I guess it has been about just over two years ago that we bought our second largest appliance purchase - our front loading LG washer and dryer. Funny enough we had to sell them when we moved from Alberta to BC in December (now the cleaning pair sits in Nadine's laundry room!). Being the first time we owned an HE washing machine, I had to take a harder look at the laundry soap that we were using. My husband's parents had purchased an HE washing machine and, unaware of the importance of the type of laundry soap they needed, they used regular detergent. In about a year they had to do some serious repairs because of the damage caused by too much suds and bubbles. So in their hard learned lesson I knew that I needed to find an alternative. At first we started by using Costco's Kirkland HE laundry soap, but soon realized that the price was pretty high despite the savings being that it was from Costco. So in conversation with my good high school friend living in Ontario, I found my first solution. Here is the recipe of the first attempt at making homemade, eco friendly laundry soap:
1 Bar of Soap, grated
1 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
3 Gallons of water
Bring 4 cups of the water to just under a boil, add the grated bar of soap, stir until dissolved
Heat 3 gallons of water - I just turned the kitchen tap to the hottest setting
Add the washing soda, and Borax to the 3 gallons of hot water, stir until dissolved
Add the soap mixture, stir and let set for roughly 24 hours.
Use 1 Cup of "gel" for every regular laundry load.
Now I found that this laundry soap worked extremely well for us. At the time we had a potty training youngster who had more than a few accidents in bed and in their clothes, and every time this detergent would get the smell out. The one major downside to this recipe was the space factor. Finding a container large enough to hold the "gel". As well, the mixture would separate on occasion - no big deal really, I just kept a long wooden spoon on hand to mix back together.
I used this for about 6 months or so when I found myself talking with my same friend from Ontario. She had come across a new laundry soap recipe that she enjoyed. It goes something like this:
1 Bar of Soap
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
1/2 Cup oxi-clean (optional)
5-10 drops of essential oil (I use lemon)
Mix all ingredients together
Use 1-2 tablespoons depending on the dirtiness of your laundry load.
I would have to second all that Alicia has to say :) This laundry soap is amazing! It's cheap! And it works. And for those of us who live on the peninsula, you only need to use 1/2 tbsp per load as the local residential information is that we only need half the recommended amount of soap due to our very soft water conditions.