I have noticed on a lot of blogs lately that people are making their own laundry detergent and other stuff, sometimes to avoid having ingredients they don't want, like scent or something they are allergic to. I have ignored most of all that because store bought detergent suits me fine. Besides, I have an HE washer and I was unsure about whether I needed to buy the HE detergent. Most of the recipes involve a bar of Fels Naptha soap, either chopped in a blender or hand grated. Well, I am not going to grate anything by hand, I don't like getting my blood in stuff. And I am not using my blender for soap either. I don't know if you could ever use it for food again after that. Then I saw a recipe that uses Dawn dishwashing liquid instead. That sounded better to me. Then they said that store bought detergent costs about 76 cents a load to use, and this new recipe costs about 4 cents a load. Man, that got my attention! I wash Richard's work clothes and all Adam's clothes and that means lots of loads every week. Anyway, yesterday I made up a jug of laundry detergent and have now washed two loads with it, one jeans and Richard's work clothes and one of whites, towels and underwear. The clothes were all perfectly clean and everything smelled just fine. They say you can use different flavors of Dawn to get different smells in the clothes. I use regular blue Dawn because I like that one the best. The clothes had a barely there, fresh and clean scent. This is the recipe I used:
3 tablespoons borax
3 tablespoons washing powder
2 tablespoons Dawn dishwashing liquid
Place the borax and washing powder (not baking powder) in a clean one-gallon jug. Add the Dawn. Add 4 cups of boiling water. Swirl the mixture around and let it mix thoroughly. I waited a while, then added cold water almost to the top of the jug. Use 1/2 to 1 cup per load. I found all these ingredients at WalMart.
Now here's the warning: don't use a plastic milk jug. The plastic is too thin and the boiling water is too much for it. It worked - but next time I will use something else. Also, I thought I would put the lid on in order to shake it up good. WRONG! The jug swelled up to the size of a basketball! I just left the lid off and let the mixture cool down for a while before I added the cold water. Bubble come out the top of the jug but I ignored them and poured the water in. I thought I could put it in a big jug of detergent I bought at Sam's Club but I think the mixture is too thin and will leak out the dispenser. I think I will look for a gallon jug and keep it just to hold my detergent.
Let me know if this works for you.