on to the laundry

Laundry soap is so darn expensive and takes up a lot of space if you’re trying to store it long term especially if you are like us and do anywhere from 8 to 10 loads of laundry a week.  Making our own laundry soap seemed like a good alternative for us and with about a bazillion tutorials out there, I figured it should be easy enough.  Things are rarely as easy as you think they should be.  I tried a bunch of recipes — powdered soaps that never really dissolved, and liquid ones that dissolved easily, but you had to use so much of it that I ended up having to make laundry soap once a week.  Who wants to spend time making laundry soap that often? 

Thanks to Suzanne over at Chickens in the Road, I think I’ve finally found a winner.  I just finished making my second batch.  My first batch lasted about six weeks, maybe longer, I didn’t really keep track.  My clothes are clean (full disclosure — I used oxyclean with my whites and sometimes with my jeans.  Life on a little wannabe farm can be DIRTY and I think any detergent would need a little extra help) and they smell fresh.  I’m not really one for additional scents on my clothes although you can add essential oils to this recipe if you want to.  Of all the recipes I’ve used, this one is slightly more time consuming, but the results are worth it.  Let’s get started. 


1/2 bar of Zote laundry soap

1 cup Borax

1/2 cup Washing Soda

1/2 cup Baking Soda

I found all the ingredients at Walmart (I know — I can’t stand Walmart, but that’s the only place other than online that I can find these things.  Boo.  When you go to buy them, you may want to buy several bars of Zote as you can make a ton of batches with a single box of Borax and Washing Soda (make sure you get Washing Soda found in the laundry aisle).

Grate your Zote soap.


In a pot large enough to hold around 12 cups, heat (not boil) 6 cups of water on the stove.  Add your grated soap.  Give it a good stir until the soap is completely dissolved.  It takes a few minutes. 


Remove from the heat and add the Borax, and washing and baking sodas stirring until they too are dissolved.  Add three more cups of hot (from the tap is fine) water. 


At this point, I like to use my immersion blender to mix it up.  As with other liquid recipes, the soap starts to congeal and you’re left with a bunch of jelly soap at the top half of your container and soapy water on the bottom half. 


I let it sit and cool off a little and then mix it again before moving it into a plastic storage container.  You can’t really pour this stuff so I wouldn’t recommend putting it in an old laundry soap container.  I used an old whey protein powder bucket. 


After about an hour, I give it another mix.  I let it sit for a day and if it needs it, give it one final mix and then I’m done.  I use about 1/4 cup for each load (we have a high capacity machine), and as I said, everything comes out clean and fresh.  Hope this works for you.


3 thoughts on “on to the laundry

  1. Mom and I had a bit of laugh over you having to wash between 8 and 10 loads of laundry each week. We generally wash 28-35 loads of laundry per week. We couldn’t make it without our five-gallon bucket of homemade laundry soap!!

  2. Okay you “make everything from scratch” wonderful person. I love Tide. I will always love Tide. AND we generate about 2 and 1/2 loads per week even on our farm. AND WalMart has Tide, too. Love you!

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