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.
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 week.....at 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.