Monday, February 25, 2013

Recipe: Homemade Laundry Detergent (HE Washer Friendly)

Yield: 10 gallons 


  • 1-14.1oz. bar of Zote Soap (the pink stuff found in the laundry isle)
  • Water
  • 1 cup Borax (optional)

Equipment Needed:

  • 5 Gallon Bucket (you can get these free from the local bakery)
  • Stir Stick
  • Cheese Grater
  • Funnel
  • Cup

I forgot to mention: Shake well before pouring.
Zote soap usually sells for less than $2.00/14oz. bar at WalMart or Target; however, it is not available where we live (we looked at 10 different stores within a 50 mile radius of our home).  That being said, I ended up purchasing 6 bars on eBay at $3.12/bar.
Price Breakdown:
What we were using before the homemade detergent:
100 loads at $7.69/jug
Price per load: $0.0769/load
Homemade Detergent:
Zote Soap: $3.12
Borax (I had on hand – I would say I used $0.50 (or less) worth)
Price for 10 gallon batch: $3.62
Price per gallon: $0.362
Number of loads per gallon: Approximately 16
Price per load: $0.023
The real question: Does it work?
I have been using this detergent solely for about a month now.  I have seen absolutely no difference between the detergent we had been using and the homemade detergent.  For 1/3 the price of the store-bought detergent, hubby and I both agree that the homemade is just as good (if not better) than the store-bought detergent. 
My husband has a stinky, labor-intensive job that makes his clothes almost black after a full day of work.  Unlike the homemade detergent I’ve made in the past, this stuff leaves his clothes clean and smelling fresh.  I decided to use the borax in our detergent mainly because of how dirty his clothes get at work.  Hubby recently washed several of his jackets, and before he went outside, he opened up his jacket and told me to “smell.”  It smelled nice and clean – and I love it!  ((Yes, I like when laundry has a scent to it.  When we wash sheets and the comforter, I lay in bed and sniff for a few days before my nose gets used to the scent.))

Do you make your own laundry detergent?
What has been your experience? 


  1. I have never tried this but it looks cool!
    Even the bright color of the finished product looks awesome.

    Ahaha, I have always been a fan of 20 Mule Team Borax -
    I would definitely keep it in the mix!!!

    1. The borax is a keeper. We really like this detergent. And yes, I like the pink too. It is like a pink marble. :-)