1/2 cup Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super washing soda (not baking soda)
1 Fels Naptha soap bar, grated (I thought this was going to be really hard to grate but it was easy because the soap is soft)
5 gallon bucket with lid (or something to cover it with)
5 one gallon jugs (old milk jugs work great)
Funnel (we had an old one we used for oil)
optional: Essential oil drops for fragrance (I really liked the smell of the Fels Naptha soap so we didn't add any)
optional: paint stirrer drill attachment
We found all of it at Walmart and already had the 5 gallon bucket. We have been saving milk jugs to reuse. Check out the icanteachmychild.com website for more info on the price. The second time you make it, it is even cheaper because you only need to buy the Fels Naptha soap. Also you can use the borax and super washing soda to make your own dish washer detergent (I will write a post about this too).
Here is how to make it:
Start by grating the Fels Naptha soap. Like I said, I thought this would be hard but it was actually easier then grating cheese. Place grated soap into a pot with 4 cups of water. Stir continuously over medium low heat until all the soap has melted. It took about 10 minutes.
Fill the 5 gallon bucket half way with hot water. Pour in the soap mixture and stir it up. Then add 1/2 cup borax and 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda and stir. The website said to use a paint stirrer attachment for a drill, but we didn't have one so we just used a spoon and it worked great..
Then fill the balance to reach a total of 5 gallons. Stir, cover and let sit over night and it will thicken up. Then mix it, this is were a paint stirrer drill attachment would be really helpful. It got really chunky and mixing with a spoon was hard. The recipe tells you to fill the 1 gallon jugs half with the detergent and half with water.
We decided to keep it in concentrated form to store it, but you still want to put it into 1 gallon jugs so the concentration does not get messed up. Then mix half water/half detergent to keep in the house. We also are going to use the concentrated version in a small bottle to see if we can use it as a stain remover.
The recipe says to use: (shake the container first)
1/4 cup for a front loading (he) machine
5/8 cup regular top loading machine
We tested it on a load that included my husbands work out clothes, along with other stuff...my toddler is in the middle of potty training...hint hint. The clothes came out smelling clean...so it works! I did use a little more then recommended because we used the extra large load setting. We found it helpful you use an old laundry detergent bottle for storage inside because it has the measurement in the cap. Stay tuned by following our blog for more how to and homemade recipes.