Homemade Powder Laundry Soap

1-23-16:  Before you begin… let me warn you of a couple of things.  it’s Very dusty so make sure you have adequate ventilation.  And, there are three different methods to “powder up the zote soap”…discussed below.

1-25-18:  I’ve been using the third method.  It involves purchasing a small mini food processsor, but ohhhh so worth it!

FIRST METHOD:  The zesting way BLOWS.  we ended up Not even finishing the zest method.  You basically get a good quality zester (which i had).  You do not use a regular grater. You need to zest the two bars of soap into a very fine zest.  booo hiss!

SECOND METHOD:  instead, hubby said he watched something on microwaving the soap.  HMMMM…so I ended up microwaving half a bar at a time …  4 minutes and completely cooling it and then sifting it through a colanderThat went ok and we got a very nice consistency of powder.  We were pleased but it sure stunk up the house and microwave for quite some time.

To microwave, cut the bars in half, then cube it down.  use a couple paper plates and microwave half a bar at a time 3-4 minutes. And, yes the soap can burn. And you can’t use the burned soap. Check and see if the majority of the soap has puffed up like cotton candy, remove and cool completely.  Then, using your fingers/knuckles, carefully sift and swirl it into a container.  it should sift semi-easily. Be careful not to scrape up your knuckles. Ouch, game over!   With the left over chunks, I simply set them aside and re-microwaved the smaller chunks again for a minute and repeated the process.  yes, it takes time, but hopefully this will be worth it! 🙂

THIRD METHOD:  so i have not tried this method, but i plan to.  This ‘sounds’ like the easiest method to use.  However, it costs a bit more.  You can buy pre-flaked zote bars.  (now we’re talkin !)  put flakes into a mini food processor devoted for powder laundry soap making only.  not for use after with food.  eww.  Add a bit of the borax to the flakes to help with the flakes in keeping a powdery consistency.  use a pulsate-type processing method (on/off, on/off) until blended. done.  YEP. definitely gonna try this.

I have my very first load in the washer.  I used ONE Tablespoon of the mix.  And, the first load is out of the dryer.  I am very happy with how clean the clothes look.  Hubby and I are o.k. with the scent.  Very light.  And, just so you know, I am still using a separate fabric softener like Downey or the like.  That may change …if I can find a recipe that we both like and actually works.  Someday…  After the load is done, and we’ve worn the clothes, I will let you know how our sensitive skin did with this new laundry soap.  FINGERS CROSSED !!!

1.30.16:  We’ve been testing out the soap for a week.  I used the soap on All my laundry…from towels to blue jeans. Everything is good with no skin irritations.  Granted, it is winter (California winter).  so, cooler weather and no problems with the soap on skin.  I wonder if summer hot will have any affect on us.  I’ll keep you posted 🙂

10.2.16:  So we made it through the summer with plenty of hot days and had no side effects from using the soap! 

Powder Laundry Soap

  • Servings: supposedly around a year's worth of laundry doing an average of 4 loads per week
  • Print


1 (4 lb 12 oz) 76oz Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle.

1 (3 lb 7 oz) 55oz Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda  this is not your regular baking soda.  it is found in the laundry soap isle of your store.

1 (4 lb) 64 oz Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda.  this IS your regular baking soda

2 (14.1 oz each) Bars of Zote Soap pink, zested!  you can buy the soap already flaked…but I have NO idea if that would work as well as zesting the two bars. (Zesting sucks…so I microwaved it.  instructions on microwaving are at the top of the page)

1 (3 lb) 48oz Container of OxyClean

have on hand:  It’s a good idea to get separate items because I don’t think mixing my cooking utensils with soap is a good idea.  (yeah, I’m picky)

A good quality zester  /  a ONE Tablespoon measuring spoon

Stirring Spoon  or garbage bags to Mix the Ingredients. (The garbage bag mixing method works GREAT.  it’s very quick)  /  some kind of soap container to hold all the soap.  (I also bought a smaller air tight container to use.  I plan to keep it on-hand, right above the washing machine.


take paper off the Zote soap and let it set overnight to dry out a bit.  I’ve heard you could freeze it as well for easier zesting.  to me, working with frozen soap, sounds….  not good….so I’m opting with leaving it out overnight.  We’ll see.

ok, so….  zest the zote soap.  not grate, ZEST.  thankfully hubby is gonna help me with this  “#($*%#($*%#” task

I’m opting to use some heavy duty garbage bags to mix the ingredients.  once again, hubby is gonna help me with this.  Basically, you just dump it all together and stir it up a bit at a time.  In my case, shake it up.  ‘Supposedly’ you will have about a year’s worth of laundry detergent because you only use ONE – TWO TABLESPOONS of detergent PER load.  It is VERY concentrated.

Smaller Batch:   Homemade Laundry Detergent – Trial Sized Version

·         1 bar grated Fels Naptha soap (Fels Naptha is just another type of Zote Soap.  not sure what size to get on the Fels Naptha soap)

·         3 cups Borax  /  2 cups washing soda  /  3/4 cup baking soda  /  4 1/2 cups  oxy clean

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