Homemade Powder Laundry Soap Recipe ~ Yield 4+ Gallons

Don't you love to pull your clothes from the washer and breathe in that 'clean' smell of freshly washed laundry?  It's like when you open the lid of powder laundry detergent...the aroma can fill the room.  I thought my powder detergent days were done when we bought our high efficiency washing machine several years ago.  I am glad to say that I was wrong.

Pinterest is a wonderful resource to finding all kinds of information and in my search for a powder detergent, which suds more {not too much though, as that is not good for a HE washer} and had a lasting scent, I came across one worth a try.  The recipe is easier to make than the liquid recipe I made for 4 years, although the cost is greater.  However, even this can be managed if you keep an eye on sales, take advantage of Buy-One-Get-One sales and use coupons.

The original recipe and detergent container idea was found on LizMarie's blog.  I tweaked her recipe to create one that was boasting of pastel colors and now serves as a lovely addition to our laundry room.  

The materials you need to make and store this soap are:

  • 6 gallon bucket for mixing ingredients
  • Large, long handled wooden spoon or spatula for stirring
  • Glass jar with lid
  • 2 Tablespoon scoop for measuring into washer
  • 1 - Four pound twelve ounce box of Borax
  • 1 - Four pound box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
  • 1 - Three pound seven ounce box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1 - Six pound container of Sun Oxi Cleaner
  • 1 - 19.5 ounce container of Downy UnStopables
  • 1 - 14.1 ounce bar of Zote bar soap {you may use 2 bars if you prefer}, grated

The costs runs me about $25 to make yield about 21 1/2 pounds of laundry detergent.  My actual price is less, as I usually get my Downy Unstopables when they are on sale and with a coupon.  You only use 2 Tablespoons per load, so you get about 168 loads per recipe.  Based on the higher recipe price that would make it about 15 cents per load.  

Of course, my initial costs were a bit more as I purchased an Anchor Hocking Heritage Hill 2 gallon glass jar with lid from Wal-Mart {$9.97} to store my laundry room portion in plus the stainless steel coffee scoop {$1.27}.  Remember this recipe makes more than 2 gallons, so mixing it in a lidded 6 gallon bucket worked best for us.  The remaining portion of detergent is left in our dry pantry/utility area and I use it to refill my glass jar as needed.

So, here's what we do to make this recipe:

Do this in layers to make mixing easier...like 1/3 of each at a time, then repeat after stirring.
  • Pour 1/3 box of Borax into bucket, 
  • Pour 1/3 box of Baking Soda into bucket,
  • Pour 1/3 box of Washing Soda into bucket,
  • Pour 1/3 container of Sun Oxi Cleaner into bucket,
  • Pour 1/3 container of Downy Unstopables into bucket,
  • Grate 1/3 of the Zote soap bar.
Mix all those ingredients together, then repeat two more times.  This stirring process will create a "cloud", so don't get to carried away with the stirring and don't inhale it...yuck.  Once all ingredients have been mixed into bucket, slowly transfer 2 gallons worth into your glass jar.

I printed a label and attached it to the front of the glass jar to finish the job.  Now you can begin using your homemade powder laundry detergent!

A close-up look at the finished project.

I will still pre-treat clothing with diluted Simple Green {found in the automotive department at Wal-Mart by the car cleaning products}, if needed.  I mean I do have children who never fail to find dirt!  When washing my whites load, I will add about 1/4-1/2 cup of diluted bleach into the bleach compartment of my washer for brightening & disinfecting purposes.  All in all, I have been pleased with the quality of this detergent recipe, the aroma and the cleaning results.

Blessings and Happy "Home-made" Making ~

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