1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
1 bar soap (I use ivory, but anything works)
About three gallons of water
1. Put four cups of water in a large stock pot on stove and bring to boil. While you are waiting grate your bar or soap (I use a box grater for this)
2. Once your water is boiling you can add the soap flakes to it gradually and stir until they dissolve.
3. When you get close to having most of you flakes dissolved put three gallons of really warm tap water into the container you want you soap to go into.
4. Then stir in the washing soda, borax and soap mixture after it is dissolved, stir everything really well. Then make sure there is a lid on your container and leave for 24 hours. You will want to stir it before use as is will look like jello on top. I usually use a coffee cup full per load of laundry.
Been making this soap for over 10 years.
Grate 1/3 bar Fels Naptha
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda
1/2 cup Mule Train Borax
2 gallons of water
I use a stock pot simmer 1 gallon until it is all disolved and the Fels Naptha melted I then add another gallon of water let it cool put in the jugs.Make sure to shake the jug before putting in washer to mix it up.Use 1/2 cup per load.
I'd suggest using ZOTE for the bar soap. It's CHEAP (80-cents a bar at Big Lots), which is much cheaper than Fels Naptha, and has optical brighteners in it, which aids in keeping your whites brighter than using Fels Naptha or bath bars (Ivory, etc.). ZOTE also has a nice citronella smell. The fats in Fels Naptha and Ivory can actually cause the clothing to get a slightly rancid smell, especially noticeable in off-season clothing that were washed with homemade laundry mixtures, when you take them out of storage.
Fels Naptha used to be a good laundry bar to use until they removed the "naptha" in it, which was the cleaning component. Now it's just over-priced and not nearly as effective for laundry use.
If you've never used homemade laundry detergents, you may find after several months you get a soap scum build-up on your clothing and you may need to switch to a regular laundry detergent for a period of time to remove it and brighten your clothes again. This is especially true if you have hard water. Use vinegar in the rinse to aid in removing hard water caused soap scum. You may also need an extra rinse, especially if you notice your clothing are stiff (especially if you line dry them). That stiffness means your soap isn't rinsing out.
If you have a front-loading washing machine, homemade laundry soap mixtures may not be recommended for use in them. If the machine is new, it may actually void the warranty. The high-fat bar soap used in the mixtures can cause mold-growth in front-loaders.
You also should use the hottest water possible for the type of clothing you are washing for a soap-based homemade mixture to work effectively. Detergents, and especially detergents designed to be used in cold water are better for cold water use than SOAP.
Detergent manufacturers and care labels define cold water as 80-85°F. If the temperature of water is below 65°F, it's not recommended for washing and you are just basically rinsing your clothes and not getting any activity from the soap/detergent in water that is that cold. Water temperature is as important to cleaning laundry as the detergent/soap.
If your whites start to yellow or look gray, after a period of use of homemade soap mixtures, try adding 2-3 T. dishwasher detergent to the load of whites, along with the homemade laundry mixture. Dishwasher detergent still contains phosphates that will help remove the soap scum build-up on your clothes.
Another low-priced option for laundry is to use ROMA laundry detergent. It's made in Mexico and still has phosphates in it, so it's VERY effective for cleaning clothing, and reasonably priced. I've seen it in plastic bags at Big Lots.
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