Have you ever noticed how expensive Laundry Detergent is? After a well-meaning relative went through a detergent that was supposed to last for 96 loads in one day, it really hit me how much I was spending. I was buying the big Wegmans detergent for $12.99. It lasts me two months, so I was buying 6 a year. That is $77.94! So, when I heard about laundry detergent that costs $28 for a year, if you do 6 loads a week, I had to try it.
You start by collecting your ingredients:
1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borox – Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda – Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean – Found in the detergent aisle. (This is optional but I highly recommend adding it)
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap – Found in the detergent aisle (You can also use Fels Naptha, we weren’t able to find the Zote Soap)
1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda – Found in the cooking aisle (You could also get four 1 lb box, I couldn’t find the larger 4lb box when I went)
1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- Found in the detergent aisle
Once you have the ingredients, the only thing you need to prep is the Zote Soap/Fels Naptha. This needs to be grated. I tried to use my food processor and found the grating attachment was broken. I have a hand grater I could have used, but decided to try another option. The microwave! I cut it into smaller pieces, put it on a large plate, and microwaved it for 1.5 minutes. It then looks like this:
WARNING: It is VERY HOT! I tried crumbling it right away and burned myself. I found if I put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes, it was cool and crumbled easily. It does not crumble well when it is still warm. Once you have all of the soap crumbled in a bowl, you get to the fun part!
Edit: The microwave method is very stinky. Both my microwave and freezer stunk for weeks. The next time I made it, a year later, I used the hand grater. While it took for effort, I preferred the texture and the lack of stink.
Layer your ingredients and mix in a large container. I had a 30 qt rubbermaid bin and it worked really well. I did about 1/4 of each ingredients at a time to make sure it mixed well.
Once all the ingredients are in and mixed, you are done! This detergents is safe for HE washers. I filled the OxyClean bin with the detergent so I don’t have to open the large bin every time. You can also put it in the Purex bottle.
To use, measure 1-2 tbsp into your washer with your laundry. That is it! A little bit goes a long way. It does not sud like traditional detergent, which is actually better for your wash. I will note, if you keep the measuring lid from your Purex you can fill to the middle line for 2 tbsp. I, however, managed to purchase the one bottle without a lid.
We also took a minute to practice shaping letters in the mix. She may be home sick, but that doesn’t mean she can’t learn! And now our hands are super soft. 🙂