My "essentials" recipe consists of four ingredients, which cost me a total of $11.34:
- 1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle
- 1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle
- 2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap- Found in the detergent aisle
- 2 (2 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle
The optional ingredients that I chose not to include are OxyClean and fabric softener crystals. I figure that I can add these on an as-needed basis. You will also need a large bucket for mixing your ingredients, and a tool for grating.
There are really only two steps for creating this laundry detergent. First, you have to grate the bar of Zote Soap.
Grating the soap was by far the hardest and most time-consuming part of this process. Even though the website claims that you could use a food processor for this task, I decided to go at it by hand. I wanted to avoid the hassle of cleaning out the processor, mostly because I didn't know how hard it would be to get all the soap off. I really didn't want soapy food in the future. So, in an effort to make grating by hand easier, I tried slicing the bar into manageable-sized chunks. I even periodically cleaned the blades of our hand-cranked grater in order to keep the little holes from gunking up.
By the end, my hands were so tired of grating that I couldn't finish the final chunk of soap without having to take a break. But, seeing as I was impatient to start mixing, I called on Jon to do the last little chunk. Next time, I may brave the food processor because the soap wasn't that hard to get off.
The second and only other step is mixing all your ingredients. I sat on my kitchen floor to do this part. The author of the original recipe recommended adding ingredients in increments as you mix, which was a great tip. It would have been difficult to evenly distribute all the parts if I dumped all of each ingredient in before mixing.
|The consistency reminds me of a cake mix with coconut flakes in it.|
I've used my new detergent for a week now, and I'm very happy with the results. Even without the extra ingredients, my laundry feels soft and smells great. I don't know if I'll ever go back to store-bought detergents since this homemade version is so cheap!
Now if only I knew it was safe for cloth diapers! I may have to do a test-run in the future.