Once upon a time, we used to make our own laundry detergent, but our lives have been an upheaval for the past 3 years, so we bought Kirkland Laundry Detergent (dry powder) instead, as a matter of convenience. We have settled down now, as in we are not moving every so often, so I decided to give laundry soap making a go again.
I was very pleased with the results of the homemade laundry soap. Our towels were feeling stale even after washing and drying in the dryer with the old detergent, but now they are soft and fluffy again! As fluffy as our ancient towels can be, that is.
As you can see from the photos, I used 2 Kirkland Laundry Detergent buckets. The recipe makes 5 gallons, so I divided it between the two buckets and they each ended up about 2/3 full. I use a handle from an old broom for my stir stick, and the scoop from a store bought laundry soap for my scoop.
Making this soap is by no means an exact science. In addition to what the recipe calls for, I added a bottle of all-natural shampoo that we all did not like. I also added the last little bit of Kirkland Laundry Detergent.
I did not come up with this recipe on my own, but I got it from a forum (cmomb.com). I did change wording and such for what worked for me. This recipe is safe for HE washing machines.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
Grate the bar of soap with a cheese grater or food processor. Mix with 2 quarts water in a pot and gradually heat, stirring often until soap is completely dissolved. (I did have a couple larger chunks of soap that did not dissolve in the pot, but dissolved later after soaking in the solution for a week or so)
Put 4.5 gallons of really hot tap water in a 5 gallon bucket and stir in 1 c. Borax and 1 c. Washing Soda until completely dissolved.
Pour soap mixture from pot into 5 gallon bucket. Stir well.
Cover and leave overnight. Stir until smooth and pour into gallon jugs or other containers. Use 1/2 to 1 c. per load. I use 2 scoops (using the scoop pictured above) per load.