Sunday, February 10, 2013

Homemade Dry Laundry Detergent

Homemade Dry Laundry Detergent

3 (5.5-oz) bars Fels Naptha or Zote bars
1 (76-oz) box Borax
1 (55-oz) box Washing Soda
1 (2-lb) box (or can use 2 cups) Baking Soda
1 (56-oz) container of Sun Oxygen Cleaner (safe for whites and colors)

Grate bars of soap. Can also use food processor to make very fine. (Add some borax to it when doing that so it makes it more fine.)

Mix all ingredients in a large container or use a large bag.
Store in an airtight container.

To use: Use one tablespoon per load of laundry, or slightly more if extra full or dirty load.
Can put white vinegar in rinse dispenser or downy ball.

Safe for septic systems, front load and HE washers and most people with skin sensitivities.

This laundry soap does not produce a lot of suds - this is normal and clothes get very clean!

Will last approximately one year, give or take the amount of laundry you do!

All ingredients can be found together in the laundry aisle at Walmart. I purchased all of them for around $18.

These are the ingredients I used, except I left out the Purex Crystals

Left side, too much stuck to the grater but made the smallest soap pieces.
Right side was also hard and stuck too much as well.

This was the easiest side to use but made larger pieces.

Small amount on the left is what grated using the smallest holes on the box grater. But a lot of soap stuck to the grater and was hard to do. 

The bigger section at the bottom was the next size on the cheese grater, but still had some sticking issues.

The top section is the one that was the easiest and quickest, but made it a bit big for the soap, so I then ran it through the Ninja processor!

This is all three bars of soap grated

Using my blender did NOT work to try to make the soap finer, so I used my small Ninja food processor. It worked well. It is best to add some Borax to the soap before blending so it makes it finer.

Soap through food processor - left side was just the soap. Right side had some Borax added to it to make it blend a little smaller and easier.

Over half of the soap fit in this container, which I got at Walmart for $14. It is acrylic and seals, which should keep out moisture so it doesn’t get clumpy.

I put the remaining in the Sun container shown above that I used in the recipe.

Other notes:
* Let soap air dry for a week or more, then grate soap with the small side of the box grater. Mix it with the soda and borax and give it a spin in a blender to get it a nice fine consistency.

Walmart sells Zote Flakes (1 box = 2 bars) (I did not see this at Sioux City Walmart)

Try using the pink Zote bars instead of fels naptha. Our clothes are white only because they have a blue dye put in them by the manufacturer that washes out over time. The Pink Zote bars have a small amount of violet dye that will brighten whites.

3 ivory bars equal 1 Fels Naphta bar

Epsom salts can be added to the detergent or vinegar to your rinse cycle. 
Reduce static in drying by not over drying your clothes. If it’s still an issue, add a ball or two of aluminum foil to the dryer to discharge static.

Softener: put 1/2 cup of white vinegar in Downy ball, or washer’s softener/rinse cycle dispenser.  Makes clothes very soft! 

FYI, vinegar is a natural sanitizer, deodorizer and softener. Vinegar doesn’t leave clothes smelling like vinegar, soft and static free!

for bleach: lemon juice, it’s a natural whitener and your clothes do not come out smelling like lemons!

if your whites are gray, it’s an indication that you have hard water. More borax will fix that problem. I had this problem when I lived in another city with notoriously hard water. Use half again as much borax (1.5 boxes instead of just 1) and that should help a lot too.

Recipe, user comments and suggestions and variations can be found here: