My older children are completely embarrassed that I am posting this recipe. Apparently, the fact that I only pay $0.006 per load of laundry is completely "not cool." I beg to differ completely! As you can understand, a family of 8 makes A LOT of dirty laundry. (Especially when one of those people is a 15 year old girl who tries on at least 10 different outfits a day and throws what doesn't make the cut into the dirty clothes hamper....)
I am the first to admit, I love me some original scented Tide. I love the way it smells. What I don't love is the price I pay, especially for the high efficiency safe stuff. So awhile ago, I began making my own laundry soap from the above pictured ingredients. I found everything at my local Hy-Vee grocery store and it costs me $2.80 to make 10 gallons.
Please, don't let this weird, coagulated gloop keep you from giving this stuff a try. It may look weird and have a consistency you have never before witnessed, but it works like a charm and will save you a boatload of money. I really like the scent it has naturally but feel free to add your favorite essential oils to customize it!
Yes, it is safe for HE machines because it is low-sudsing, which is the only "secret" to HE detergent. I have a HE machine myself and love my results.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
(makes 10 gallons: 640 loads for a front load HE washer, 220 loads for a top load washer)
4 C hot water
1 bar Fels-Naptha soap, grated
1 C Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 C Borax
essential oil (optional)
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together the grated soap and water until the soap is completely dissolved.
2. Fill a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full of hot water. Add the washing soda, Borax and melted soap mixture. Stir well until dissolved (I used a yard stick).
3. Fill the bucket to the top with more hot water and stir well. Cover and let sit overnight. The finished mixture will resemble a loose, liquid form of Jello. At this point, you can add 50 drops of the essential oil of your liking to the soap. (I don't add any to mine)
4. Fill your soap dispenser (I use my old Tide container) 1/2 with water and half with soap. Shake well before each use. For front load washers, use 1/4 C - 1/3 C per load. For top load washers, use 1/2-5/8 C per load.