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I used to make the liquid but the last couple of times I have made powder. I have tried different fabric softener options and have now started buying the purex crystals in Lavender. I make up a large batch of detergent as in 5 bars of fels napta, a box of borax, a box of washing soda, and a large bottle of purex crystals. It is supposed to be enough for a year, but my husband gets so dirty at work I have to add more than 2 Tbsp. for his work clothes--about 1/2 cup. Anyway, I am more than pleased. It cost me about 21.00 to make about 6 + months worth. I don't think that is two bad considering the price of most detergents.
 

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This thread is interesting. I actually bought stuff to make the homemade detergent a few years ago but never did. I had read several of the same reviews.... it works well at first then laundry gets smelly and not clean. After reading this though maybe it was because they put to much laundry in the machine at once. I also read it could mess up your front loader and since I had a new one I didn't want to chance it.( I won't get another front loader, It is no better than my top loader was)

I recently bought a 4 gallon bucket of Charlies powdered laundry soap for 114.99, no shipping and no tax. It does 1250 loads so will last the 2 of us around 3 1/2 years. I love charlies and I usually use the 1 tbs recommended( our clothes don't get really dirty ). Also, you do not need fabric softner ( not that I used it anyways ) I was surprised after a few months of using it my clothes and towels really did feel soft. According to charlies that is because traditional detergents do not rinse all the way out and leave a buildup. After using charlies for awhile all the buildup is gone and you have soft, clean clothes.

If you want to try charlies I recommend getting the small size ( around 10 dollars ) to see if you like it. That is what I did.
 

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I love, love, love Charlie's soap. I've used it for years. I did try homemade but nothing works like Charlie's. You are right that no softener is needed. I order mine from Amazon and it's delivered right to my door. I get the smaller size, it lasts my dd and myself a long time. I spend app. $25 a year on this. Not bad for a years worth of laundry soap. For stains I use Oxydol.
 
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