I originally got this idea from an awesome article from another of my fave blogs, TIPNUT. Anyway, TIPNUT has 10 recipes for home made laundry soap.
Being on this frugal quest, I thought it only my duty to test it out and report my findings. I do not have any pics, but I am going to make some ultra-sensitive stuff soon for the baby clothes and will do a how too on it in the next couple weeks.
In the meantime, I took a pot of boiling water (maybe 2 quarts or so) and added to it one bar of shredded soap (I used a bar of irish spring since we had a bunch from a bulk pack sitting here). Wait on the soap to disolve into the boiling water, minding that it doesn’t boil and foam… I can’t imagine the mess that could make. Once that was mixed up I dumped it in a clean 5 gallon bucket (4.44 at Wally mart), added 2 cups of borax (about 3 dollars for a huge box), 2 cups of baking soda (again, about 3 bucks for a huge box) and stir like the dickens while adding cold water till you get about 4-5 gallons.
-While boiling soap and water, the whole house smelled like irish spring.
-For stirring, nothing beats a cordless drill with one of those stirrers in the drill for paint. WOOSH and it’s mixed.
-Total cost for one 5 gallon bucket load: 1.00 for a bar o soap, .30 of borax, .30 of baking soda, about .10 of water. Total cost for 5 gallons of laundry soap: about 1.70.
-Total time to make said 5 gallons… less than 10 minutes.
-It needs a quick mix or shake on laundry day, but for the cost difference I can live with that.
Use it just like your regular soap, same amount, works just as good IMHO.
Skill level: Easier than beginner.
Proof: I did a couple loads of laundry right away to test it out. One had a bunch of white sirts of mine from work with the usual baked beans, ketchup, mustard and spaghetti sauce stains. All of them came out without any pretreating. The next load I did was some grubby clothes from working in the yard…even the grass stains came out. Very impressed.