What the what?! How have I not known this! Any way, I was immediately intrigued and set about researching different recipes and the one I went with is this (it happens to be the simplest as well):
- 2 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda. They are different, chemically speaking)
- 2 cup borax
- 1 - 5 oz bar of soap (you can use any really. Doesn't seem to matter which, but I used a castile soap with a lovely lavender scent. Others have also used Fels-Naptha or Zote which are marketed as laundry soaps in bar form. I didn't see these at Target when I bought everything, but your grocery store or Wal-mart may carry them)
- Grate or otherwise mangle your bar of soap into small, small pieces
- Mix together with washing soda and borax
- Put in a container
It seems much simpler and easier than the liquid detergent recipes. Any way, other recipes seem to say you should use about 2 tablespoons of the dry detergent per load (or a little more if it's really dirty). When you break down the costs, it's just unreal when compared to the liquid Tide I've been using.
Tide (Free and Gentle liquid) = ~ .28 cents per load
Homemade = ~.07 cents per load
I've seen some people's calculations as low as .05 per load because they used regular ivory soap, but I really liked the lavender scent. But one of the best parts is you can even use this in high efficiency washing machines because it is a low sudsing (is that even a word?) detergent. Cool, huh?
I've still got a few drops of Tide left in the bottle, so I'll use that up before I'll breaking into my new batch of homemade soap, but I'll be sure to let you all know how it goes!