One Thing I Miss From the US…and How I Make Do #2- Laundry Detergent

Here is a collage of the laundry detergent making process

Here is a collage of the laundry detergent making process

A couple of weeks ago you may have seen a photo from my Instagram account about this, but I thought I should make a post about it because the lack of laundry detergent has been an ongoing problem throughout this school year in Ciudad Ojeda, Venezuela. My friends who live in Valencia assure me that it isn’t a problem in that part of the country, but I like to be prepared.

I have now gone to several different stores (a local store, several corner stores, and the big chain store) and have been unable to find laundry detergent for over a month now.  Like I said before, I have been unable to find it in stores on many occasions so in the past I bought what I assumed would be enough to last me through the end of the school year.  However, one downside of having someone else doing the laundry is not be able to control the amount of laundry detergent used in each load  and she has somehow managed to go through four months of laundry detergent in a two month period.  I have since reiterated that NO MORE than one scoop is to be used per load (I even tried to write a post it in Spanish to remind her).  Meanwhile, I need something to clean my laundry.

How To Quickly and Easily Make Alternative Laundry Soap

1. Slice up a bar of soap.

This is the soap that people use for handwashed clothing

This is the soap that people use for handwashed clothing

2. Put the soap chips in a bottle.

chip in a bottl

3. Heat up water.

Heat up some water

Heat up some water

4. Pour the hot water on top of the soap chips and swirl it around a few times.

5. Let it sit and dissolve for at least 24 hours.

6. Shake gently before using.

Keep it near the laundry room, ready to go

Keep it near the laundry room, ready to go

My lovely friend Caris mentioned that she already makes her own eco friendly laundry detergent using baking soda as a prime ingredient. I also haven’t seen any baking soda for a couple of months so maybe everyone already knew this was an option.  However, I found some links with instructions for how to make your own laundry detergent. Most of them seem to contain “washing soda”, borax, and some kind of bar soap.  Is washing soda the same as baking soda? While I do occasionally find baking soda and bar soap in Venezuela I have never seen “washing soda” or borax, so maybe I should look into it over the summer.

My international teacher friend Deborah who lives in Nepal recommends using soap nuts as a super natural cleaning agent. I found these soap nuts on Amazon and they seem highly recommended. I think I will try them out over the summer.

Do you have any alternatives to laundry detergent that I should try out? Please post your ideas in the comment section below.

There is an affiliate link in this post so if you click on it I might get a few cents to use toward paying off my student loans!


7 responses to “One Thing I Miss From the US…and How I Make Do #2- Laundry Detergent

  1. I have never seen a launderette in the two years I have lived in Ojeda! When I was teaching in Mexico I used to take my clothes somewhere to have them cleaned, but now I have a maid who comes to clean them for me!


  2. I am not good with detergents. My mom does a pre wash in warm water with detergent powder. This is a two hour process until the clothes are chucked in washing machine. She says pre soak helps in loosening the dirt. I have also been recommended lemon (Two lemons in half a bucket of water). Haven’t tried though, heard it really helps though 🙂


  3. Pingback: What I miss from the US #3: Shampoo & Conditioner…And How I Make Do Without It | Teaching Wanderlust·

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