The following is a recipe I use for making an all-in-one Homemade Laundry Soap that acts as a general laundry detergent, stain pre-treater, and natural fabric softener.
What You Will Need:
1 1/2 cups Borax also known as Sodium Borate Decahydrate; Sodium Pyroborate; Birax; Sodium Tetraborate Decahydrate; Sodium Biborate. (Found In the Laundry isle) *Not to be Mistaken with “Boric Acid” a byproduct of Borax after it’s been reacted to a Sulfur type element. More info on Borax can be found in the very insightful natural living blog Crunchy Betty.
1 1/2 cups Washing Soda also known as Soda Ash or Sodium Carbonate ( Found in the Laundry isle or in the Pool section at the hardware store or try making your own Washing Soda with this recipe from the Penniless Parenting Blog). *Note: Washing Soda is not to be mistaken with Sodium Bi*carbonate which is “baking soda”.
1 Bar of Soap (grated) *I personally prefer to use Fels Naptha due to it’s superior cleaning power for homemakers but if you’re looking to make a more organic formula any all natural soap will do fine… more info on Fels Naptha’s ingredients can be found HERE.
1 large Stock Pot
And a 5 gallon Pail…
Fill stock pot and teapot part way full of water and heat on medium setting. While waiting for the water to heat up go ahead and add about 1 gallon of tap water into the 5 gallon bucket and set aside. Next stir in the grated soap into the stock pot and mix until soap dissolves completely. Once all the grated soap has dissolved add the Borax and Washing Soda stirring until it all liquifies, taking care not to let the mixture boil over. Once the soap mixture in the stock pot is fully combined and dissolved pour it into the 5 gallon bucket. Stir contents together in bucket and add more tap water to fill up the pail. Cover and let sit over night or for at least 10 hrs.
* The soap will settle so stir Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent before each use.
* For general laundering use add 1/2 cup per regular load and 1 cup for heavy / super dirty loads. As a pre-treater just rub into stain at least 30 minutes before washing. Pretreating and then tossing into laundry basket until wash day works even better. So pretreat stain as soon as possible.
* If you like your laundry soap fragrant you can stir in 20-40 (depending on smell intensity) drops of your favorite Essential Oil in the bucket just before covering… For a more economical version to fragrance enhancing add just 5-10 drops of EO to a small damp rag and toss into the drier with the rest of your wet garments.
* To make a quick dry version of this homemade detergent just combine the grated soap, Borax, and Washing Soda into a food processor until it becomes a powder fine enough to dissolve in the wash.
And Viola!!! You have made yourself an Natural Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent safe enough for your home and family… especially for when you find your 3 year old washing “herself” in it 😉