We’ve been using this detergent recipe for a few years, and it works great!
Here’s the “recipe”…
What you need –
-5 gallon bucket with lid
-long paint stick (can get from the paint dept. when you get a bucket & lid)
-bar soap (5.5 oz) that is not perfumed (look for hand-made soaps in local shops or farmers markets; you should be able to find soaps that contain only: “Saponified Oils of Palm and Coconut; Glycerine”)
-1/2 cup of Borax
-1 cup Washing Soda (not Baking Soda but by Arm & Hammer – buy it in the laundry aisle)
Cut bar of soap into small pieces or grate. I strongly recommend GRATING because it will melt so much faster!
Cook soap pieces in 4 cups hot water on cook-top – medium heat; stirring frequently until fully dissolved.
Fill bucket half full with hot tap water
Add the dissolved soap/water from cook-top.
Pour in the Washing Soda & Borax and stir until dissolved
Fill bucket with additional hot tap water – to 5 gallon mark and stir.
Place lid on bucket and let sit overnight to gel.
The next day, stir and pour solution into smaller containers. (Just use old liquid laundry detergent bottles, half gallon or gallon milk/juice/water jugs).
This solution is a concentrate, so be sure to add it to your machine water BEFORE adding clothes. Also, this soap will not form suds – don’t worry, it’s not the suds that do the cleaning; it’s the components of the soap 🙂
I give my jug a quick swish before each use, but vigorous shaking is not necessary.
To add to your wash, pour 1/4 cup per load for top load machines (320 loads) or 1/8 cup for front load or high efficiency machines (640 loads). Some folks have even used only 1 TBSP with front load machines and it worked fine (1280 loads)!!!
**I’ve been told that by adding 1/4 – 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle, this makes the clothes super soft and keeps your washing machine hoses clean as well as helps eliminate any odors on clothing….AND……fabric softener sheets in the dryer can be replaced by simply adding vinegar to the rinse cycle. If you don’t have a liquid fabric softener spot on your machine you could use one of those Downy balls and fill instead with vinegar.