The necessary ingredients
Since it was time for me to make this last night, I figured I would go ahead and share the recipe. I love making my own detergent. It takes less than 20 min. Plus, it seems to last forever. I have made it only 4-5 times during the past 1 1/2 yrs. So, here is the recipe:
Homemade Laundry Detergent
3.1 oz bar Ivory soap (of Fels Naptha)
1 C Borax
1/2 C Washing Soda
5 gallon containerI found it easiest to use a cat litter container that I washed out. You could always mix your detergent in a large container and then transfer to smaller containers, but I guess I am lazy and just prefer to keep it in the same container.
Shave soap and place in a pot with 5 cups of water. Bring the water just shy of a boil and stir until the soap is completely melted.
While waiting for soap to melt, pour 3 gallons of hot water into a 5 gallon container.
Add the pot of water and melted soap and stir.
Once thoroughly stirred, add the 1/2 C of washing soap and stir until dissolved.
Once dissolved, add the 1 C of Borax and stir. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil at this time.
Once completely mixed, put the lid on the container and let sit overnight.
The detergent will look cloudy and have soapy lumps, but that is because you aren't using all the additives that store bought detergents have to keep the smooth consistency.
That's it! I timed it last night and, even with a few interruptions, it took me less than 20 min to make. I add tea tree oil and some lemon/eucalyptus to my detergent this last time. When I first made it, another lady had been taking part in a contest where you needed to have some type of food in your homemade cleaner, so she had added grapefruit zest. I went ahead and added orange zest at the time and it smelled really nice.
The best thing about this detergent is the cost. I bought 2 boxes of Borax, 2 boxes of washing soda and 7 bars of Ivory soap 1 1/2 years ago. I still have 3 bars of the Ivory soap, almost all of one box of the washing soda and 1/3 a box of the Borax left (I use the Borax to also clean toilets and a few other things). I am washing clothes and cloth diapers for less than a penny a load.
Next I am going to try a recipe for a stain remover that I found. After that (and once I have used up my current supply of store bought facial cleansers) I want to try a homemade facial cleanser recipe that I found.