I have been waiting to use up my last box of store purchased laundry detergent. I am almost there, so it's time to make laundry soap. A first for me. This recipe was published in Country Circuit magazine, A Three Rivers Electric Cooperative Production (my employer). We have had nothing but good things said about it.
This recipe will make a 5 gallon bucket full of liquid detergent. From friends who have made it, supposedly it can cost you less than $10 to do a year worth of laundry. I had to go to the blacksmith shop to borrow BT's Borax and Washing soda. No he doesn't do laundry in the shop! He uses the borax when forge welding. He uses the Washing soda in his cleaning tank to remove rust from metal.
I see at Drugstore.com, the Borax cost $8.69 for 76 oz. and The Arm and Hammer Washing soda is $5.99 for 55 oz. You only need 1 1/2 cups of each to make a gallon bucket of detergent. The Ivory soap is abut 50 cents a bar. I bought all of these supplies locally.
So here's the pot I used. See my Gnome on the Range is guarding it too.
So here's the recipe:
1 1/2 cup Washing soda
1 bar grated Ivory Soap
1 1/2 cup Borax
1 1/2 cup Powdered color safe bleach (optional) I did not use this.
Mix grated soap with 9 pints (that's 18 cups) warm water in a stock pot and heat on low stirring until dissolved
Stir in Washing Soda, Borax and bleach powder. Stir on low till foaming consistency.
Pour soap into 5 gallon bucket and fill with hot water, mix well. Set aside for 24 hours or overnight to thicken. Stir occasionally during the first 24 hours.
Use 1/2 cup per load of laundry. And as a side note, when you wash with this it will not suds. But then suds aren't what clean your laundry, they can actually dull your wash.