This recipe is loosely based on the recipe used by the Duggar family from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, but since the link I bookmarked doesn’t seem to be working right now, I can’t give credit where credit is due. This recipe has been a life-saver for my family though, and I hope others will enjoy it as much as we do.
- 1 bar homemade castile soap OR Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap
- 1 c Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
- 1/2 c 20 Mule Team borax
- 30 drops NOW Lavender Oil (optional)
- Grate soap using a box grater. I use the large shred side, and you don’t even need a grater dedicated to laundry soap-making.
- Place two cups of hot water and grated soap into a heat-safe container. (I use a metal 4-cup measure.) Heat mixture on medium-low, stirring constantly until soap is melted. Remove from heat.
- Fill a 5-gallon bucket halfway with warm water. (This doesn’t have to be precise.) Stir in borax and washing soda until dissolved. Stir in melted soap until combined.
- Add cool water to your bucket until you have 5 gallons of product. Stir thoroughly with a long spoon. Add essential oil, stir again, put the lid on the bucket, and set aside to cool overnight. The concentrate will have a loose, uneven consistency when it’s done.
- Shake well before using.
- In top-load machines, use 1/3 c laundry detergent concentrate for average to large loads. Other sources on the Internet suggest using 2 T concentrate in high-efficiency or front-load machines, but since I don’t have a machine like that, I can’t speak to its efficacy.
- For convenience, fill a smaller detergent bottle (from those days when you used the store-bought stuff) from your large bucket. Be sure to stir the contents of the bucket before dispensing, and keep the bucket covered and stored in a cool, out-of-the-way place when it’s not needed.