I have four kids and a husband. One of those kids is a wee one who spits up on everything. The other three kids are, well, kids who are capable of getting their clothes really, really dirty. And the husband runs a lot therefore produces sweaty clothes. That's a lot of laundry folks. I could do a load a day and still not be caught up. That's also a lot of laundry detergent, which as most of you know can get expensive. Instead of telling the kids they can either go to college or have clean clothes, not both, I decided to try to make my own laundry detergent. I tried many different recipes and finally settled on one that I'll share with you.
1 cup Borax
1 cup Super Washing Soda
1 bar Castile soap
Grate the bar of soap and mix it with the Borax and Super Washing Soda. Put in a sealed container to store when not in use. Use 2 tablespoons for a large load.
If you want no additives at all, you can use a bar of Fels Naptha (but grate only about 1/2 of the bar) or Ivory soap. You can find all these items in the laundry aisle of your grocery store, except the Castile soap is usually in the "natural" section or body soap aisle. If not, you can order online from a number of retailers or ask your grocery store manager to stock it.
The great thing about this detergent is you can change it to fit your needs (fragrance, no fragrance etc). And it is super, super cheap!! One batch goes a long way. You can double or triple the recipe to make it last a long time. Another trick is to add vinegar to a downy ball and put it in the wash. The vinegar rinses all the soap out after washing. If there is soap left in the clothes, it tends to attract dirt and weakens the fiber of the clothing.
For those of you with HE washers, I think it works well. I don't have and HE, but if someone wants to buy one for me so I can test it out, you are very welcome to.