1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap, as listed above
½ cup washing soda
½ cup borax powder
~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~
Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use ½ cup per load.
**A few things to note about the soap**
~The finished soap will not be a solid gel. It will be more of a watery gel that has been accurately described as an "egg noodle soup" look.
~The soap is a low sudsing soap. So if you don’t see suds, that is ok. Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.
- I've made this 3-4 times now and it seems to be working well with our water and machine. I probably should note that I really don't have any regular laundry challenges like cloth diapers, super hard water, or really dirty work clothes. It has met all my usual challenges like grass stains, etc. though.
- It has a pleasant, clean smell. As suggested, I added lavender and orange oil to the first batch, but it really wasn't a notable improvement, so I've skipped the expense since then.
- I'm not sure why the directions say to add water in these crazy increments. The first time is obvious - a smaller amount so I can make sure everything is dissolved. After that, just dump it in. There are 2 gallons total.
- After it cools, there will be a very gelled layer. I just hit it with the immersion blender to mix it all together before transferring it to my empty laundry jugs.
- Easy-peasy. Practically free.
- Source (Word of warning though, its crazy colors, multiple fonts, and "cute" laundry graphics make it a challenge to read. That's the main reason why I transferred it here.)