OK, so for the past year I've been making my own laundry detergent. I started for a few different reasons: Seth (my oldest son) has horrible eczema, I hate the smell of most detergents and I wanted to save money. So today I'm sharing this recipe.
I looked for a lot of recipes and all of them are about the same ingredients. I have only used the powdered recipe but they do have liquid recipes and I will post those also.
Powdered Laundry Detergent:
1 cup/bar grated Fels Naptha
1/2 cup 20 mule team Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda (please be sure to get Washing Soda)
Mix and store in airtight container or bag. For light or small loads, use 1 tablespoon. For normal loads, use 2 tablespoons. For heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons. Cost per load .15.
Liquid Recipe #1:
3 Pints Water
1/3 bar grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
2 Gallon bucket to mix it in
1 Quart hot water Hot Water
Mix Fels Naptha soap in a saucepan with 3 pints hot water and heat on low until dissolved. Stir in Washing Soda and Borax. Stir until thickened, and remove from heat. Add 1 Quart Hot Water to 2 gallon Bucket. Add soap mixture, and mix well. Fill bucket completely with additional hot water, and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. You may add additional HOT water if the mixture becomes too thick. Mix Well before each use. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load. Makes 64 loads. Cost per load .03.
Liquid Recipe #2:
1 bar grated Fels Naptha soap
5 gallon bucket
1 cup washing soda
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
4 1/2 gallons water
Put grated Fels Naptha in saucepan and cover with water. Heat on low until dissolved. Fill bucket with hot water and add soap. Stir to combine. Add 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup borax and mix well. As it cools, it will thicken. If mixture becomes too thick, add hot water to thin it to desired consistency. May be used immediately. Mix well before each use. Use 1/2(normal) to 1 cup per load (heavy). Cost per load .04.
-You won't see suds with this detergent, this is totally normal-
*Fels Naptha is also a great stain remover. Dampen the stain and rub with the bar to pre-treat
**All of these ingredients are usually located on the laundry detergent aisle at the grocery store. Fels Naptha bar is about $1.29, 3 lb Box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda about $3.00 and 4 lb box of Borax is about $4.00. The Borax and Washing Soda will last quite some time.**
Edit: Prices have all gone up on the ingredients (as of 8/25/2012), but they have also gone up for regular detergent. Fels Naptha bars have gone up to about $1.79, Washing Soda is now about $4, and Borax is now about $5.