Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~


Friday, August 21, 2009

Pretty 'n Pink

It's official. I joined the bandwagon like so many thrifty people who are looking to save some money by making their own detergent. I found two great sites, along with Rhonda Jean's blog post on recipes and instructions: I found Mary Jane's The Beehive Cottage post and pictures to be delightful reading on the subject, and this site also had very useful information.

I went out and bought my supplies (only four ingredients) a while back but kept procrastinating on actually mixing them up. And yes, that's all you have to do. The only bit of labor involves either shredding or running through a food processor your Zote bar of soap. If you shred with a food processor, you'll still need to break it down some more with the regular blade. But make sure you do this along with some of your mixed powders so as to enable the Zote to break down into smaller pieces. Otherwise you'll end up with larger bits such as in this photo from one of the sites that carries the recipe:

Compared to mine, I think I was actually able to break the Zote into finer pieces. However, it never actually pulverizes. There are still little chunks which I'm hoping will dissolve in water. The mixture is a nice shade of pink. My camera doesn't show the true color very well. One other thing, I did use my regular food processor which I will use again for my regular food preparation. It's only soap, you just wash your utensils and rinse them well, no harm done.

My recipe fluctuated just a bit in that I added two 14 oz bars of Zote:
4 lbs. Borax
4 lbs. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
4 lbs. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
2 14oz bars of Zote soap
Total cost for ingredients: $10.60
Produced approximately 15 lbs. of detergent
As compared to a box of 'Gain' detergent which costs $10.99 for 8 1/4 lbs. Amount used per load is also MORE than the 1-2 TBS. of homemade detergent.

I used my big old menudo pot to properly mix everything.

Stirring everything together:

And just to appease any concerns anyone might have about the Zote soap which is made in Mexico, I will share this little tidbit: I bathe with it! Yes, you read that right...I use Zote to bathe. It's gentle on my skin actually. I never would have thought to use it since it's marketed to be used specifically for cleaning clothes. Women in Mexico who have no access to washing machines will use it on their trusty little washboards as the only soap or as an added spot remover. (It's also supposed to make a great catfish bait) But then I read on Mexico Bob's blog that his wife used it for bathing. So I thought I'd give it a try. And he was right, it really is gentle for showering. But what I like even better is that it's so cheap! The small bar can be found for around .50-.75 cents and the humongous 14 oz bar for just under a dollar! It lasts a long time too. We were spending more than $10 every two weeks on regular bath soap. But the large Zote lasts about a only one buck! It is rather bulky to handle though. My Sweetie prefers the smaller bar.
So now all that's left is for me to try this mix up in my washing machine. As to the amount of detergent to use, it's unbelievable but it is only one tablespoon per load, or two tablespoons if it's a heavily soiled load! I think this is where the savings part of this whole formula is. You use much less detergent per load to get your clothes clean.
I hope to be able to come back and report that it worked fine! So there you have it! Cleaning never cost so little!


Amy said...

Yaya...I have heard of making this laundry detergent before, but haven't been able to find the Zote soap here. I will be interested to see how your laundry fares. Have a great weekend!

YayaOrchid said...

Hi, Amy! You can substitute other soaps for the Zote. There are several that people have mentioned using.

Renee said...

I love your coffee cup! Your laundry detergent sounds wonderful ~ I can't wait to try it. Thanks!

Elaine said...

Yaya, I've been meaning to do this very thing but have been putting it off too. Glad you took the plunge and did it!:) because now you can let us all know how it's working. Be sure to keep us posted!
Elaine :)

glorv1 said...

Hi yaya. You know, I have not used my Zote bar that you sent me as of yet. Tonight though, I will use it for my shower. I remember Bob saying his wife used it for showering. How neat that you are making your own soap. I look forward to seeing what the results are. You go girl!! Make that soap!! :D I like the pink on your blog too or more like lilac. Have a great Saturday.

Renee said...

Yaya, how I love you. You always, without fail (or almost) make me smile.

Love Renee xoxo

YayaOrchid said...

Renee, THANK YOU for helping me get the coffee widget. :) Glad you stopped by.

Elaine, I most certainly will let you'll know how the detergent works. I will use it at my next scheduled wash day. :)

Gloria, thanks for your nice comment! I will let you know how it goes with the detergent. I'm going to be changing my blog look soon. (again)

Renee, thank you for your sweet comment! :)

Wool Winder said...

We use Zote at our weekend place to wash our hands after fishing. It really gets rid of the fishy smell. The bar is pretty big though, so I cut it into three pieces.

Dida said...

making ur own laundry detergent ...!!!
...sounds awesome.
Really looking fwd. to your feed back on this detergent.
Also I don't know what's Zote bar, and where can I find it..?

have a nice day...

YayaOrchid said...

Tracy, the Zote bar is available in two sizes. The huge one and a regular sized one.

Dida, you might be able to find Zote in hispanic supermarkets if your regular grocery store doesn't carry it. It comes in two sizes and two colors, neon pink and white. The odor is not that great, as it smells like citronella, but it is an awesome product!

I'll be making a post on the results very soon!

Tracy said...

Loved this post YaYa! I make all my household cleaners--they're green and cost effective. I've not mixed up my own detergents like this though. I've been using and eco liquid for laundry. I learned a lot from this post...thank you! Happy Day ((HUGS))


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