There are tons of recipes out there, again I tweaked mine a bit - more with a method than ingredients.
What is needed:
2 bars FelsNaptha laundry soap
1 box washing baking soda
1 box borax
1/2 container scent crystals (optional)
1 container to hold finished soap (I have used my empty Tide box for most of the soap and the empty scent crystal container works well for what sits next to my machine.)
1 kitchen garbage bag - to mix everything
I have a family of 5 and average 7 loads of laundry a week. This recipe lasts us 4-5 months.
What to do:
Cut the bars of soap into thirds.
- Microwave each piece separately on a piece of parchment or wax paper for about 45 seconds. It will expand and form 'clouds'. Once it is done expanding, you can stop the microwave. NOTE: You may want to set your microwave for something like 2 minutes and just wait to see how long it takes to stop expanding. That will give you a better estimate of how long it will take with your microwave.
(soap bits pre and post microwave)
- Put each piece into a large mixing bowl to cool. Do this for all the bar soap. Let it all sit for about 30 minutes - or until it is COMPLETELY cooled. Seriously - wait.
- Mash the soap with your hands. It will turn into a powder.
- Add all ingredients to the trash bag and mix. I just tied it closed and moved the whole thing around for a few minutes.
- Pour into your storage container.
And that is it! You only need to use 1-2 TBSP per load - but I pretty much always use 2 TBSP. And yes, I use this in my HE front load washer. It does not sud, so it works great.
There are also recipes for liquid versions. I haven't tried those yet as I tend to like powder soaps better.