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Laundry Soap
October 15, 2008
9:26 am

I have made several batches of the soap. I love it! I made the powder which is what my mom likes, the rest of us like the liquid. I use one whole bar of zote, 1 1/2 cups each of borax and washing soda, not sure how much water the recipe calls for but it makes 6 1/2 gallons! I share it with everyone. It costs less than 3.00 to make that much and I use 1/3 cup per load. I hang my clothes on the line to dry and they are as soft as when they come from the dryer with fabric softner. The smell is clean. No flowery or any scent added. I love it! My sister has 2 little boys and sometimes uses a whole cup per load if their clothes are really bad, you know the little boy sweaty smell. She says it works great. I just bought 5 extra bars of zote at the grocery store the other day at only 1.19 per bar. The boxes of borax and wash soda are less than 3.00 each, and they will make many many batches. So I really think the large liquid batch I make is less than 2.00 per batch now that I kind of calculate it. It is really low sudsing and my friend and sister both use it in their front loading washers and say it works great for them. I am all about saving the money. I have printed hundreds of “make it yourself, cheaper, greener” recipes in the past few months. Started as I need to save money, then it became a challange to find as many things as I can do to save in every way.

October 15, 2008
3:33 pm

So many people I know are switching from Tide after years because of the skin allergies and mostly of the high cost. No one I know has had any reaction to this soap at all.

The zote is a bar soap, it is for laundry but our grocery store has it in with the bath soap, they have no idea what it is. and the washing soda is arm and hammer and is usually right beside the borax. I will get the recipe I use and post it. When I use the whole bar of soap I have to mix it in a 5 gallon bucket and get help pouring. Thats a lot of soap.

October 15, 2008
6:02 pm

Homemade Laundry Detergent

This fills a 200 ounce detergent bottle. Please read all instructions before making.

What you Need:

1/3 Bar ZOTE soap (you can get this on the spanish isle at Dollar General for $1 a bar and you get 3 helpings from it)
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax (you can get this at you local grocer for about $3 in the cleaners isle)
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (this should be near the Borax for about $3)
3 Quarts of boiling water (you will also need 5 more quarts of boiling water)
Big “old” pot



Put 3 quarts of water in the pot and bring to a boil. Grate soap into the water and stir until melted. Add Borax and stir until dissolved and then add the washing soda and stir until dissolved. Cook for about 1 hour until it begins to resemble honey (it will stay pink).

Put 1 quart of boiling water in a 5 gallon bucket and then add the mixture and mix well. Add 4 more quarts of boiling water and mix well.

Let stand for 12 hours before using. Let cool for a couple of hours and then you can use the top of a milk jug for a funnel and fill your detergent bottle. Pour slowly. When it is set it will resemble chicken fat, but don't be concerned, you can put some in a small pot and heat it up slowly on the stove top and bring it back to a liquid. This is what I do because I have a front load washer and it works well for me.

Use 1/2 to 3/4 cup per load.


If you would like to have a scent, just add about 10 drops of any essential oil that you may have.

This is a low sudsing detergent which is great because it helps lengthen the life of your washer.
Also for those who asked, here is the fabric softner recipe I use. PLEASE read all instructions first and follow them carefully.

I got this from the BYC website where I got this recipe and some others, it is someone elses (much smarter than I) calculations. The boxes are about the same prices for me but the zote costs me 1.19 per bar.

“I use Zote soap which is a 14 oz bar. The recipe calls for a 1/3 bar which averages around 4.3 ounces. The bar cost $0.60 per bar. That equals to $0.20 per batch.

Arm & Hammer Washing Soda which is $3.89 for a 55 oz. box. The recipe calls for a 1/2 cup. I calculate the price by the the weight and then multiplied that by the actual measurement needed for a 1/2 cup which is just over 4 oz. And that comes to $0.29 per batch.

Borax which is $3.99 for a 76 oz. box. Used same calculation technique as above and it came to $0.18 per batch.

So with my calculations of .20 + .29 + .18 = $0.67 cents per 2 gallons of detergent.”

October 15, 2008
9:44 pm
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 36
Member Since:
August 22, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I have been making my own laundry soap for some time now. I do it alot like the previous posts. 3 ingredients Ivory soap, Borax and Washing soda (Water if I am making liquid soap) I still like the scented stuff for my sheets. Sometimes I alternate with my own and store bought. It saves money and is easier on the environment. Do you know how long those plastic bottles remain in the landfill! Yuck!~

October 15, 2008
10:43 pm
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 183
Member Since:
August 15, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

For fabric softener – you add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to your final rinse.  I also have a front load washer – just set it for rinse, add the vinegar and walk away.  It makes your clothes soft, wrinkle free, and your towels more absorbant.Smile

My DH works at two different chemical plants, and wants me to start making as much of “our own” stuff as possible.

Several of the recipes from Tipnut say you can use your own soap.  I plan to start fragrancing some of my own soap to use in the laundry.

Most of the recipes call for part of the bar of soap, and only portions of the other two ingredients.  Most batches also make enough for close to/over 50 loads of laundry.  Spreading out the cost over that many loads… would average under a dollar per load (at a high cost for supplies).

Life is an adventure – Enjoy the ride!!!

October 17, 2008
11:25 am
San Diego, CA.
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 81
Member Since:
October 9, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi everyone. I too, have the 3 ingredient formula. I use Borax, Soda Wash, and Fels Naptha bar soap (grated into powder). Fels Naptha is a God send to me. It took car grease out of my husband's jeans like it was nothing. As far as wear and tear on our clothing, they can't compare. Borax, soda wash, and the soaps (if you get a 'good' kind like everyone is mentioning) are natural products. (minerals et cetera). My clothes are cleaner, more fresh, without any perfumey smells, brighter, and whiter since I've changed. I use two tablespoons in each REGULAR load. I pretreat with a solid Fels Naptha bar and a little elbow grease. I bought one of those apothocary jars and put the detergent in it and bought a pretty little metal tablespoon measuring device and voila..I'm all about the coolness.

I've been making my own shampoo, soap, and cosmetics for a very long time. If anyone has any questions on particular recipes let me know. My 10-year-old daughter even makes her own lotion and perfume from scratch. IT's fun, cheaper, and always better for our bodies. (Make fantastic gifts!!)

Wow, do I sound like an infomercial? I promise I'm not selling anything hahaha!

Take care-J

Be thankful!

January 23, 2009
6:52 am
Hart, MI
Forum Posts: 7942
Member Since:
October 17, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I made a batch of laundery soap and have found a cure for the clumping!  When it's cooled and all clumpy, I used my paint mixer on my drill and just beat it all up while still in the big bucket!  That was last night, this morning, it's just like a liquid hand soap, nice & creamy! 

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

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