The second thing that we've recently tried our hands at making on our own is laundry detergent. Laundry detergent is not cheap, sometimes we get some good deals to make some kinds free or cheap, but these don't seem to be often enough for my family. The recipe I used is actually the one used by the Duggars. I figure with that many kids, they must do a lot of laundry, and thusly it's probably a good recipe. You can find it on their site HERE. I've copied the text here for ease of use.
Liquid Laundry Soap
4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax
1. Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
2.Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
3.Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
4.Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
So how does this break down in cost? Well here was the cost for all the ingredients when I made it:
Washing Soda- 2/$5
Fels Naptha- 99¢
Granted for the Borax and the Washing Soda, I only used part of the box. I have a front loader so even using the cost of the whole box it equals about 1¢ a load, so in reality it's a lot less then that . You can also use other soaps such as Ivory, so you could bring it down even more if you get a good deal on that. It's worked well for our clothes.
You can also find a recipe for powder detergent on their site as well. You can find that HERE.