Making your own laundry soap is seriously THE BEST way to ensure that you know exactly what chemicals are touching your clothes and ultimately your skin. Plus it's a lot cheaper than buying laundry detergent from the store, especially if you're buying Seventh Generation or Charlie's, which can get really expensive right-quick-like. It also means that the scent is totally customizable, based on what essential oils/shaved bar soap you use! For this tutorial I'll be doing a specific scent combo, but this could easily be tweaked to your preferences.
Here's what you'll need for a batch that will make enough soap for approximately 25 loads of laundry:
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup Baking Soda
- 1/4 cup grated Fels Naptha laundry bar soap
- 1/2 cup grated Dove Cucumber scented soap
- 10-15 drops each of the following essential oils: lemon eucalyptus, lime, sweet orange (I use AuraCacia brand essential oils, which they sell at my local food co-op)
Mix these ingredients together in a metal or glass mixing bowl (plastic is porous and will absorb the essential oils, which is fine if you dedicate the bowl to non-food uses), taking extra care to make sure that any clumps formed by the essential oils are broken apart as much as possible.
If you want to store it the same way that I did in the above picture, you can find used 400 ML mason jars at most thrift stores for under 50 cents. Trace a circle in fabric that's at least 3" larger across than your lid and cut out, trimming off the pen-marking. Stick it under the rim (no underneath lid piece required, which is FAB since they generally don't sell that part with the jar & rim at thrift stores) and twist! You can smell the detergent just a little through the fabric and let me tell you, it is DIVINE! It's also a cute touch if you're giving the soap as a gift.
Use 2 spoonfuls of detergent per load of laundry, boosting with distilled white vinegar when needed.