I've been making our own laundry detergent for the past 8 months or so. I found alot of recipes on the internet then started tweaking them to suit us. Our part of Missouri has the hardest water I’ve ever known. Not only does this laundry soap keep our whites bright and still clean my son's greasy work clothes, but it leaves our laundry as soft as if I have used fabric softener. My daughter prefers to add essential oils added to the detergent so it smells more like the store bought laundry soaps, but my husband and I are more sensitive to false perfumery smells and like the plain clean smell our fresh washed clothes have.
Homemade Laundry Detergent Use 1/4 cup per load
1 bar of Fels Naptha soap, shaved
6 cups of hot water
2 cups of borax
2 cups of washing soda
1 large container or plastic bucket, 5 gallon size
Here’s what you do:
Grate the soap into a large soup pot.
Add 6 cups of hot water to grated soap. Mix and heat on low until dissolved.
Add borax, and washing soda to mixture and bring up to a slow boil. Boil 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Fill the 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax mixture. Stir well until all the mixture is incorporated. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
This usually turns into a thick gel though sometimes it is more watery, either way it cleans well, especially in our hard water. This does not create suds in the washer so it also works with the new front load washers that require a low-suddsing detergent. The Borax is also a natural fabric softener so you do not need to use a laundry softener or dryer sheets.
We do use white vinegar in the final rinse (just fill a downy ball to the line with vinegar and toss in the washer with your load) when were washing my grandson's cloth diapers.