Homemade Gel Laundry Detergent





Introduction: Homemade Gel Laundry Detergent

This is a great recipe. I have been using it for a while now and absolutely love it! It leaves your laundry smelling clean and soft without any fragrance. You can add fragrance if you would like. But it is great as is. It cost about $1.25 for 2 gallons of this detergent of the amount used in this recipe. Of course all ingredients cost about $7.50. You will have alot left. Probably enough for the entire year (with the exception of the zote).

Step 1:

Measure 2 cups of this arm & hammer super washing soda and put it in a large bucket. 5 gallon bucket with lid works good.

Step 2:

Measure 2 cups of this borax and add to the bucket of washing soda.

Step 3:

Take the Zote and grate it into a powder, about the consistancy of instant mashed potatoes. You will need 2 cups of this powder. In a large pot, put the 2 cups of powdered zote into pot. Add 4 cups of cold water. Heat mixture till boiling while stirring. Be careful, the foam may overflow so make sure you use a large pot. Once it is melted, carefully add the mixture to your bucket. Mix all ingredients well.

Step 4: Add 2 Gallons of Tap Water.

Now add 2 gallons of tap water to your bucket. I use it room temperature. Mix altogether. That's it!

When you are ready to wash your first load, just mix it with a large spoon. I use 1/2 cup in my LG "he" washer. Yes I use it in my high efficiency washer. As far as I can tell there are no problems. Hardly any suds at all. Try using more in top loaders. Maybe 1 cup.

Others have been using a downy ball full of white vinegar as a rinse aid and fabric softener. It helps rinse out any soap residue. I use it in my "he" washer in the tray to the full mark.

If you are wondering if the clothes have a vinegar smell, they don't. While we're on the subject of vinegar, it works awesome as a rinse aid in your dishwasher!

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45 Discussions

I make my own homemade laundry soap....I bought a paint stirrer for my drill and stir everything up and don't have to worry about stirring before every use or gel clumps

I make this all the time. I cut the recipe in half and make just 1 gallon at a time. Sometimes I just use it in powder form (1 Tbsp. Per load). It's pretty awesome. I use cold process lye soap, but zote is good too!

3 replies

Glad to see you are using this so much!

I know this is old, but for those reading, some people use Yardley soaps instead of Zone or Fels Naptha. The Yardley soaps come in fragrances like English Lavender and Oatmeal. Just an F.Y.I. for those who can't find the others.

1 reply

It makes about 2.5 gallons

I meant Zote. lol My spell check thinks it's smarter than I am.

i have a recipe somewhere and I make 5 gallons of liquid soap. It lasts 16 months.Rima

I love it


Thank you! I've been using soap I bought in a kit on the internet for about 6 months now. I have a family of 4 and it just now ran out! So, I went ahead and got the stuff for making the next 5 gallon bucket's worth, and I am so pleased to have found your Instructable, that mirrors the ingredients and gives me the basic know-how to make it on my own. I add a dropper-full of lavender essential oil to my own mixture and it makes our laundry smell really great too! Thanks again!

What is Zote? Could I use other soap, or is there something special about Zote? Also, why might there be a legal issue about what kind of washer you use?

5 replies

I've tried this with the Zote, which works great. I now make it using my homemade bar soap or my homemade liquid soap in place of the Zote. It all works really well. I use the homemade soap because my son is allergic to all store bought brand bar and body washes (although he did not have a negative reaction to the the Zote).

Any store bought castile soap will work in place of homemade soaps.

You can use Ivory soap also. Zote is a laundry soap. Its probably found in a bigger store along with the detergents. I was being sarcastic about being against the law because it's results are like any other detergent I use. And it's so cheap.

ah, ok. I was wondering if it was a water quality law related to something about too much detergent in your grey-water, kind of like dumping chemicals down your sink!

Would this 'awsome damn cheap elixer' by chance be biodegradable ??? Which would make it even more awsome!!!!! inquiring minds would like to know.

I don't know about the Zote soap, but I make this recipe with fels naptha laundry soap and it's biodegradable. Both washing soda and borax are naturally occuring elements. I will also add lavendar oil to some to use on my sheets and towels, it's a nice touch.