When it comes to laundry soap, would you rather buy Tide for 11 cents per ounce or make your own for 12 cents per gallon?
The choice is up to you, but if you decide to go the DIY route, here's a great, simple recipe I've used with great success. You'll get 10 gallons for $1.21.
4 cups hot tap water
1 bar Ivory Soap ($2.49 for four)
1 cup Washing Soda ($2.89 for 55 ounces)
1/2 cup Borax ($3.39 for 76 ounces)
1.) Grate the ivory soap into a saucepan with the 4 cups water. Stir continuously over medium to low heat until the soap dissolves.
2.) Fill a five-gallon bucket halfway with hot tap water. Add the melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir until powder is dissolved. Fill the bucket the rest of the way with more hot water. Stir it, cover it and let it thicken overnight. This will create a concentrated "sludge."
3.) For ease of use, take an empty liquid detergent container and fill it halfway with sludge. Fill the other half with water. Voila! You've got laundry detergent. Be sure to shake it before you pour.
Use 5/8 cup for standard top-load washing machines (makes about 180 loads) or 1/4 cup for front loaders (makes about 640 loads).
Note: Double check that using this detergent will not void the warranty on a front-loading washing machine.
---Samantha Maziarz Christmann