And if you're not interested in a cost-analysis breakdown of store-bought detergent versus homemade detergent, here it the simple bottom line:
Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent:
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 bar Fels-Napatha Laundry Soap, grated (Or brand of choice)
Using a cheese grater (or any type of grater that will achieve the same affect), grate the entire bar of laundry soap into a medium sized mixing bowl.
Add the borax and the super washing soda and mix thoroughly. It needs to be very, very, very well mixed together. I stirred for about 5 minutes.
TA-DA! You're done. No, really. You're done. I used a plastic bowl that has it's own lid to keep it fairly air-tight.
Use: 1-2 tbs per load of laundry
The blog I got the information from said to use 1 tbs per load of laundry (2 if it is a heavily soiled load or if you just feel like you want more detergent.) I know it doesn't seem like much but it really does get the job done. I start my water in an empty washing machine, add the detergent sprinkled all around the bottom evenly, and then let it sit and dissolve for about 2-3 minutes before adding my load of laundry.
I've used it for 2 loads so far and I LOVE the outcome I've had. One load was for sheets that my son had had a bed wetting accident on and they smelled fresh and clean! What I really love about it is, since the super washing soda and borax are both odor neutralizers, my laundry smells fresh and clean and the only fragrance it has is my fabric softener.
I keep my tablespoon in the bowl with my detergent and I suggest that you stir the mixture each time before you use it, as the soap tends to settle to the bottom as it is sitting.
So there you go, homemade laundry detergent. All of the ingredients cost me about $10 and they should make AT LEAST 3-4 batches of detergent. Using only 1-2 tablespoons per load, 1 batch should last between 32-64 loads of laundry. So total, 1 box of borax, 1 box of super washing soda, and 4 bars of laundry soap will do 128 - 256 loads of laundry (depending on how much you use per load) for about $10!!! Yippee!
Now, go forth and save money whilst making clean linens!