Just wanted to inform the extra frugel out there that you can get washing soda in bulk and very cheaply at the pool suply stores. Just ask for sodium carbonate! You can get a 5 gl bucket for less then 10$. You can even increase the ratio of washing soda to borax to save more. For fabric softener, try vinegar. Yes, I am serious. It will soften your clolthes, rinse them cleaner, and help with static. Don't worry, there will not be a vinegar smell left on your clothes. Vinegar is a natural deoderizer. It will dry oder free. I just fill up my downy ball with vinegar and throw it in the wash cycle.
Updated Review: We've been using this for 3 years now and prefer it to any commercial powder. I use 2 bars of pure soap, and 750g (1 1/2 lbs) each of borax and washing soda. (Lately, I've been able to buy the washing soda in powdered granules rather than as crystals which makes things easier.) Be careful grating the soap in the food processor - you might break the bowl (as I did the first time). Now, I slice the soap into shards with a knife, then grate the shards. To make it finer, I process the grated soap with the chopping blade. If you've bought washing soda crystals, you'll need to whizz these in the food processor or blender as well. Then, just mix the lot together in a large mixing bowl, and decant into jars. The quantities above make two large jars full. We use about 2 tablespoons per load and it works on even muddy jeans and leaves everything crisp, clean and smelling sweet.
I made the recipe using zote and it seemed to fade some clothes. I read that borax can act as bleaching agent so I made a second batch with only half the borax and replaced the other half with baking soda. The second batch works better on black clothes. I have two batches one labeled whites one colors. I know the whites came out very white with the first batch. I also use 1 cup vinegar in the rinse it wont leave a smell. I use 2 Tbsp per large load I never have small loads.
The best soap I've found is Kirk's Castille Soap - olive oil based - Fels Naptha is a harsh detergent based soap, so this is more natural. I use a full bar. Also, I've added about 20 drops of essential oil after its all combined and mix it in with a fork and it smells great and works well! I also find I need 2 Tbsp per load.
I like this dry powder better than all the mess of the liquid that I used to make. This saves space, too. You can find SUPER WASHING SODA in the laundry aisle of your supermarket. (look down low on the shelf as they really don't want you to find it.. they'd rather have you spend tons of money on the name brand stuff). I also read where you should not substitute baking soda for the washing soda... but you use your own judgement. I've been mixing 1 cup of grated Fels Naptha soap (grated in my food processor) and then I add one cup of Borax and one cup of Super Washing Soda and blend them all together in the food processor. I've made many batches and have given them to friends along with a 1-tablespoon coffee scoop with the directions to use 2 tablespoons per load. I find that one tablespoon isn't enough for my wash.. so I use 2. Thanks for the idea of the money saver and space saver of a recipe.
Very similar to the recipe I found, which has a full bar of Ivory soap, instead of half a bar. Works fantastically, everything is brighter and just looks clean. No perfumy smell and works great in our new "he" washing machine.
I use this but the recipe I used I cooked the soap and melted it down in water and added to 5 gallon bucket adding the cup of borax and cup washing soda stirring till disolved then filled 5 gallon bucket till full. Then you use a 1/4 cup for a large load or dilute 1/2 and 1/2 again and use a half cup per load
Love this stuff!!! So I accidently bought sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) at the pool supply instead of sodium carbonate (washing soda) and I didn't even realize it until I had mixed it all up. So I went back and bought the sodium carbonate & just decided to add it into what I already had because I had quadrupled the recipe & was not going to waste all that! There is another recipe for fabric softener which has baking soda & vinegar so I figured I would just use vinegar for the fabric softener since I already have my baking soda added in here! I used Pure & Natural soap because there were a bunch of scary ingredients on the ones listed on the recipe. Clothes are coming out fresh, soft, and bright! This is a space saver and super economical. I have also used it for other cleaning...a tablespoon thrown into the mop bucket and scouring powder for grout & tub. Thanks so much!!
I cut the soap into chunks and processed with a cup of washing soda. Sooooo easy and not dusty because the soda sticks to the soap for a finer grind. I used Zote. 2 bars equals 7 cups shredded. According to other recipes I have seen, it would be 2 cups shredded soap to 1 cup of soda and Borax. This is pretty cool.
I am currently using this and it's great. You can use this in a front loading machine since it doesn't suds up. It costs pennies compared to the specialty detergents needed for the front load machines.