One Year of Laundry Detergent for $26

**This post contains affiliate links

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate when people try to sell me stuff. No lies, I am an MLM/network salesperson’s nightmare—AKA a complete waste of time. One time, I was shopping in Target and had a Mary Kay lady whip out like a ninja from around the corner and tell me I “looked sharp”, so I should become an MK salesperson. It took everything I had not to collapse in laughter. This is because–and she would have found this out if she’d had a conversation with me first–I’m a terrible salesperson. I’m the type of person who likes to be informed of my options and what is available, but otherwise, I will seek the seller out myself if I’m interested in making a purchase.

That being said, I was pretty impressed with the concept of the Amazon Associate Affiliate program. I shop Amazon for SO many things and only recently discovered that a few people I know even purchase their dry groceries from Amazon. I will promote my favorite products all day long if I truly think they’re worth the cash. I’m not going to push anything that I wouldn’t spend the money on myself. Conveniently, this also gives me the opportunity to include Amazon links that will take you directly to these products rather than you having to manually search for them yourself. So, now, when I post recipes or DIY projects (or I just want to brag on something that I think is worth your time), I’ll include an Amazon link in case you want to check it out. So there it is, my way to shamelessly market products to you. But hey–I’m the queen of cheapskates, so you KNOW it won’t be a waste of your time.

And speaking of wasting time, I’m going to tell you about my own colossal waste of time…

A few weeks ago, I set out to make another batch of laundry detergent. Homemade laundry detergent is by far the best idea I have come across. I found this particular recipe for it back in 2011 and it was an absolute game changer. One batch can last over a year. This might explain why I had so much trouble making it this time around. The last time I made it was 2013. In 2014, I moved in with Stuart and he also made his own laundry detergent, which lasted until spring of this year. So imagine my surprise when, after three years and moving three times, I had trouble finding all the ingredients in one place.

I assumed all of the ingredients could be found at ANY grocery store. WRONG. For the most part, the Borax and sodas can be found in the laundry aisle. But the Zote soap (or Fels Naptha)–don’t kid yourself. When I lived in Georgia, I found it at my neighborhood Kroger, no problem. In Kentucky, it was at the Home Depot. In Ohio–you’d have thought I asked where to buy a Derby Hat. NO. ZOTE. It was crazy. Meijer, Home Depot, Kroger, Giant Eagle, Target, nada. I would have checked Wal-Mart, but after the last time I ventured there, I vowed never again. Besides, at that point, I was finished driving all over Cbus for detergent ingredients (probably paying more in gas to do so!).

My mom ended up bringing me a few bars from the grocery store by their house in Kentucky. I mean, geez.

So here is my gift to you lovely readers, who I assume also value your time and money just as much as I do. If you also have doubts about finding every ingredient *AHEM*THE*ZOTE* (and seriously, the rest aren’t that exotic) at your local grocery store, feel free to take advantage of the Amazon link I’ve included with them. If I’d thought of this before, I could have saved myself a significant amount of time!

Homemade Laundry Soap (adapted from Being Creative to Keep My Sanity)

1-2 Tablespoons per load

1 65-oz box Borax // $4.19 @ Meijer

1 4-lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda // $1.49 @ Meijer

1 55-oz box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda // $3.99 @ Meijer

2 bars Zote Soap (Note: They come in 4-packs so you can save 2 for the next batch! They also come in a choice of pink or white. You can also use Fels-Naptha bars, which, for this purpose, are basically the same.) // $10.50 for 4 bars @ Amazon

**Optional: 1 3-lb container of OxiClean Stain Remover (I’ve made batches with and without it, so I think it just depends on your personal preference. But stain removers never hurt!) //$4.99 @ Meijer

1) Shred the Zote soap in a food processor or with a regular cheese grater. If you want, you can even run a knife over it to make it finer, especially for high efficiency washers. But don’t worry, it will still dissolve. 


2) Combine the shredded Zote soap, Borax, baking soda, super washing soda, and stain remover in a 5 gallon bucket or garbage bag.

3) Make sure it’s mixed up well and transfer it to the storage container of your choice. I threw a tablespoon in the container with it and I was ready to roll! 

All of this will run you about $26 (+ or – the stain remover), but it will also last you a VERY long time. The last time I made a full batch, it lasted me OVER one year. Obviously, this depends on how many people live in your household and how often you do laundry. I’m judging this based on two people in my house and doing laundry 1-2 times per week. And don’t believe people who talk about how they HAVE to use liquid soap in their high efficiency washers. I have a high efficiency washer and we’ve been using homemade powder detergent in it for 2+ years.

The great thing about this detergent is that you know exactly what ingredients are in it and if you have sensitive skim or fragrances really mess with your allergies, this could be an awesome solution (just make sure to consult your doctor first if you have these concerns). Some people really get their panties in a bunch, throwing around the words, “toxin”, “toxic”, and “chemicals” when they really don’t understand the meaning and implications of each. “Chemicals” are not synonymous with something unhealthy and dangerous. Science and technology are our friends! Do some independent research and decide for yourself what you prefer regarding ingredients. I’m not saying a spoonful of Borax will help the medicine go down (P.S. don’t get me started on kids eating detergent pods), but overall, I’m not worried about washing my clothes with it. In a nutshell, these ingredients don’t contain harsh chemicals, they’re environmentally friendly, and they’re safe for humans and animals. Unless you’re aware of a specific allergy to them, I really wouldn’t worry about their safety.

Check it out, and once your undies are so fresh and so clean, clean, let me know what you think!

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