Home-made Laundry Detergent- at .005 cents per load


When my sister-in-law told me she was making her own homemade laundry soap, more than 2 years ago- I was a skeptic.  I just didn’t think it could possibly clean as well as the store bought stuff, AND she had it in this giant 5 gallon bucket, which she had to stir with a spoon before measuring out her soap- and the soap looked GROSS!

But I like things that save me money, so I thought I would give it a try.  I started with this recipe here and wasn’t totally sold.  I felt like my clothes had a greasy film on them, and my whites looked dingy.  So I shopped around for a different kind of soap to put in the powder and fell in LOVE with Zote Soap.  Its great as a stain stick, I just keep a bar on my counter and rub it on various stains and it gets them out great!  But I really fell in love when I added it to my detergent recipe


You can pick Zote up for a buck at Walmart, or like .85 cents at Big Lots occasionally- the amazon link is really just so you can read about it, but if you can’t find it in your area, or live in the country, this still isn’t a bad deal compared to the price of laundry detergent.  Especially considering in the recipe I use, I only use 1/8th of a bar of Zote, and it lasts me about a month which is a LOT of laundry for our family of 7.

Then for awhile I got really busy moving, and selling my house etc, and I didn’t have time to grate up laundry soap and process it, so I started looking for a quicker method and found this recipe here on One Good Thing By Jillie (love her site by the way).  The only problem I have is that the measurements aren’t really precise and it bugs me to not know exactly how much water to put in.  (Just fill to the top with cold water isn’t really enough information for me) PLUS this can get really really sudsy really really fast.  I also usually mixed it up in my old Arm and Hammer Container which was opaque, so I had no idea that it separated until I put it in a gallon jar. That I wasn’t really getting the full value of my detergent since most of the dawn went into the first few loads I did.

But you know what?  It gets my clothes clean!  And without the soapy residue I was getting from the Fels Naptha recipe.

So I decided to try a liquid pink Zote Soap version too.  I think its my favorite so far! Most of the recipes you find on the internet are for HUGE quantities, and I hate that so I spent a lot of time a few minutes figuring out the math.  And I love the results!

So without further Adieu, my SUPER concentrated Pink Laundry Magic


1/8 bar of Zote Soap (just cut it into 4ths and then cut one of those into 1/2)

1/4 cup Borax

1/4 cup Washing soda (and yes, it does need to be washing soda,  not baking soda)

1/2 Gallon of Water


Here are all your ingredients!


If you shred the zote first then you literally just put all the ingredients in a pot with a quart of water, and bring to a boil.  (I said if, because you can just dump the piece in and it WILL melt, but it will take WAY longer than just shredding the zote, which takes like 2 minutes)


Boil for 5 minutes and pour into a 1/2 gallon container- then fill the rest of the way with cold very cold…like use some ice…water- leaving a little space at the top.  Put a lid on it and shake it gently till it mixes well, then let it sit until it gels.  This should take about 1/2 hour or so.  You will be surprised at how thick it actually gets!  At this point shake it like crazy to get it mixed well- some people put theirs on a blender and whip it, but I don’t have a blender like that, so I skip this step!


See how it holds the shape of the bottom of the jar?

Then to use in your laundry just use 2 TBSPs per load.  Thats it. If your load is heavily soiled you can always add a bit more, but most of the time you won’t need it. I don’t like to just drop the gel in there, so I usually take a cup and put the 2 TBSP into it and then fill the rest of the way with the water filling the washer, stir it a bit with an old spoon I keep in there just for this purpose and then dump in the water.


Works great!The dawn method on One Good Thing By Jillie, may be something you want to try as well.  I honestly like the results equally well in how my clothes come out- and some people can’t stand the smell of ZOTE (although I have been told the citronella type scent keeps mosquitos away…Ill get back to you on the effectiveness of that LOL)

Let me know what you think if you try it!  Also if you don’t want to mix it up each time you do a load,  you can always dilute half of the detergent in a larger gallon container and just use more of it.  So if you were going to mix up a gallon of it, you would use 1/4 cup of detergent, instead of 2 TBSP.




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Tabitha Hall - I have been looking for an easy liquid diy laundry soap recipe. Will have to buy ingredients and try next pay check. Thanks for sharing 🙂May 2, 2014 – 3:10 pm

Things I’ve stopped buying…and how I DIY | Everyday Creative - […] I’m sure you have seen many pins, and posts about homemade laundry detergent, and wondered…really? Can that really work? The short answer is YES! YES IT DOES!  I have tried several different recipes, and come up with a few choices that really do clean my clothes for PENNIES, and are better for the environment, my washing machine, AND my clothes don’t wear out as fast.  I also love that I know exactly what is going into my washer and therefore touching my children’s skin.  You can read about my favorite recipe HERE. […]April 24, 2014 – 2:04 am

Kami Green - I can’t wait to try this! I love DIY stuff!!!April 21, 2014 – 8:46 pm

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