This is a homemade recipe that was passed on to me by a friend. I have no idea who the originator is. I just know it works good and is a tremendous money saver. As for somebody who has sensitive skin, and sensitive to smells, I have found this recipe to be great.
1 Bar of Fels-Naptha Soap
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda ( found in laundry detergent section)
1/2 Cup Borax ( Look for 20 Mule Team Borax in laundry detergent isle)
1/2 Cup Oxi Clean ( optional.. but does provide an extra boost)
Clean 5 gallon bucket with lid
Yard stick or large enough stirrer to reach to bottom of 5 gallon bucket
Using a grater. Grate the bar of Fels-Naptha soap into a small saucepan. In microwave or in another saucepan heat some water just to boiling point. Add just enough water to cover the grated bar of soap. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continually until the soap completely dissolves.
Step # 2:
In your 5 gallon bucket, pour the Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, Borax, and Oxi-Clean. While stirring, slowly add the hot melted Fels-Naptha soap mix. Keep stirring until all the powder is dissolved.
Step # 3:
One your mixture is stirred good, Fill the rest of your 5 gallon bucket almost to the top with hot tap water. Stir, well again, cover tightly with the lid and let it set overnight.
Step # 4:
The next morning, stir the concentrate good again. Your laundry soap is now ready to use. Stir well before each use.
You can either leave it in the 5 gallon bucket and just stir a minute before using which is the easiest way to use it, or you can break it down into smaller containers you may have around the house. Just shake or stir before using. Recycled detergent bottles, dish soap bottles and milk jugs work well.
As this is a concentrated recipe, your 5 gallon bucket of laundry soap is actually 10 gallons when your finished. The original recipe said to mix one part concentrate with one part water before using, but I discovered that there is plenty enough water when your filling your machine and this step can be eliminated by using just a 1/2 cup of concentrate per top-load machine use.
Optional: This laundry soap has a nice pleasant smell besides removing dirt and grime. It is not an over powering smell like some of the detergents on today's market are. If you do happen to like a particular smell to your clothes, you can add your own essential oil blend fragrances after you have filled your bucket with hot tap water. I use about 4 drops Lavender essential oil per 5 gallon bucket. A little oil goes a long way, so add a drop at a time.
Price List avg.:
Oxi-Clean $3.86 = enough for 6 batches = $0.64 per recipe
Borax $2.98 = enough for 19 batches = $0.16 per recipe
A&H Washing Soda $2.77 = enough for 7 batches = $0.40 per recipe
Fels-Naptha Soap Bar $0.97 = enough for 1 batch = $0.97 per recipe
Total cost for 5 gallon bucket of laundry concentrate is $ 2.17
Price for 1/2 cup per load for top-load machines is $0.01
To save even more on this recipe, another $0.70 cent, you can call the company that makes the Borax and Fels-Naptha soap and they will send you coupons for $0.35 cents off. Ask to receive coupons for both products or they send you just a coupon for one product. The number is 1-800-258-3425.
Extra note: Every so often I will run a small load of white clothes and add 1/4 cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle. This helps to keep odors and soap residues from building up in your machine. The clothes do not smell like vinegar and it acts as a fabric softener.
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