I have finally used up all the laundry soap that I stockpiled when I was ordering from a place where I was getting 'natural' cleaning products. Prior to that, I had made our laundry soap for a good while. I use the sludge recipe that seems to be the standard recipe out there for 'liquid' laundry soap. When I saw that my sister in law's sister in law (what does that make her to me- sister in law twice removed?) made some dry powdered laundry soap I did consider make that version, but went with the sludge. Next time I'll try hers. (She just started a blog called Thrifty Craftin' Mama- stop by and say hi.)
3 bars of soap (ivory, homemade, felsnaptha, whatever)
1 c. borax
1/2 c washing soda
water (total 3 gallons + 5 c.)
optional- essential oil- few drops
You can half this recipe. I believe that's what I have done in the past because other measurements were written all over my copy of this recipe. Today I had everything on hand. It's a benefit of being a collector. Shave soap bars. I use my big cheese grater. That's probably ok, right? In a 5 gallon pot, boil soap in 5 c water (2.5 c if you are halving this recipe)
Add 3 gallons of hot water (1 .5 gallons or 24 c if you are halving- but you can do simple math). Bring to almost a boil- or at least really hot. Add washing soda. Give it a good stir.
Add borax. Give it a good stir. Add essential oil if you so desire. I added lemon oil. I love lemon. Let it cool enough to pour into a big old bucket or smaller buckets. Let it sit overnight and it will gel up.
Mine ended up with some wateryness on the top. That's a real word, wateryness. I have since scooped that out.
You'll need to add 1/2 c - 3/4 c sludge to each load. I prefer to add it to the washer and let the water run a bit before adding the clothes. I feel like this helps dissolve the sludge. This will last darn near forever. I'll let you know when I run out.