Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap? Hey, It Works!

Not only does it work, it works so much better than commercial detergents. AND it costs a LOT less. A 7 oz. bar of ZOTE cost me 59cents, and produces 3 cups of grated soap. Enough for 3 batches of laundry soap. And one batch lasts me about a month. The borax and washing soda cost a bit more, but together they are less than a jug of laundry detergent, and you can get many 1/2 cups out of a box. I haven't crunched the numbers but I'm guessing each batch of my laundry soap costs less than $1. There are many homemade laundry soap recipes out there on the Internet. And they are all made pretty much the same. All you need is some grated soap, water, borax and washing soda. While doing my research, I noted that many who made their own laundry soap, using either Ivory or Fels Naptha as the base soap, had a problem with dingy whites. But somewhere I read about this amazing soap from Mexico, called ZOTE. Apparently ZOTE contains some type of optical brightener that not only produces whiter whites, but brighter bright colored clothes. After using this laundry soap for over a month, I can attest to the truth of that statement. Whereas my whites and light colored clothes were drab and dingy while washed in my DUET machine with Tide HE detergent, now those same clothes are no longer gray....but super white and bright. Here is my recipe. This soap is very concentrated and low sudsing. You can safely use it in both HE and regular washing machines. Be aware that you'll need to dissolve the gel in some hot water before adding it to either type of machine, and especially when using cold water wash. ZOTE can be found at most Hispanic grocery stores.

1 cup grated pink ZOTE
3 pints water
Dissolve on stove, stirring well. Add:
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
Stir well until thickened. Remove from heat. Put 1 pint of cold water into a 1 gallon container. Add the soap mixture and stir well. Add more cold water to fill container. It will gel as it sits but you can use it right away. I used 1 TBS. for a small, lightly soiled load. Add more soap as needed. Bigger, dirtier loads will require more soap. I would probably have to use 1/2 cup for my hubby’s nasty work clothes.

Very low sudsing so it rinses out easily. Cleans so much better than commercial detergents and the optical brighteners in the ZOTE really brighten whites.

NOTE: If you decide to try this, be aware that you'll need to dissolve the gel in hot water before using it for warm or cold water washing. If you add the gel to cold water it will just float there in a glob. It's highly concentrated. Also, do not expect this to be all sudsy like commercial detergents. It won't. But it cleans like mad. Those suds are just a marketing ploy. We are conditioned to equate "bubbles" with "cleaning".

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