Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Laundry Detergent, Home Brewed Granular UPDATE

I have been using this detergent since June, 2015 and it is the best home brewed laundry detergent I've ever used. It's granular, easy to use and familiar like other granular soaps we have been using. Making it is easy and with little mess when compared to the gelatinous type home brew. If you're on the fence about trying this, do it! It works, all the whites come out white, colors are bold and the clothes come out of the dryer soft and clean smelling. What more could you ask for when saving money! :-)


I have been using liquid home brewed laundry detergent since 2010 and it has worked well. However I would prefer an all granular detergent recipe because it would be easier if I could eliminate the heating and cleanup associated with the liquid home brewed.

A couple weeks ago I came across and all granular recipe over at Everyday Food Storage;

This is just what I was looking for, an all granular recipe so it's very quick to make a batch with little mess to clean up afterwards (or use).

"Everyday Food Storage" recipe:

  • 1 (4 lb 12 oz box) Borax
  • 1  (3 lb 7 oz box) Arm & Hammer Super Washing
  • 1  (3 lb tub) OxyClean

  • 2  (14.1 oz Bars) of Zote or Fels Naptha (I prefer Zote) (Zote does come in a flake form, some stores have it and some don't, you need to look for it). If they have it, it eliminates the need to granulate the bar soap. It's much easier and the way I make it now. One box of Zote Flakes equals 2 bars of soap.
  • 1  (4 lb box) Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
  • 1  (55 oz jug/bottle) Purex Crystals Fabric Softener (granular).

My thoughts about this recipe:
I have tested and used this recipe. It works very well, the clothes come out clean, soft and with a light fresh scent. I will continue to make and use it! I like it much better than the liquid/gelatinous older version.

Personal recommendations:
First; I would recommend when using a food processor is to shred the Zote first and place the shredded Zote in a separate bowl. Change to the chopping blade and then fill the processor about 1/2 full with the shredded Zote and about one cup of Borax then chop to granulate. The reason is the Borax powder will coat the Zote as its being granulated in the processor otherwise the Zote tends to stick together or ball up if by itself then will not evenly distribute itself throughout the rest of the dry ingredients when hand blending in a bucket full of all the rest of the ingredients. The ingredients are heavy and somewhat difficult to mix thoroughly.

Second; to make blending all the ingredients much easier and thorough, layer the ingredients when filling the 5 gallon bucket for mixing.

Divide and layer approximately:
  • 1/2 the Super Wash
  • 1/2 the Purex
  • 1/2 the Zote
  • 1/2 the Borax
  • 1/2 the Baking Soda
  • 1/2 the OxyClean
Then repeat the layers with the remaining portions of the ingredients;
  • the Super Wash
  • the Purex
  • the Zote
  • the Borax
  • the Baking Soda
  • the OxyClean
Now mix/blend together by hand.

How many laundry loads does this recipe make and cost?

  • My total cost of all ingredients was $25.47 plus sales tax.

  • The total weight of all ingredients is 20.3 lbs. (about 2.5+ gallons)

  • 1/4 cup for each full washer load = 144 full machine loads or about 288 smaller half loads.

  • Cost per load is less than $0.18 cents for full loads or $0.09 cents for half loads.

Here are what the granules look like mixed. The blue/green is the Purex, the pink is the Zote and the white everything else. The colors help let you know you have mix all the ingredients evenly.

This is a 5 gallon bucket I used to mix in. You can see by the darker area the content level of all the ingredients.

All finished, labeled and ready to use!
I saved the Purex bottle/jug and filled with the mix recipe granules. It has a flip top opening pour spout for easy dispensing into the measuring cup.


  1. Mike,

    Thanks for the recipe!!! It does pay to may your own detergent.

    1. Yes it does and this recipe is very easy to make and with no left over boxes of ingredients. So far it has been doing a great job. I like it a lot better than the liquid homebrew I had been using.

  2. I just can't go along with the Purex granular fabric softener. More chemicals. OK....I use the OcyClean now, but that is as far as I am willing to go. Clothes are soft with homemade laundry soap. I sure don't want a chemical scent, either. In addition to saving money, I am also concerned with all the chemicals we are exposed nowadays, especially in our cleaning agents.

    1. Tew, I'm pretty sure you can leave out what you don't like and it will still clean clothes.
      I agree with you about all the chemicals we have to live with, especially all the drugs they feed livestock of all kinds and the city water we have little choice about.

  3. I use this recipe too but without the Purex. It works great. The first time I made a small batch and I used a grater, well, rather I got husband to grate the soap for me. He wasn't interested in helping me a second time (LOL) so I too used my food processor. Worked really well and I like the smaller soap pieces. With that second batch I made enough to fill an old Costco laundry soap container. It's worth the effort.

    1. Glad to hear it works for you. I'm amazed at how well it cleans and the fresh scent.