We have a lot of people in this house and that means those people make a lot of dirty clothes. Laundry is a big chore. I do between twelve and thirteen loads of laundry a week. As you can imagine we also go through a lot of laundry soap and laundry soap is expensive. This summer I started looking around to see if I could make an easy, environmentally friendly laundry soap that worked on messy kids clothes for less than I could buy one. Well, after some research and some trial runs I have something that I am happy with so I thought I would share. To set the parameters we have a regular washing machine, it is a top loader and I like to wash all our clothes in cold water except for my boys white socks which I often have to wash in hot. I pretreat any stains with a bar of Sunlight soap. This recipe takes me about 15 minutes of actual prep time. It is really easy and anyone can do it. My kids love to grate the soap. This recipe costs me about $2.13 to make about 5 gallons (80 cups) of concentrate.
Even if you don't want to make your own laundry soap try to use a natural detergent and make sure you use the smallest amount of detergent that will get your laundry clean. The fill lines on the inside of the dispensing cup of your laundry soap is often hard to see so make sure you check! Excess detergent can be difficult for machines to rinse out and may make your laundry dingy and gray because the alkaline residue left behind tends to attract dirt. Many consumer studies have shown that you can often use half the detergent that is recommended on most commercial laundry soaps and still get your clothes clean. Remember if you use more, you buy more so it is in a company's best interest for you use more than you actually need.
1 Cup Borax
12 Cups Hot Water
Long handled Wooden Spoon
5 gallon bucket with lid