1/2 cup borax ( 20 mule team)
1/2 cup washing soda (not baking soda!!)
1 bar fels naptha soap (you can use Ivory or Zote as well. or if your family is sensitive to soaps, use whatever bar of soap you can)
a few drops of essential oil (optional) (you can find some for relatively cheap at Hobby Lobby)
Grate the soap into a pan. Go ahead and use the cheese grater....it'll make it nice and clean =) (just make sure you rinse it really well or the next time you grate cheese it will taste soapy)
In a saucepan, add 4 cups hot water and the soap shavings. Heat over medium heat until the soap is melted.
Grab a 25 gallon bucket. Fill it about halfway with hot water. Add in your borax and soda. stir until well combined. Add in your oil if you are using it.
Once your soap is melted, add it to the bucket. Stir well until well combined. Fill the bucket the rest of the way. Leave about 4 inches space from the top. Stir again.
Cover and let sit for 24 hours. Once it has sat, stir again. It will be clumpy and jelly-like.
Use about 1/3-1/2 cup per load of laundry. This is a low-sudsing soap so don't freak out when you don't see them. Also, it is safe for those of you who have the fancy front-loading washers (I'm just jealous because I want one). I like to throw a scoop of Oxy-clean (not the name brand, but the Sun cheapy version) in with a load of heavily soiled clothes.
You can use this with colors and whites and you can use bleach with your whites if you want.
I can find all the ingredients at Walmart. They are in the laundry isle. They just recently began carrying the fels naptha and washing soda. I used to have to go Macey's for the soda and soap. You can also find the stuff online if it's not available where you live. some stores might even order it in for you if you ask.
The borax and washing soda around around $3 each for a box. You can do around 7ish (probably more) batches using these same boxes. The bar of soap is around $1-$1.50. So for all the stuff to make this, it costs less than half the price of the store bought stuff, makes a ton more, and you can make it safe for any family members with soap sensitivities. I love this stuff and as long as I'm somewhere I can get the materials, I will make it!
Need to get rid of your pesky dryer sheets and fabric softener? If so here is how you can make dryer balls!