I've been making my own laundry detergent for almost a year now. I don't even know how or why I started exactly...I'm pretty sure it had something to do with hearing that it was better for the environment. When I realized that it would save me oodles of money I was sold on it. I used to pay $15 for a huge bottle of Cheer every 2-3 weeks. Now I spend approximately $11 every 3-4 months...pretty darn exciting even if I do say so myself!
I found several recipes out on the internet, so I took the main ingredients found in most of them and came up with this:
1 cup grated Fels Naptha
1/2 cup Washing Soda--not to be confused with Baking Soda which is different and should not be substituted.
1/2 cup Borax
1/4 cup Oxy Clean Crystals/Powder (totally optional)
I mix it all together in a container and use 2 Tablespoons per large load of laundry (1 Tablespoon for a medium or small load, which is far less efficient...no guilt or pressure here...). I only wash in cold water, so I put the homemade laundry detergent in first and run the water a little to dissolve it a bit.
I typically make it up in bigger batches than what I listed though. Honestly, I take the recipe times 7 and make a big batch all at once. It doesn't have an overpowering smell at all. The clothes come out smelling clean...that's about it. I haven't noticed any fading of colors to speak of...I don't find myself re-washing any clothes. I'm able to find all of these "ingredients" at my local grocery store...if you can't, I can let you know what the ISBN numbers are and you could see if they'd order them for you.
I've given samples to my mom, sister and mother-in-law. They all think it works great. My mother-in-law even went so far as to bundle it up in cute cloth packages and now sells it at her local grower's market alongside her famous homemade fudge. And I'm not bitter at all that she is making money off my detergent recipe while I'm not allowed to know her fudge recipe...not bitter at all...nope not me...I'm very grateful to have shared with her while not even receiving one shred of acknowledgement for giving the recipe to her...I'm completely at peace with the whole issue...(may the "secret ingredient" in her beloved fudge be the first fatality of food shortages and global warming)...just call me Ms. Zen...I'm so happy for her!
Anyways, so I figure if I can make the stuff up and religiously use it for a whole year...then anyone can do it. I don't have a creative, artsy fartsy bone in my body... Buttering bread is serious cooking as far as I'm concerned and vacuuming (just the living room) is considered "cleaning all day"...trust me--anyone can handle this one.