What You Need
1 Cup Washing Soda (we actually used a generic version of OxyClean because our store was out of washing soda, but with its primary ingredient being sodium carbonate it is essentially the same as washing soda &mdash not to be confused with baking soda)
1 Cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1 Grated Bar of Fels Naptha soap (can substitute any castile soap such as Kirk's Castile or Dr.Bronner's)
½ to 1 oz. of Essential Oil or Fragrance Oil (optional &mdash we prefer fragrence-free soaps)
Sealed Storage Container
Food Processor (can also use a cheese grater or planer)
Medium Mixing Bowl
1. Cut up the Fels Naptha soap into chunks and toss into a food processor, blend until powdery.
2. Pour the grated soap into a bowl and add 1 cup of the Borax and Washing Soda each.
3. Stir until well blended and store in a sealed container (it fits perfectly in our 8.8oz coffee can &mdash any tupperware will work also).
4. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load (we just use the scoop that came with the OxyClean). It is best to dissolve in water prior to adding clothes.
Additional Notes: Do not confuse washing soda with baking baking soda. Washing soda is sodium carbonate or soda ash (baking soda is sodium bicarbonate); it comes in the form of white powder and its purpose is to help remove dirt and orders. Also we prefer the powdered detergent because it requires less water, energy to make and is just easier, but if gel detergent is your preference, try this tutorial at The Family Homestead.
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(Images: Rachel Wray)