Friday, August 2, 2013

DIY Laundry Soap Powder

I've been seeing it all over Pinterest, so I finally decided to give it a whirl!  Here is my laundry soap adventure!

The mandatory "ingredients" shot.

I looked at several different recipes and found one that sounded good.  I originally saw it on  I have also seen a few other people online use this recipe or some version of it, right down to the glass jar, which I love!


-One box of borax 
-One box of super washing soda
-One little box of baking soda (I only used one, despite the four show in the pic)
-Three bars of Felsnaptha soap (Zote is also pictured)
-One small bottle of scent crystals, mine were Downy Unstopables.  
-Two jars of dollar tree oxy clean powder (not pictured)
-Sweet jar to keep it in (this was only $9.99 at Walmart!)

I got all of my supplies at Walmart and the borax and washing soda only come in one size there.

I think the total for everything was less than $30 and $10 of it was the jar!  This makes a huge almost filled the 2 gallon jar I purchased.


I started by lining my giant jar with a kitchen trash bag and dumping all of my powdered ingredients in.

I then cut up the felsnaptha with a knife and cutting board into small squares.  It was kind of like cutting a block of cheese.  I ground it up in my food processor, but added about a half cup of the powder so it wouldn't get all goopy and it didn't, yeay!  I did not to all the soap at once, but just added a few blocks at a time until it was all grated up.  Then I tossed it into the trash bag.

Finally I dumped the scent booster crystals into the food processor to get them a little smaller.  I have a front loading HE machine, so I didn't want to risk any chunks.  This process was a little more difficult, as the little buggers just didn't want to get much smaller and they chunked up on my blade and in the bowl.  Boooooo.

I dumped that into the bag as well, pulled it out of the jar and then just mixed it around.  This was a little harder than it sounded because its really important to make sure your ingredients are really well mixed or you are just doing your laundry with borax, or washing soda, etc.

I finished the mixing, dumped my detergent into my cute jar and took it straight down to the basement to try it out!  The dollar story oxy clean came with a little scoop inside (about a tablespoon or so) and I had two of them, so they live in the jar.  I usually grab the both in one hand, scoop two Tbsp's at once and toss it into the drum of my washer before or after I add the clothes.

ALSO, my basement is kind of damp and the box of borax I usually keep down there was a solid rock. The jar I bought does not have a rubber gasket, so we'll hope for the best on the clumping.  I did make a little sachet of rice in a clean white cloth and threw it in there to absorb the moisture.  Hope it works!

For the first load, I was really nervous about it gomming up my washer.  My DH said "do you think the money you save on this is worth the new washer we'll have to buy?"  Almost immediately, the washer stopped, started dribbling water and giving me the dreaded error message.  I was like..."GREAT, I will never live this down!"  I got the tools, opened the front, unscrewed the drain and after two gallons of water rushed out right over the bucked I had placed there (and all over the floor) about 5 socks, a pair of undies, 50 bobby pins, $20 in change and one of my favorite necklaces came out as well.   At least I know it wasn't my detergent!  On a side note, I hate my washer, a Whirlpool Duet Sport.  Its a total A-hole and I will never buy one like it again!!!  Stop eating my socks!!

All in all, I am very pleased with the job this is doing for my laundry and my wallet.  In retrospect, however, I would make a few changes...

1. I would probably use 1.5 bars of white Zote instead of felsnaptha (the zote is a thicker bar).  The smell of the felsnaptha is just a little strong for me and the white Zote is much lighter...possibly even unscented if I recall correctly.  

2. I would double bag my garbage bags, I poked a few holes in the mixing process and had this crap all over my kitchen!

3. I would leave out the scent crystals all together.  They gommed up my food processor (and scratched or left some film on the bowl that I CANNOT get off, I'm hoping its scratched and not a toxic film that will get into my food).  They also smelled too strong for me and even though they smell in the jar, my clothes don't smell like them anyways.  Not a fan.  I have allergies and get headaches and sniffles from perfumes and such anyways, but I wanted to try it.  Live and learn. 

I will definitely make this again, as it works great, costs very little and makes me feel crafty!  I will also be filling mason jars with this to give as little gifts here and there as needed.  Wouldn't that be cute, with a cute little scoop tied on with a ribbon or something??  Love it!

I've also started adding a 1/2 cup or so of vinegar to every load of laundry.  It acts as a fabric softener and cleans my washer!  I just put it right into the fabric softener dispenser on the front of my HE washer.  I've seen some DIY fabric softener recipes out there too, so maybe I'll try that next!

Finally, I've stopped using dryer sheets as well.  My amazing aunt gave me a set of felted wool dryer balls for Christmas.  There are three, about the size of baseballs (also great for juggling!) and you put them in the dryer with your load.  Mine just live in my dryer.  They not only cut down on static cling, but they wick away moisture helping to dry faster and bounce around keeping things fluffy.  I want to try putting some essential oil on them for scent but haven't gotten around to it yet.

So that's my laundry room adventure!  I'm currently re-arranging my hideous unfinished basement laundry room to try and make it semi-cute, but not having much luck.  I'll post on that if it ever comes together!

What cool stuff do you do in your laundry room?

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