You will need:
2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
1 bar of Zote or Fels-Naptha or Dr. Bronner's Soap bar (these are all concentrated bars of cleaning soap, I found Zote at the local Mexican grocery)
1. Take the bar of soap and grate it all up using a cheese grater. The finer you grate it the quicker it will melt. It will look like coconut, but resist the urge to eat it!!
2. Place it in a large sauce pan and add 4 cups of water. Cook on medium heat until it melts. This was the longest part of the process, it took about 20 minutes.
4. Stir until dissolved. You can use an electric mixer to do this, but we just used wire whisks. It only took about 5 minutes with the two of us mixing.
7. Pour into plastic bottles. It makes about 4-5 gallons. I put mine in a big tupperware, and have a special measuring cup to scoop it out with. My friend put hers into empty milk jugs, which I think would make it a lot easier to store and to pour out.
It's a pretty strong soap, (my hands were very dry after mixing and pouring it) so you don't need to use a lot. I use 1/4 cup for regular loads, and 1/2 cup for heavy loads. I have done three loads with it (one white, one colored, and one towels) and I can't tell a difference between that and the store bought stuff.
Borax: $2.50- will make three batches, so $0.83 per batch
Washing soda- $2.50- also makes three batches, $0.83 again
Total Cost: $2.66, and if I'm figuring correctly, it should last over six months! I did make the initial investment of buying the tupperware ($9.00) but that was a one time cost.
Saves money, doesn't take very long, and helps us be more self reliant! What's not to love??