My very first homemade cleaning supply was laundry detergent, I saw it on the Duggers and had to give it a go. I mean less than .3 cents a load and one batch lasts a month or more for my family of dirty 5 and 2 dogs. You just can't beat that with a stick, and it works just as well is not better than store bought products. I make the gel kind because I can not stand powders, I just do not think they clean as well or dissolve well since I wash in cold water. So I have finally have gotten my recipe like I like. It is a mash up of a few different recipes that I have come across on the net. Try it, tweak it and find out what works best for you. The way the Dugger's made it, it was still a little watery for my liking so I looked around and found a few other recipes that I also tweaked and came up with this one that gel's nicely.
Wyatt Family Farm Laundry Soap
5 gallon bucket with lid & 1/2 cup measure
1 bar Fels Napa soap (you can use about any bar soap but this was my favorite)
1c washing soda (not baking soda)
about 4 gallons water
essential oil of choice
Grate the bar soap and put in a large pot, then pour in 6-8 cups of water and heat til soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax. Stir until dissolved and take off heat.
Fill 5 gallon bucket half-way with water, add soap mixture and stir well. I use a dowel rod just for this purpose! Now fill the bucket the rest of the way, leaving a bit of head space about 4 fingers. Stir! Add the essential oil, I used a whole bottle about 2 ounces I think. (That 30 drops other recipes called for just didn't do it for me, I like yummy smells, lol) Stir well and let sit for about 24 hours to gel!
Now I just use it right from the bucket, its a whole lot easier and a whole lot less messy then trying to transfer it over to other bottles.
The duggers also split this and mixed it with more water when they transferred to containers, but I use it at this strength and love it, because I do not think it works as well so watered down.
I think mine is thicken because of the extra 1/2 c. of borax and the fact that I don't split it again. It resembles jello when you open the lid, just give it a stir with your hand or dowel rod before each use.
Here is what mind looks like after each stir.
The Fel's Napa runs about $1 per bar here and The Borax maybe 3ish same for the washing soda. You can get I'd say 5 or 6, 5 gallon buckets of soap from the borax and soda so stock up on the bars when you get your boxes.