Homemade Laundry Aids
Liquid Laundry Soap
Grate one bar of soap—Zote, Fels Naptha or unscented Ivory are all good choices. Place grated soap in a pan with 2 quarts of water and heat slowly, stirring constantly until soap is completely dissolved. Put 4 ½ gallons of very hot water into a 5-gallon bucket and stir in 1 cup each of borax and washing soda until completely dissolved. Add soap mixture to the 5-gallon bucket and stir well. Cover and let sit several hours or overnight. Stir until smooth. Pour into dispenser. Use ½-1 cup per full load.
Dry Laundry Soap from BLISSFUL 55 (appears at howdoesshe.com)
1 (4 lb 12 oz) box of Borax–found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb 7 oz) box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda–found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb) container of OxyClean– Found in the detergent aisle. (optional but highly recommended)
2 (14.1 oz) bars of Zote Soap–found in the detergent aisle (you can also use Fels Naptha)
1 (4 lb) box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda–found in the cooking aisle
1-2 (55 oz) bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener–found in the detergent aisle
Grate soap with cheese grater or food processor. Mix all ingredients together in a large bucket. Use 2-4 Tablespoons per laundry load.
DIY Stain Remover
1 part original blue Dawn
2 parts hydrogen peroxide
Mix well and treat stains directly before washing. Test an inconspicuous spot first and do not leave on for more than about 15 minutes at a time
Homemade fabric softener
2 cups hair conditioner
3 cups white vinegar
6 cups hot water
Mix well and use according to washer instructions.
I have a friend who washed her laundry with salt alone for a time. Salt is a fairly good stain and grease remover and is often used both to set and brighten colors. Use ½-1 cup per full washer load.
Another option is soap nuts. These are the fruit of a tree (Sapindus mukorossi) that grows in Asia. They are naturally high in saponins and can be used in washing clothes, dishes and bodies. They have the added benefit of being mildly insecticidal and helpful in the treatment of eczema.