I have been using this laundry soap for over a year now and while I have saved quite a bit of money on soap I am finding that the whites are not very white anymore, so rather than be targeted for a cheer commercial I am switching back to regular laundry detergent. Also I was reading that Borax can be a skin irritant so this may actually not be the best for ones skin, although I have had no problems with it. In a pinch I'd still use it but long term I don't think it's done any of my clothes any favors. It seemed great for the first 6 months or so, so my apologies if I've lead you down a path of dingy socks.
It's a Frugal Friday so today I made powdered laundry soap, I have a front loading washer and this works very well in it. I also use vinegar in place of Fabric softener, it helps to keep any soap film from building up as well as making clothes colors stay true for longer and making them feel softer and they don't smell like vinegar after they are dry.
Here's the recipe I made:
2 cups borax (20 Mule team)
2 cups Arm & Hammer washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1 bar fels naptha laundry soap- (finely grated so it will disolve easily in the washer)
If you are like me and do not have a food processor you can grate the soap by hand, I use a vintage rotary grater that would normally be used for hard cheese, it worked pretty well and gave me the tiny pieces I was wanting.
Once you have the soap grated you pour the 3 ingredients in a bowl, mix them till they are evenly blended, transfer them to a container with a lid to keep moisture out. That's it. I use 1/8 cup per load and the clothes have been coming out clean and smelling clean but not detergenty. I still have to spot treat just like I did with regular detergent, but that's no worse than before.
I have a friend who has extremely sensitive skin so she makes her own soap, she uses her soap in place of the Fels-Naptha bar when she makes laundry soap.
The first time I decided to try this I had a little trouble finding all the ingredients, the washing soda was the toughest. I found all three ingredients at a Fred Meyers store near me. Some people have said they get it at Wal-mart, but where I live Fred Meyers is the only place I could find that had it and I called them all. SO it might pay to call around before you waste a half tank of fuel looking for the washing soda. I have also seen some companies selling it online if you can't find it where you live.
It's a pretty simple way to save a few bucks. It will be even easier when I get a food processor. That's on my thrift list, I'll find one soon. :-) I bet I have saved enough money on my last 2 batches of laundry soap to pay for the food processor when I find it. ;-)