Recipe sent to me from Kathy in Alaska
laundry detergent 5 gallons
-4 bars of soap (glycerin or castille, glycerin melts faster)
-1 cup borax or baking soda (borax not for grey water systems)
-2 cups washing soda
-2 cups 9% white distilled vinegar (or 4 cups 5%)
-gallons of hot water
-grate bar soap into pan; heat and stir until liquified (see comments below)
-pour 4 cups of hot water into 5 gallon bucket
-add liquified bar soap while stirring
-add borax or baking soda while stirring
-add washing soda while stirring
-fill rest of bucket with hot water, leaving enough room for vinegar
-add vingar while stirring
-cover and let sit for 24 hours before use
-makes just under 5 gallons; use 3 coffee scoops per full load
Kathy’s comments: i use dr. bronner’s castille soap, as the glycerin available to us here has too many ingredients i don’t want. the castille is difficult to liquify (it contains hemp oil) doing it as described here. it helps to put the castille bars into a pan of enough hot water to cover them and just let them sit in it before you begin, so they will gradually liquify on their own for the most part. this takes a lot of the work out of it. otherwise you’ll be stirring that castille for an hour and adding water so that it doesn’t get too thick. the hemp oil in it doesn’t liquify easily.
i use the baking soda, rather than the borax, as it works fine.
it’s important to follow these directions and add ingredients in the order given, to get the right reaction and consistency.
i use about 1/3 cup of detergent per large laundry load…don’t have a coffee scoop.
i keep a long handled spoon near the bucket and often re-stir before scooping.
if it’s easier you can pour some in a regular laundry soap, or other, container for easy pouring, but i would shake it a bit first.