My cousin shared this idea with me and I took off with it. I love the idea of making something cheaper than I can buy it AND that I know what goes into it! It is about about $0.01 per load! This makes about 2 gallons or 64 – 1/2 cup loads.
1 bar Ivory soap - no scent, no coloring
1/4 bar Fels Naptha½ cup washing soda (different thank baking soda)
½ cup borax powder
45 drops of Essential Oil (lemon, tea tree, or lavender are great)
Grate the soaps and put them 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. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Finally, add your favorite essential oil, I use about 45 drops of tea tree oil but I used lemon and grapefruit too and they work really well. You can obviously use whatever scent you want. The EO will make the soap a more effective cleanser, make the soap more effective at getting rid of bacteria and microbes (not sure about all oils but tea tree has anti bacterial agents in it), and will of course make your laundry smell incredible.
Pour mixture into old detergent bottles and let sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. I used two 1 gallon juice containers. The finished soap will not be a solid gel. It will be more of a watery gel, with a pearly white color to it. The recipe says you only need about 1/2 cup per load.
Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap. It appears to be safe and effective in energy efficient machines too because it hardly makes any suds. Because this recipe includes far less chemical than other laundry soaps, i.e., cleaners, dyes, fragrance, you will find it to be great for allergies and sensitive skin, and I feel better about it not being carcinogenic.