– Borax -$3.97 for a 76oz. box
– Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not the same as baking soda) – $3.97 for a 55oz. box
– Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar – $.97/bar
The initial cost of purchasing the items at these prices would be $8.91. However, a box of Borax will make about 9 batches of detergent and a box of washing soda will make about 6 batches. Once you’ve purchased everything, the only item you will have to replace for each batch is the Fels-Naptha bar, which is only $.97. (Here are some fantastic other uses for Fels-Naptha).
The total cost of each batch is $2.07 for 5 gallons of detergent! You can even dilute it to 10 gallons and stretch it even further!
Besides the ingredients listed above, you will also need:
– a 5 gallon bucket w/ a lid
– a used (and cleaned) container to hold the detergent (if you plan to dilute it)
– essential oils, if you want to add them. Some ideas are lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil, orange (add 20-30 drops for a 5 gallon bucket)
Let’s get started.
– Heat 4 cups of water in a pan on the stove. (I got a pan at a local thrift store that I use for making my home & beauty products).
– Grate the bar so with a box grater and add to pan of water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap is completely dissolved.
– Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda, borax, (and essential oils, if desired). Stir until dissolved.
– Fill bucket to the top with more hot water. Stir again, cover, and let sit overnight.
– The detergent will gel after sitting overnight. Simply give it a good stir and it’s ready to go. If you choose to dilute it, fill a clean, empty container half-way with detergent and then fill the rest of the way with water. You will need to stir (or shake if in a container) before each use.
– Use 1/2 cup of detergent for front loading HE washers and 1 c for regular top loading machines.
This is what I use to stir my detergent with. It mixes it so well. It simply attaches to the end of a drill. You can find them at your hardware or home improvement store.