These are your cast of characters.
- 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) I found this at our local grocery store.
- 1/2 cup Borax powder (I found this at Wal-Mart)
- 1/3 bar Dr. Bronner's bar soap (I bought this from the local co-op but you can find it anywhere that sells all natural soaps.) You can use any kind of soap or scent you like but remember if you want it to be all natural pick a soap with no chemicals or dyes.
First, you grate the soap into a cooking pot. I started out using the hand grater and decided this was going to take WAY too long so I got out the big guns. Can't go wrong with the Cuisinart food processor. It chopped up the bar of soap in no time!!It was so much fun to put the bar of soap through the food processor that I messed up my recipe. I sliced up the whole bar before I even realized it!! Well, you know me....I do everything a little half-ass so I decided it was fine. So far it hasn't messed up the recipe so I guess it was ok. I poured the shavings into the cooking pot and then added 6 cups of water and heated it until the soap melted. You then add the washing soda and borax and stirred until dissolved. Remove pot from heat and pour 2 gallons of hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture to a 5 gallon bucket and stir thoroughly. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it should be a gel. Mine did not turn into a gel after 24 hours. I don't know if it was the added soap or what. Two days later it did turn more gel-like. I poured the mixture into a old detergent bottle and I'm using the lid to measure it into the wash....about 1/3 to 1/2 cup per load. As you can see this isn't an exact science so if it's too hard after 24 hours add a little more hot water and let sit for 24 more hours.
This only took about 15 minutes of my time and I should be able to wash about 110 loads of laundry at about a dollar a bucket. How does that compare with your store bought?