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 soda...it must say Super Washing Soda.....it's usually located right next to the Borax but not all stores carry this....you 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.