I know it sounds completely insane. Why would I waste my time making detergent when I could simply buy a bottle at the store? The answer is simple.
I saw a recipe for laundry soap several months ago and had always wanted to give it a try. After watching the bottle sizes continue to shrink at the store, I decided that it was time for a little experiment.
The laundry soap was surprisingly easy to make. I even added some lavender essential oil to my concoction for a nice fresh scent. I have to tell you that I am thrilled with the results. My clothes have never been so clean or smelled so fresh. I see no reason to go back to the old stuff.
You can increase the amount of washing soda and borax or reduce the amount of water to create a more concentrated detergent. The finished product will have a consistency ranging between egg drop soup and jelly depending on how much water, soda and borax you use. One thing to note... this is a low sudsing soap. The ingredients do all the cleaning, not the suds.
I was also surprised by how inexpensive the soap was to make. According to my calculations, my first batch cost $0.85. What a bargain!
1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated (you can also use Zote)
1/2 c. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 c. 20 Mule Team Borax
1 tsp. essential oil of your choice
2 gallon container
Put soap and 6 c. water in a pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and borax, stirring until it is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
Pour 4 c. hot water into the 2 gallon container. Add the soap mixture and the essential oil. Stir to combine. Add 1 gallon + 6 c. water, stirring again to combine. Let the mixture sit for 24 hours to allow it to gel before using.
Use 1/4 - 1/2 c. of the soap per load of laundry.