This recipe will make 2 gallons of liquid detergent for about 75 cents, maybe even less. That's 75 cents for the TOTAL 2 gallons! It doesn't take that much time and it's kind of fun to make. Oh, plan ahead and have something to store it in, like an empty liquid laundry detergent bottle. Or store the bulk of the mixture in a sealed container and the rest in something pretty like a glass jar or jug.
1/3 bar Fels Naptha Laundry Soap
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer super washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
Grate the Fels Naptha Soap. Put in a pan with 3 pints of water. Heat until dissolved. Stir in 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup Borax. Mix and heat until all ingredients are dissolved. Continue cooking for 15 minutes. It will be the consistency of honey. Remove from heat.
In a large bucket (3 or 5 gallon), put 1 quart of hot water, then add the soap. Mix well. Add 5 1/2 quarts cold water (or enough to make 2 gallons total mixture). Mix until well blended. Set aside for 24 hours. The mixture will eventually gel.
Use 1/2 cup for each load.
Fels Naptha Laundry Soap is a bar and is usually located in the laundry section of the store.
Borax can be found near the laundry prewash. (It is called 20 Mule Team Borax)
Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (Not Arm and Hammer detergent) is in the detergent aisle of your store, near the Borax.
I've had good luck finding all of the ingredients at older grocery stores or Walmart.
Sometimes the detergent doesn’t really gel up or even reach honey consistency as described. Don’t fret, dearies. It will still work.
The gel tends to separate in a couple of days. Just give it a stir each time you use it. You can keep it in a detergent bottle like liquid detergent comes in and give it a shake each time you use it.
This detergent will not suds up in the washer, but it is still getting your clothes clean. They say that store-bought detergent has ingredients put in it especially to make it suds so you will think it is cleaning.
The Fels Naptha Soap does have fragrance added so the laundry soap is not fragrance-free.
If you'd like you can add essential oils to customize the scent to suit you.
Cost per load: 1 shiny penny.