1/3 bar Fels Naptha
½ cup washing soda
½ cup borax powder
Two gallon bucket
*essential oil (optional)
Directions:Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.
Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.
Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.
Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel.
You use ½ cup per load.
*I also added 1/3 oz of orange scented essential oil for a nice scent.**Mine didn't really gel after the 24 hours. But I read that that was normal for it to come out watery and that it can still be used that way. I am going to play around with this a little bit but was happy how it turned out for my first time. This really didn't take much time at all so it wasn't an extra hassle.
Now while I am pleased that one side effect of using homemade detergent is getting rid of the chemicals used to clean our clothes, the main reason I am doing it is to save money. To make sure this was really a money saving endeavor, I kept track of what I spent on all of the ingredients. Here is the breakdown:
-Fels Naptha: 0.99
-Arm & Hammer Washing Soda: 2.69
-Essential Oil: 4.99
The Borax and Washing Soda will last me quite awhile but I am going to figure this based on the Fels Naptha and Essential Oil for which I get 3 batches. Each batch will do 64 loads of laundry. So a third of $12.34 is $4.11. 64 loads at $4.11 comes out to .06 cents a load. Now if we compare this to a leading brand of detergent (I looked at Tide): For 64 loads of Tide it is $14.99 which comes out to .23 cents a load. It is almost 4 times the cost. I say that makes it well worth the effort!
For those of you wondering where to find these items, they can be found at local grocery stores. I was able to find all 3 items together at Fred Meyer, which is what the prices were based on. I picked up the essential oil at a organic store.
*** For an updated version of this post please read HERE***