I just got around to making my own laundry soap on Thursday. I heard about this recipe (click) awhile ago (June-ish), and just really never got around to doing it myself with all the craziness we've had in our lives this summer.
I just really enjoy trying to make homemade things...not particularly for the savings (although that is great!) and not because I am overly concerned with chemicals or whatever (but, the more natural the better)...but really I just like doing it. It's fun for me. I have been making my own baby wipes since Brooks was born, and wow, have we ever saved a ton of money! More on how to do that in another post (so simple). I've also made general purpose cleaning wipes (like the ones you buy like Lysol or Clorox wipes), similar to the baby wipes just with different solutions, again I'll save that for another time.
I am very curious to see how this detergent holds up against what I normally use. The person who wrote out the recipe in the link I referenced above did a test with this detergent against Tide with Bleach Alternative, (with mustard on a white t-shirt) his results were about even...I never use Tide, just usually Arm & Hammer, or whatever is on sale (Purex, Gain), so I will see how I find the difference in the clothes.
Anyway, it was super quick and simple, so I wouldn't have had to put it off through our busy-ness when it took less than 10 minutes. Sometimes things are just daunting when you haven't done them before.
1 bar soap (Ivory is recommended, but anything can be used. I used Ivory)
1/2 C borax
1 C washing soda (sodium carbonate)
3 gallons water (= 12 qts)
Cut bar of soap in small bits. I grated mine with the hand-held cheese grater. Boil 4 C water. Add soap bit by bit and lower temp a bit. Stir until dissolved.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket (with lid) with 3 gallons water. Add borax, washing soda, and soap mixture and stir. Put lid on bucket and let sit for 24 hours before using. Consistency will vary according to the type of bar-soap used, but will be at least somewhat jelly-ish, could be more or less watery (apparently the consistency doesn't matter). Apparently you use 1C for a large load, 3/4C if you have a front loader (it's supposedly low-sudsing therefore safe for front loaders).
Washing soda (sodium carbonate) is like baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), only it's not edible and more potent, hence used for cleaning. I did have some trouble finding it in a store (must be a regional thing, others report having it everywhere), but I went to a pool supply store, and they had it! It can also be used to clean pools instead of harsher chemical treatments I suppose. I already had the Ivory soap (I stole a bar from the kids dresser drawer, they have about 12 in there!), and I already had the borax (I put it in empty tuna cans behind the toilet, couch etc...helps keep bugs away or kills them). Anyway, each of these were so cheap!
I am really hoping I find that it does a great job on our clothes. I'll let you know this week when I try it! Results here