Last year around this time, I made homemade laundry soap for the first time. A friend of mine had mentioned it at Bunco, and I decided it was worth a try. It cost around $28, and it lasted us just shy of one year. That was for a family of 5, doing ALL laundry except cloth diapers.
Since we liked how the detergent worked and we liked the price, I decided to do it again. I couldn’t find the exact recipe I used last year, so I hunted for a similar recipe online. This time, it only cost a little over $18 plus tax! It seems like it might be slightly less detergent than what I made last year, but it’s still quite a lot!
Click on the picture below to view the recipe that we used this year:
The only difference is that I decided to try Zote soap this year, rather than using Fels Naptha.
It’s pink. It sounded pretty. I must be spending too much time with my daughter. Too bad Zote isn’t sparkly ;)
We don’t have a food processor, so grating the soap is tedious business. (Okay, that’s kind of a lie. My husband just got a food processor as a Christmas present, but he wasn’t really too keen on me using a BAR OF SOAP in his brand new food processor!)
Last year, I found that grating the bars of soap by hand took FOREVER.
And ever. (Get the idea?)
So this year, I decided to try something I’d seen online – microwaving the soap. Oh my, that was an experience! It’s still easier than grating, and I had a VERY clean microwave by the end of this process!
This is what a bar of Zote soap looks like after spending a few minutes in the microwave. Because we have a small, low wattage microwave, this filled the ENTIRE microwave. (It deflated when the microwave stopped.) I’d read that it only takes a minute or two, but it actually took 6 – 7 minutes in our microwave. There were still a few ‘wet spots’ in the center of the plate under all the fluff, but I gave up on those! The whole house smelled like citronella during this process!
(For those who may have googled ‘microwave Zote’ and found this post, please note: I cut the bar into 6 pieces and spread them out across the plate. I microwaved it one minute at a time until it seemed ‘done’. It looks like cotton candy, but it is actually very dry and brittle. If you poke it, it releases a lot of steam from the moisture that is being released from the soap, so BE CAREFUL! Let it cool!)
This is what it looked like after cooling for 20ish minutes. I just used my fingers to crumble it into a powder. It feels so soft in your hands as you do this!
While the Zote was cooling (before I crumbled it), I mixed up the other ingredients in a bucket lined with a plastic trash bag. Be prepared for a LOT of stirring! Make sure you use a sturdy spoon and dig deep! Mix all the ingredients, and then decide how you want to store it.
We have ours stored in two Purex Crystals containers. I fill the Purex cap to the bottom line for each load of laundry. (This is in a top loader; you may want to use a little less in a front loader.)
The Purex containers are stored in the cabinet above the washer. What doesn’t fit in our Purex Crystals containers goes into a large plastic Sterilite cereal container that is stored in the cabinet under the utility sink.
I am hopeful that this will, once again, last close to a year. Even if it comes up a little short of a year, it’s still a very economical detergent recipe!