My children all have very sensitive skin, so I am very aware of anything that comes in contact with their skin. Since it’s socially frowned upon to go without clothing, the laundry detergent I use is a pretty important decision!
I found all of these ingredients at my Walmart Neighborhood Market in the Laundry aisle, but for convenience I’ve included links for where you can get everything online!
Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe
There’s not a lot to this recipe… you just combine all the ingredients! This is a LARGE recipe, so you’ll need a bucket large enough to mix all the ingredients together. For the Zote bars, it helps to take them out of the package and let them dry out overnight (slice each bar into about 8 pieces so it thoroughly dries throughout the whole bar). Then you’ll need to FINELY (as pulverized as possible) grate the bars. I like to put them in my Ninja, so drying them out especially helps when you go that route. Add a little Borax into the food processor to get more evenly chopped pieces and keep the Zote bar from getting stuck to the blade.
The Oxi Clean is optional, but I highly recommend it. You could definitely get the off brand from the dollar store if you want to save a little more $$
The first time I made this, I added a bottle of Purex Scent Crystals and felt like they were kind of a waste of money. I’ve since decided to just rely on the scent of the Zote bars, which I quite like.
I also like to use plain white vinegar instead of fabric softener. It is great at removing odors, keeps my clothes from getting dingy and keeps the machine clean… and if you have a load of laundry that you want to smell especially nice, then you can just add some good fabric softener like Gain (I have the Gain scent crystals that smell AMAZING, but don’t use them often).
I happen to have a baby formula scoop that I use, but in general, you’ll use 1-2 Tablespoons per load (yes, that’s it!!)
The last time I made this was in January and it lasted about 7 months, not including the 3lb Oxi Clean tub full of this detergent that I gave to my mom! So, you’re looking at a $22 investment for 8 to 9 months.. and as a family of 4 (soon to be 5), we do a lot of laundry!
**This detergent works great on getting out most stains, but if I have an old or really tough stain, I will still pre-treat it.
**I do not have HE machines, but I’ve read many cases where people had great success (it doesn’t really create suds, so it is perfectly safe)… from what I’ve read, the best results come when you put the detergent right in the drum!
Of course I’m a craft nerd, so I covered an oatmeal container with some pretty paper and now I’m set 🙂 Make sure that you store your extra detergent in air tight containers, so you don’t lose the freshness and great scent!
Good luck and if you have any success or suggestions, please share!