Yesterday, I embarked on my bi-monthly making of laundry detergent. I started making this sometime in the past year. I had heard of people making their own and saving quite a bit of money. I was skeptical at first, but thought I didn't really have anything to lose. What I did know was that I was tired of paying $20 for laundry detergent! I found a site that had instructions and an ingredient list.
This is really a very easy process. You'll need the following (all found at Ace Hardware):
You will need 1/3 a bar of the Fels Naptha soap and 1/2 cup each of Borax and the Super Washing Soda. Put 6 cups of water into a large saucepan. You will also need a large bucket (you'll end up with about 2 gallons of detergent). (I make mine in a single HUGE dutch oven/roaster that I found at a garage sale.) The instructions I give will be how I do it with my super-big pot.
Put six cups of water into sauce pan and turn on medium heat. Grate the soap into the water. Heat it until the soap melts.
When the soap is dissolved, add the Borax and the Super Washing Soda. Stir until this is dissolved.
Turn off the heat. Add 4 cups of hot water (if you're using a bucket, put the water into the bucket, then add the soap mixture from the saucepan; otherwise, just add the hot water directly into your LARGE pan). Next add 1 gallon (16 cups) + 6 cups of water. Stir. It gets frothy. That's OK. It will be a watery gel. Let this sit for about 24 hours and it will thicken up. It will actually separate so that the water is on the bottom and the gel is on top.
After I've let mine sit and thicken up, I stir it really well. I then pour it into a gallon pitcher to refill my 150 oz. detergent bottle that has a spigot. Once that is refilled, I put the remaining detergent into Ball jars. I can usually get four large Ball jars and one small one with detergent.