As procrastinated, promised, and provided:
I have two homemade laundry detergent recipes. The first one I learned from Sylvia Britton at christianhomekeeper.org.
Grate 1/3 of a bar of your favorite laundry soap. I’ve only ever used Fels Naptha, as per Sylvia’s instruction, but I’ve heard that Zote, Ivory, or Sunlight also work well. It’s usually always located in the laundry or cleaning section of the supermarket…as are the other ingredients.
Dissolve grated soap in a pot with 6 cups water over medium heat.
Once dissolved, turn off the heat and add 1.5 cups Borax and 1.5 cups Arm and Hammer WASHING soda…(not BAKING soda), stir until dissolved, then pour into a five gallon bucket with 2 gallons of cold water. Whisk it all together, put the lid on it and let it gel overnight.
You can either store it in this five gallon bucket, it will be a gloppy gel—stir before you use it— or you can do like I did, and store it in recycled laundry soap containers or empty gatorade bottles…just shake before you add 1/2 cup to your load of laundry. Note, this does not suds up, and I’m told it’s safe for front-loader washing machines.
When I had four children in the home, this saved a TON of money on my laundry budget. Because of the space requirements of storing that much liquid soap, and the lack of storage and personal space in my little kitchen and laundry area, I went on an online search for a homemade powdered version of the soap. I looked through several, and tweaked to fit my needs, and came up with this recipe, which I use exclusively now, because of the ease of storage and portability:
2 cups Borax, 2 cups A&H Washing soda, 1 cup oxyclean powder, and 1 bar of laundry soap. Here in Canada, I could not find Fels Naptha, and did not have the means of ordering online, so I picked up what was available in the laundry isle, which is Sunlight. I used my Bosch to grate the entire bar of soap, (it smells AMAZING!) then ran it through the blender (a food processor with a wider blade would work better, but I don’t have that attachment, so I made do with what I had, the blender) with 1/2 cup borax, and 1/2 cup of Washing soda, to break up the shredded soap so it would blend more easily. I do up a double batch of this mix at a time, and fill an empty mayonnaise jar to keep on top of the washer. The remainder is stored in a rubbermaid container that holds a double batch. When the rubbermaid container is empty, I do another double batch. I use 2TBS of powder for a regular load, and add another TBS if badly soiled.
For stain treatments, I’ve found that dissolving a bar of sunlight soap works wonderfully as a pre-treat. I store it in an empty 2 liter soda bottle, and keep a recycled dish detergent bottle with a squeeze spout filled on top of the washer. I may experiment with just using a bar of laundry soap, wetting it and rubbing directly on the stain, but haven’t done so yet.
There you have it, my laundry tricks. Just in case you wanted to know 😉