Make your own laundry soap for 4 cents a load!

Make your own laundry soap for for 4 cents a load!

There is certainly nothing new with the idea behind today’s post.  If you look on Pinterest, there are a zillion and one posts about making your own laundry soap.  I’ll give you the quick rundown on how I do mine, and then my opinions on it after using it for over two years.

First of all, I thought about making my own laundry detergent for a long time before I ever actually did it.  I guess I was scared to take the plunge or something.  In retrospect, I am not really sure what “plunge” I was scared about.  I mean, it takes all of 5 minutes to do, if I didn’t like how it worked, it is not like I couldn’t just go back to using the detergent I usually did.  Not only that, the ingredients required are so inexpensive and great to have on hand for other cleaning uses anyway.  So, if you have thought about it, but have been on the fence, I say, “what’s to lose?”


There are a lot of recipes out there.  Since my entire goal of making my own detergent was to save money, I wanted the simplest recipe out there.  Fels Naptha is a very famous soap to use to make your own detergent, but Zote is twice as much soap for the same price.  At my Wal-Mart, one bar of Zote is $1.00, and one bar of Zote will make one batch of detergent, enough for about 40 loads.

There is a pink Zote and a white Zote.  I have no idea what the difference is between the two.  I have used them both and they seem exactly the same to me, but I figure there has got to be some sort of difference, aside from the color, but I haven’t figured it out!

Cut up the soap into smaller pieces so that it will go through your food processor smoothly.

cut soap

For one bar of Zote (or two bars of Fels Naptha), add one cup of Super Washing Soda (not baking soda) and one cup of Borax.

Run it through your food processor until it is little granules.  I recommend only doing one recipe at a time in your processor to not overload it.  Making your own detergent without a food processor would be a total pain.  I guess you could grate the soap, but that sounds really tedious!

Pour the finished soap into a container.  I use an old ice cream bucket.  This is a 5 quart bucket and I can just barely get four recipes into it.  I use a two tablespoon scoop to measure out my detergent.  Yes, I really only use two tablespoons per load!


Here is the low-down on my experience using homemade detergent:

It is cheap.  With one box of borax (~$3.50) and one box of Super Washing Soda (~$3.50) and 8 bars of Zote (~$8.00), I get 8 recipes of soap.  Each recipe lasts me about a month, and I typically wash ten loads of laundry a week, meaning that my laundry soap costs me $15 for 8 months, or less than $2 a month (4 cents a load)

For a while I tracked my usage to get an idea of what it really cost me.


It is not better than other brands.  This detergent will not work better than the store bought brands. Tide is probably better than this homemade detergent, but I wasn’t buying Tide before because it is so expensive. However, this detergent works as well as most brands.  I still need to pretreat stains, and I also use bleach and Oxi-clean on some loads that need it.

Your clothes will have no smell.  This is either good or bad depending on your perspective.

It doesn’t bother my sensitive skin.  My skin is really sensitive and it seems it is only getting more sensitive as I get older.  This detergent doesn’t bother my skin at all.  (sometimes Oxi-clean bothers my skin).

I hope this helps you if you were deciding to try homemade detergent.  If you have any questions I haven’t answered, leave it in the comments section and I will do my best to answer it.


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