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Making Your Own Laundry Soap for a Year in 20 Minutes for Under $50

…and 15 minutes of that is just grating a bar of soap.

I’ve been using this homemade laundry detergent recipe from Raising Colorado for a year and I love it. I even use it on A’s cloth diapers now and it works great.

I actually had everything set up and was going to show you how fast it was to make via video. I was going to try to make it EVEN faster by using my blender to break up the soap bc someone had recommended using a food processor. Well, newsflash, blenders are not the same and it was an epic fail, but even with that screw-up I still got it done in 2 minutes by hand grating the soap like I usually do (cheap dollar store grater). Unfortunately, the video was still totally terrible and out of focus. So instead, I’ll just give you some pics and links to the products on Amazon (I realize I could buy them in the store, but it’s a whole lot easier to find them on Amazon and just have them delivered in no time at all for free.)

bar of Zote, grated (I bought a 3 pack of the bigger bars this time because it was cheaper, so I just didn’t quite grate the whole thing – $10.23 for 3 large bars)
TOTAL $47.22
Prices listed are for when I wrote this post, but give you some idea. Right now 77 Tide Pods are $20. And my stuff does waaaaaaaaaaaaay more than 77 loads!
Just dump all that stuff together and mix it up! Use about 1 tablespoon per load of laundry (maybe 2 if your stuff is heavily soiled or has lots of polyester/under armour type stuff). For stains, I soak stuff in Dawn pre-wash (GREAT for oily stains…it does clean oil off baby birds, after all!) or use Honest Company stain remover, or sometimes toss in an Honest Laundry Pod.
I use one of those Lowe’s big bucket things to mix it in. Wear gloves (and maybe not your black work pants? oops) while mixing, or it will bother your skin. Also, it mixes better if you grate the zote in last (tends not to stick together in a big clump), but I was all annoyed by the blender thing so I wasn’t thinking.
Grated Zote

Grated Zote

all mixed up

all mixed up

I store mine in some dollar store plastic shoebox things on a shelf in the laundry room. Our last batch lasted us just about a year even with new baby laundry, and for $50 that is pretty freaking great!

in its shoebox home!

in its shoebox home!

I want to try homemade dishwasher detergent next, because we go through that stuff like crazy. I don’t want it to suck, though. Note that we do have hard water. If you have a recipe that works, let me know!


  1. Aunt DebNo Gravatar says:

    That definitely sounds worth trying. I wonder how hard it is to find all of the items locally. I’m not familar with Zote. I like the way you are so thrifty.

    And I love the pictures of Ainsley. I miss her!

    1. JennahNo Gravatar says:

      You should be able to find the powdered stuff at Walmart etc. I’ve heard you can get Zote at hardware stores (Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc). I’ve always just ordered online, though.

  2. RobbieNo Gravatar says:

    Check out my pin board on Pinterest. I have a recipe for dishwasher soap on there I gave been using. Also I use white vinegar in my rinse agent compartment. Your recipe is a little different than mine.

    1. JennahNo Gravatar says:

      I will do that, thanks!

  3. MalloryNo Gravatar says:

    This might be a dumb question but Is it ok to use this detergent with a high efficiency washing machine? I’m pretty new to the whole making your products stuff. Thanks :)

    1. JennahNo Gravatar says:

      I believe the person I got the recipe from uses it with an HE machine and it works fine! If anything, you may just need to use a different amount (whatever you would do with normal powder detergent).

  4. Please suggest a Best recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent?

    I want to prepare all of them with minimum cost.

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