Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pink Zote Homemade Laundry Soap

I like saving money and I like living simply so when I noticed all these homemade laundry soap recipes pins going up with glowing reviews at Pinterest (which I also love) I was intrigued but I resisted because... I don't know.... I want my laundry to be clean but I really like my laundry to feel and smell clean too. Anyway I finally decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did I really love it! 

Now I have enough soap to do more than 400 loads of laundry. That's enough for more than a load a day for a whole year - for a few pennies per load or less than $25 for a year supply. I spent $23 using coupons and shopping around (my local Brookshire Bros grocery store was cheaper than Walmart).

There are lots of recipes for both liquid and dry soaps which are basically 20 Mule Team Borax, Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda and grated soap - either Fels-Naptha or Zote. There's even one using blue Dawn liquid dish soap in the liquid recipes.

I chose this dry recipe since my right wrist is wimpy and the heavy liquid soaps are hard to lift and pour. I bought pink Zote for the soap because that's what my local store happened to have.

  • 1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax
  • 1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean (smaller 1.3 lb size in photo)
  • 2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap (you can also use Fels Naptha)
  • 2 (2 lb) Boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (missing from photo sorry)
I had heard Zote soap expands in the microwave and crumbles like powder after it's cooled so instead of grating it I tried that (again the wrist thing). Actually it was pretty fun to watch because it puffs up like cotton candy. Below is what was left 'unpuffed' in a batch I just cooked. I microwaved it again just to show it puff up.

It crumbled down to a light pink powder with a spoon, but I got impatient microwaving it in small amounts like the instructions said (I tried to do a half a bar at a time but the bottom burned and really stunk up the house before it all the soap expanded). Sooo I skipped the microwave altogether dropping the raw chunks into my little food processor and surprisingly it worked pretty well. A little grainy-er but good enough I think.

I only use 1 tbsp per load, 2 for Derick's work clothes, I KNOW what you're thinking, I added that little scoop of soap to my first wash load and it took EVERYTHING I HAD NOT to add just one more tbsp! It doesn't make much suds and I know it's hard to accept but it's true - bubbles don't clean your clothes, the agitator does! Apparently it's all about getting the ph of your water just right to release the dirt. (I also add white vinegar to the rinse cycle and am using fabric sheets in the dryer until I run out) There's plenty of specific information about it on the internet.