Saturday, December 06, 2008

Homemade Laundry Detergent

There are some things that are worth the time and effort to save money, and there are other things that are worth the money to save time. Make sense?

Well, making our own laundry detergent has proven to be one of our best money savers over the last two to three years. And we only have to invest about 15-20 minutes of our time every three to four months.

Not bad, eh?

Not only is this a great way to save money, but this detergent is also safe for HE washers, because of the low suds ingredients.

I'll give the recipe in a small batch so that you can try it without wasting too much if you don't like it!

But you'll like! You WILL!!

Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent

1 Fels Naptha Laundry Bar (or Zote)  I buy this at Walmart in the laundry aisle.

1/2 cup Borax

1/2 cup Super Washing Soda (NOT baking must say Super Washing's usually located right next to the Borax but not all stores carry may have to shop around. If you live in Texas, HEB carries it.)

If you just bought one bar and one box each of these, it will cost you only about $5 and depending on family size will last three to six months. Although, you'll need about three bars of Fels Naptha or Zote to go through your entire boxes of powders.


Grate bar. If you have a food processor with a cheese grater attachment, use it! Before we had this, we had to grate the bar by hand on a box grater.

In a processor or blender, combine 1 cup of grated bar, 1/2 cup Borax, and 1/2 cup of Washing Soda. Process or blend until you get a fine powder consistency. It's best to do this in small batches to get a fine powder. Repeat this until you run out of your grated bar. If you've bought several bars....well, keep on goin'! Store in an air tight container.


For small to medium loads, use 1 tablespoon. Seriously! This is why it lasts so long!

For large or heavily soiled loads, use 2 tablespoons. It's that simple! Then, fabric soften as desired!

A side note: I've heard people say that they didn't like the ZOTE because it has a waxy texture, whereas the Fels Naptha has a flaky texture.  I personally don't have a problem with Zote. My clothes get clean and they smell good.  However, since my Walmart now sells Fels Naptha, I buy that.

My little girls love that ZOTE is pink! ;-)  Try both and see what you like best. Let me know what you think!

*Update:  We still make our detergent most of the time, but occasionally, we buy the big bucket from Sams, which is also economical. 


  1. Thanks Candace,
    We are thinking about it. We are using clothe diapers for lil man and use something other than Tide for them. I wonder if this recipe is good for diapers...
    I heard that powder doesn't dissolve well if using cold wash, is this true?

  2. Thanks, Candace! I am going to give this a try! We need every money saving tip we can get these days. I hope I can find all these items here in Co. :o) If not, maybe you could just make up a big batch for me and send it to me...LOLOL!! Just kidding!! I'll let you know how it goes!

  3. I still use this recipe and love it. In VA I've been able to find the Fels Naptha bar. It does have a stronger, more flowery fragrance but both types of laundry bars work the same to me. I've found that the powder dissolves well especially since you use so little of it.

    I have to make more this week. I was hoping to have enough until we left VA.

  4. Jeanie,

    The powder dissolves well in cold water.


    I'd gladly make you a batch and bring it to the WHMC. ;-)


    Thanks for the great info about the two bars. Glad to know you feel both work equally well.

  5. Someone (I think it was Kim P.) told me that you can't use this on cloth diapers. Don't remember specifics, though.

  6. Candace,
    Do you use this for whites as well? I have been using "biz" for whites instead of bleach. I need another laundry post on HOW large families do it? Like do you put all laudry collectively in the laudndry room, how do you seperate etc?

  7. Waaaaahhhhh! My Wal-Mart doesn't have any of the ingredients!! Can I order all of this online?

  8. Jeanie,

    Sure, I can do another post about laundry and our system. We do separate laundry into categories. I have a three compartment bin for whites, lights, and darks. I have one basket for towels and one for Greg's uniforms. If we're doing bedding, it all just goes on the floor because it gets washed that day. I'll post more about it soon.

    Also, yes, I use this detergent for whites with bleach.


    BUMMER! I can't believe you can't find the ingredients. Most stores at least carry the Borax. That's a staple product. But yes, you can order the ZOTE or Fels Naptha online. And like I said, I can bring you the soap at the WHMC. Or I can bring you the ingredients if you'll have room in your suitcase! ;-)

  9. i got everything but that super soap stuff...cant find it i am going to order it online. I am excited to try this....thanks for the info, I will call you if i run into any questions. Love ya

  10. Candace,
    I thought I would tell you base carries the Super washing powder if you ever want me to pick some up. They also have the borax. I didn't see the zote...

  11. Can you use this in an HE washer? I want to try it but I am scared. I know, silly.

  12. tbkaiser,

    Yes, you can use it in the HE washers. I have one and the detergent works great!


Welcome! Thank you for visiting Sacred Mommyhood. I look forward to hearing from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...