Here it is folks- a fabulous recipe of low cost, environmentally-friendly, and EFFECTIVE ingredients for homemade laundry soap. I've been using this concotion of laundry items for several months now and have been very happy. I searched high and low for all these products and finally found them at my local ACE Hardware store and a little cheaper at my local Albertson's.
The Fels-Naptha (so hard to remember that funky name!) soap is simply remarkable at stain removal. This includes stains on white canvas shoes, paint on jeans, and various stains that just won't wash out with regular methods. I found this recipe on this super-cool blog http://www.mommyskitchen.net/2009/07/frugal-household-recipe-homemade.html. Although I don't know the exact cost breakdown, the lady on this blog did it and found this laundry detergent to be much cheaper than regular store bought laundry detergent. (I'll take her word for it and spare myself the math minutia!) This detergent also works just fine with my top-loading washing machine that can only use low-sudsing detergent.
The one minor downside to this recipe is that I need to use my cheese grater or food processer to shred the soap. The grater and processor parts wash out the soap just fine, however. I try to make a big batch at a time because I easily do about 8-10 loads of laundry a week. One upside to this recipe is that I've started using Borax for many of my cleaning chores. The list of uses on the box was so proific that I cut part of the box out and posted it near my cleaning supplies! I have been especially pleased with how excellent it is in washing dried food and liquid "crusties" off my kitchen table without having to use bleach-based products like Comet or Ajax.
These new- found products have given me more enthusiasm about my cleaning tasks. Whatever helps, I say!