Preview: The Foca powdered laundry detergent I bought is incompatible with my HE washer. To avoid waste, I used it for cleaning tasks around the house instead.
Last summer during my no spend challenge, I scoured the internet for the cheapest, positively-reviewed laundry detergent. I discovered Foca. It comes in enormous bags (handy for my extra-large family) and costs pennies per load.
Is Foca HE Safe?
I used Foca for several weeks in my old top-loader machine, with great results. Then, we moved houses.
Our new home had a shiny, water-saving HE washing machine.
Suddenly, Foca didn’t work so well. It wouldn’t dissolve properly, even though I used a fraction of the recommended amount. Because I was using so little detergent, my clothes weren’t getting clean.
Powdered Foca laundry detergent clearly states on the label that it’s not recommended for HE machines. Ruh-roh! I’d missed this bit of information.
The liquid version is apparently HE safe, but it’s not as cheap as the powdered. And generally speaking, powdered laundry detergents outperform liquids.
Like other times my money-saving attempts failed, I felt discouraged at this squandered purchase. Can you relate?
Instead of giving up, I threw back my shoulders, took a breath and put my thinking cap on. How could I use up this Foca so it didn’t go to waste?
5 Frugal Uses for Foca Laundry Detergent
I began using Foca for cleaning around the house. I discovered that it’s an excellent all-purpose household cleaner. Here’s how I used it.
1: Shiny Tub and Tile
Being mildly abrasive, Foca is awesome at cleaning tubs, sinks and tile. I used it to clean my bathrooms this week and they’re sparkling.
Foca is blue, so it’s easy to see where you’ve sprinkled it. Only a small amount is necessary to get excellent results. I used just a couple of tablespoons of Foca to clean my large tub, sinks, and fixtures.
2: Easiest Ever Toilet Cleaner
I sprinkled Foca in the containers that hold my toilet brushes. A little powder clings to the brush. To give the toilets a quick clean, all I do is grab the brush and swish.
Foca smells lovely, which is important in a bathroom boys (of any age) use!
(I wouldn’t do this if I had a crawling baby who might become interested in the pretty blue powder.)
3: Freshen Funky Spaces
Foca has a fresh but not overwhelming scent. It’s ideal for deodorizing.
I used it as a trash can freshener. I cleaned my trash cans with a little Foca and water, then dried them thoroughly. Before adding a new bag, I sprinkled a little Foca at the bottom. The cans smell nice, and the detergent absorbs moisture. If a trash bag leaks, the Foca clumps, making it easier to clean the can.
When it’s time to clean the trash cans again, I simply add a little water, swish it with the detergent that’s already there, dump it out and rinse.
Time-saving cleaning hacks are my friend.
You know the distinctive odor of the mom minivan? It’s a lovely combo of sour milk, dirty socks and french fries. Fumigate by sprinkling Foca lightly on the mats, leave overnight, and vacuum the next morning. Et voila! Begone, eau de mom van.
I put a bowl of Foca in our shoe cabinet to cut the funk there too.
4: Carpet Cleaner
A certain child who shall remain nameless
Julien knocked a cup of coffee over, spraying my carpeted stairs in a million caffeinated spots. I added a bit of Foca to my carpet cleaning machine, and it made short work of the stains.
Have I told you lately how much I adore my Bissell carpet cleaning extraction machine?
The following are Amazon Associate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and buy.
My Little Green Spot and Stain Cleaning Machine even obliterated red wine from my pale beige carpet.
Laundry detergent is an excellent degreaser. If you get something oily on your clothes, make a paste with Foca and water and work it into the stain. Leave for 20 minutes, then launder in the warmest water recommended for the item.
An oily spill in the garage or driveway? Foca sprinkled on it and left overnight makes stain removal a snap.
Using Foca in my Top-Loader Washing Machine
Before our move, when I was using a top-loader, I loved how clean my clothes got with Foca.
Although the label says to use one full cup for washing a load of laundry, I never used that amount. I pre-treated stains by dampening the item and then sprinkling on a tiny bit of Foca. I would add 1/4 – 1/3 cup to the washer, depending on how large the load and how soiled the clothing.
Some people complain that Foca comes in a large plastic bag, making it somewhat awkward to store. I poured mine in a large glass jar. You could also use a small bucket, washtub, or a small storage container with a lid.
For household cleaning, pour Foca into a Parmesan cheese shaker. Then you can sprinkle it into tubs, sinks and other areas.
Where to buy Foca
Walmart has great prices on Foca laundry detergent. You can also get it on (affiliate link) Amazon. And since Foca is made in Mexico and is very popular there, you can find it in a mercado.
How much Foca to use
As mentioned above, I discovered that I could get away with using a fraction of the recommended amount of Foca. My clothes came out fresh smelling and clean with only 1/3 to 1/4 the amount listed on the packaging.
The same thing is true of my bestie, powdered Tide. I throw away the laundry detergent measuring cup that comes in the package, and use a small coffee scoop in my box of Tide instead. I rarely need to use an entire scoop, unless I’m washing something unusually greasy or soiled.
Do you like saving money?
Grab my free ebook, The Temporary Tightwad. Simply enter your name and email address below.