When it comes to frugal ways to keep costs down for a large family, homemade laundry soap is one of my new favorites. A few years ago we tried a version that was dry. It worked okay but didn't have that clean fresh smell.
Then we tried making the liquid. The first time I tried I don't know what I did wrong, but I must have done something wrong because it was was too watery and didn't really work. So we moved on to a new recipe again. This one worked well at cleaning the clothes but didn't have that fresh smell either.
Then a friend of mine from another large family told me the best secret to make it work. Adding fabric softener right to the recipe! This last batch that I made I used the Gain Island Breeze fabric softener and boy do our clothes smell great!
Fels Naptha soap $0.99
Borax about $0.20
Washing Soda about $0.70
Gain Fabric Softener $4.20
Total about $6.10 for a huge 5 gallon bucket of soap that will last me about 3 months.
Want the recipe? Here it is:
1.Take the fels naptha bar and grate the whole thing into a saucepan. Cover with water and heat until all the soap is dissolved.
2. While dissolving the above soap add 1/2 cup borax to a 5 gallon bucket that has a lid, along with 1 cup of the washing soda.
3. Add the hot soap mixture to the 5 gallon bucket and dissolve the powders into it. Now put your bucket in the sink and fill the whole bucket almost to the top with hot tap water. (leave enough room to add your bottle of fabric softener later)
4. Put the lid on the 5 gallon bucket and let it sit overnight.
5. The next morning add the whole bottle of your favorite fabric softener to the 5 gallon bucket.
6.Now mix everything up. This will help get rid of the globs of soap that formed in the bucket and get the fabric softener all mixed well 3/4 cup to 1 cup of this liquid per load.
We also do the Downy fabric bar in the dryer for added fluffiness and fresh smell, but you don't have to if you don't want to. We have an old fashioned top load washing machine and we use about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of this soap per load of laundry. I believe this recipe is based loosely on the Duggar Family laundry soap recipe so if you ever wanted to try their version you could.