I KNOW, I forgot to post this Wednesday! I don’t need reminding, but last week was crazy with both the elections and Veteran’s Day being back-to-back. I apologize, but today we’re finally going over the topic of making powder laundry detergent cheaply.
Now this recipe doesn’t contain borax. Not because I don’t like the possible health problems of it, but because you literally can’t buy it in Belgium. Instead, I use sea salt and it works just fine and is just as effective. Plus it comes out a little cheaper too.
So y’all ready to go? You will need:
- 1 kg (2.5 pounds) washing soda crystals
- 1 kg (2.5 pounds) fine sea salt
- 400g (~14 ounces) ZOTE pink laundry soap (can sub in leftover bar soap or any castile soap)
- blender or food processor
- airtight container
Grate up the whole bar of ZOTE using a box grater or a grater attachment for the food processor. Set aside. Open both the washing soda and the salt containers. Using a dry measure cup, scoop one cup of washing soda, salt, and half a cup of soap in alternating layers into your blender/processor until the reservoir is half full.
COVERING THE TOP WITH A TOWEL, blend on pulse or low until soap, soda, and salt are powdered and mixed well. Allow the powder to settle for a minute, then scoop out the powder into an airtight container. Continue doing these steps until all the soap, soda, and salt are blended together and in the container. DO NOT BREATHE IN THE POWDER, it burns your sinuses really bad and probably isn’t too good for you.
To use, scoop 1 tablespoon of soap for a regular load into the barrel of your washer. Use 2 tablespoons for large or heavily soiled loads.
I can get enough soap this way to last 288 regular loads. We powder everything together because ZOTE has a really bad tendency of not dissolving properly in cold water if left in large shavings or chunks. You can get around this by dissolving the soap in hot water beforehand, but that’s too much effort when you can just pulverize it into powder in your blender at the start and have it work like normal laundry detergent.
In all I spend maybe five or six euros on laundry soap every two to three months with this recipe, depending on if I have leftover failed soap or if I just want the sunny citronella scent of ZOTE. We actually bought six bars of ZOTE ($15 bulk deal on Ebay) one year in the US and stuck it in the checked luggage to take back, so I’ve had my stock for well over a year and a half. I haven’t had to dip into my stock all that much due to using leftover tallow soap to bulk out the soap amount.
This soap is 99% natural (ZOTE does use an optical brightener) and comes out cheaper than not-so-natural brands in the same amounts. It’s the only recipe that doesn’t set off mine or Honeybear’s allergies, and works really well in cold hard water. It leaves no residue and leaves clothes clean and protected from wool moths. Make a batch and be green!