I received this money saving recipe for free and I thought I would pass it along to all of my readers. In these hard times we can all use some money stretching ideas. Please check out the notes at the bottom as well.
Liquid/Gel Laundry Detergent
Use 1/2 Cup per load
Borax (located on top shelf in the laundry aisle)
Washing Soda (I use Arm & Hammer, located by the Borax)
Ivory Bar Soap or your favorite bar soap
Bucket for your detergent - I use a 5 gallon bucket w/ a lid - you want to have a lid
Optional Ingredients: 1/2 to 1 oz Essential Oils for fragrance (found at your local Health Food Store, such as Harvest Health)*** I do not use these because if you dry your clothes in the dryer the scent will dissipate in the heat.
Step 1: Shred or cut up bar of soap, I use 2 bars for my 5 gallon bucket but 1 works just fine.
Step 2: Dump shredded soap in your biggest pot of water (I usually get mine boiling, or just about there)- stir til melted.
Step 3: Add 1 Cup Borax, stir til dissolved.
Step 4: Add 1 Cup Washing Soda, stir til dissolved.
Step 5: Dump hot mixture in bucket after it is all dissolved together. Then slowly add warm water to fill the bucket. Stir periodically til it cools down. Sometimes I just dump cold water in and stir it well and that works just fine but the soap is more likely to form a thick gel layer on the top when I do that. A layer of gel on the top is fine, it still cleans great but I think the bucket lasts longer when I let it cool naturally and stir it periodically. Either way, you've got a very effective laundry soap that will clean your clothes. My initial investment was $12 for the borax, washing soda and 12 bars of Ivory soap. I probably got 25 gallons of soap out of that over time. This is the way many of our grandparents/great-grand parents cleaned their clothes. If you want a little extra whitening power - toss half a cup of baking soda into your wash. A great natural fabric softener is white vinegar, poured into the rinse water. Once your clothes dry they will NOT smell like vinegar.
~The finished soap will not be a solid gel. It will be more of a watery gel that has been accurately described as an "egg noodle soup" look.
~The soap is a low sudsing soap. So if you don’t see suds, that is OK. Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.