Here are the ingredients you'll need to pick up:
*I could not find the washing soda OR the Fels-Naptha soap at either Walmart or Target. Look at your local grocery store IN THE LAUNDRY AISLE.
Grand Total: $11.54 for 640 loads (180 loads in a top-loading machine). That's a little more than 1 cent a load! And the savings are even greater the next time you make this because the only thing you'll have to buy is the Fels-Naptha soap bar!
1. Grate the entire bar of the Fels-Naptha soap.
2. Put in a pot with 4 cups of hot water. Stir continuously over medium-low heat until all of the soap flakes have dissolved and melted (about 10 minutes). It should be slightly foamy with no "chunks" or flakes to be found.
3. Fill a 5-gallon bucket half-full of hot water.
4. Pour in the soap mixture. Add 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and 1/2 cup Borax. Stir. My husband happened to have a paint stirrer that goes on his drill, so that helped. But if you don't have one of these, just use the end of your mop (or something that can reach to the bottom of the 5-gallon bucket).
5. Fill the rest of the 5-gallon bucket with water until it is full. Stir again.
6. Cover and let it sit overnight.
7. When you open the top up the next day, it should have gelled and thickened slightly. Stir again.
8. Use a funnel to pour the mixture in a used/clean laundry detergent container only HALF full. Fill the rest of the way with water and shake.
Once you're ready to use the laundry soap, shake it in the container first. Then add:
-5/8 cups for a regular top-loading machine
-1/4 cup for a front-loading (HE) machine
Ideas for essential oil: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil. Add 10-15 drops per 2 gallons once the soap has cooled.