Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thrifty Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent

All around the internet you can find recipes for homemade laundry detergent. I have tried both the  liquid and the powder laundry detergent  and for now I think that I prefer the powder version mainly because it is quick and easy to make and I don't have a big mess to clean up when I get thru! Ok, maybe I'm sloppier  messier  more neatness challenged than some of you (smile) but the powdered version is currently my preference.

I can easily find all of the ingredients that I need to my make my homemade laundry detergent recipe in the laundry aisle at my local Walmart and also I usually don't have a problem finding them at the grocery store.

All you will need to make your own thrifty laundry detergent are three very inexpensive ingredients: Borax Laundry Booster, Arm and Hammer Washing Soda and a bar of soap.  I have used various types of soap ranging from castille soap bars, soaps I have found at the Dollar Store and laundry soap bars in the laundry aisle of the grocery stores so you too can just experiment to see what you like.

So I was out of my laundry detergent. While in the laundry section of Walmart buying my supplies I decided this nerdy girly girl (don't hate me) needed some PINK soap and picked up Japon ZOTE Laundry Soap.

I have also  used a brand called Fels Naptha Laundry Soap Bar. Cost wise they were about the same price, currently at $.97 per bar.  But the Zote bar is a LARGE bar of soap. I also found Zote Laundry Flakes, which is a nice option  if you don't want to spend the time grating your own soap or if arthritis of the hands limits your ability to grate the soap easily! The box shows that two bars of soap is equal to the box of Zote Laundry Flakes wasn't too much more expensive than two bars of the soap. 

The Zote site lists their ingredients as follows:
The main ingredients are beef tallow and coconut oil,which are
neutralized with caustic soda for the saponification process. It contains
salt (sodium chloride), glycerin, perfume, optical brightener and dye,
in the case of pink ZOTE and blue ZOTE."

ZOTE soap contains an optical brightener which bleaches clothes
without fading their color. Optical brighteners are the
compounds providing clothes with brightness. Their function is to
absorb light with certain wave lengths in the washed garments
and thus reflecting a visible blue; its work is most
noticeable in white clothes." 

Here is the recipe I used:

Homemade Laundry Detergent Powder

2 Cups Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
2 Cups Borax Laundry Booster
2 Cups Grated Zote Laundry Soap or Zote Laundry Flakes  ( I added
about 3 cups since my soap didn't grate as finely - explained below)*

Use 1 to 3 tablespoons of laundry detergent per load depending on
size of laundry load and how soiled your laundry may be.
This laundry detergent will not suds up in your washer. But don't
think that no suds means ineffective cleaning. 

Grate the laundry soap.  I used a hand grater.  *I find that it is so much
easier to get a nice finely grated soap bar when I take the soap out of the
wrapper and allow the laundry soap to just sit several days prior to grating
the soap. The soap will harden a bit and will result in a finer grated soap.
Since I was out of laundry powder and since this was a new bar I didn't
have several days to let the soap sit for a few days, so you will see that
it is not as finely grated as it could have been if I had allowed it to
sit out a few days before grating.

The above picture shows my grated laundry soap used for this recipe:

And the picture above reflects a much finer grated soap due to me having
unwrapped a bar of soap and giving it a few days to sit out and harden
a bit before grating. I think the difference is significant enough to
remember to do that!  A finer grated soap will dissolve easier in your wash!

Mix the washing soda, laundry booster and washing soda together. I
keep mine stored in a glass storage container with a lid.

Again..... you don't need much of this laundry detergent to get clean
clothes!! So remember to use very little! Only 1 - 3 TABLESPOONS
per load depending on load size and amount of soiling.

The Zote soap has a nice delicate, clean scent that is not overpowering to me. 
The Zote website states the following:
"Another of the distinctive features of ZOTE is its fragrance:
essential citronella oil, a plant that originally came from Europe,
which posseses a pleasant smell similar to lime; thanks to this ingredient,
the clothes washed with ZOTE smell fresh and fragrant for several days."

So there you go!  Clean laundry, delicately scented, cost effective, 
very little product required to get clean, fresh laundry, quick and easy as
it doesn't take but about ten minutes or so to make.  It's all GOOD in
my book my friends!  Add a pretty label and directions for use and you also have a nice,
useful, and thrifty gift idea too!

Let me know if you decide to give it a try!

Do you use homemade laundry detergent?  What is your favorite homemade
laundry detergent recipe?

I cannot speak as to the safety of use for washer or septic systems. As with
anything do your very own research, read cautions and literature that may
have been given to you upon purchase of your products used and
or your equipment or consult professionals with any concerns you may have.  
You may also  go to the following websites for information regarding
ingredients listed in this recipe:

Zote Laundry Soap, Borax Laundry Booster,
Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda

Linked in with the following: Frugal and Sustainable Thursday,
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Frugal Crafty Home Wow Us Wednesday 
Whatever You Want Wednesday Farmgirl Friday