start by grating your soap.  After my microwave disaster with the Fels Naptha, I didn't want to risk ruining another microwave with laundry soap.   I was dreading this part since I have tried grating other types of soap and it took forever.  Zote is surprisingly easy to grate and it took less than a minute for the whole bar.
Next, add 2 quarts of water to your pot along with the grated soap.  Allow the soap to melt over medium heat, which will take 15 to 20 minutes.  Once the soap is melted, add the Borax and then the Washing Soda.  The Washing Soda will almost instantly make the mixture thicken up.  Allow to cook for about another 5 minutes before removing from heat.  I then allowed my detergent to cool slightly. Using the funnel, I then divided the detergent evenly between the 3 one gallon containers.
Then, add water to a container so that it is half full.  Repeat with the other 2 containers.  Once this is done, each container needs to be shook up really well.  ( This also happens to be a great ab work out.)  I left my detergent alone over night to thicken up. My detergent ended up being almost solid the next morning.  If this happens to you, use a stick to break up the detergent and then get back to shaking the containers to mix everything up.
After the detergent is nicely mixed up, add more water to fill each container.  Make sure to leave enough room in the container so that you can shake the detergent again.  And that's it.  Now you're ready to do some laundry. I use the same amount of this detergent per load as I would with name brand detergents. Switching from Fels Naptha to Zote worked out nicely.   The clothes still came out really clean, plus they smelled good(instead of like nothing with Fels Naptha.) Let me point out that this recipe will make 3 gallons of laundry detergent.  I paid $1.19 for the Zote, $2.99 for a box of 72 oz. Borax, and $2.49 for a box of 55 oz. Washing Soda.  That means that I made 3 gallons of laundry detergent for a total of $1.88.
Also let me point out, that this amount of detergent lasted me almost 3 months, even with the amount of laundry I do.  I'll never use name brand detergent again!

5 comments on “Home Made Laundry Detergent”

    • Hi Angel! I’ve never made that large of a batch, so I can’t say if simply multiplying the recipe times 5 would have the same results. I know that is absolutely no help, so I’m sorry about that!

  1. Hi Jordan,

    Can you add essential oils to the detergent to get different scents? Also, is it safe to put in the soap dispenser or do you put it directly inside the washer tub?


  2. Jordan I have arthritis in my hands and find that you can put the zote soap in a food processor mixed with some of the washing soda and it turns out really great! I just cut the soap up in cubes first. I bought a cheap hamilton beach food processor at walmart that I use only for my detergent. I just use the sharp cutting blade, not the grater and it works really well. Nice powder consistency which dissolves easily in washer! Hope this helps! I see a lot of food processors at Goodwill too!

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