We do this for a number of reasons. It saves us a helluva lot of money, it's healthier for us and the environment (no harsh chemicals), and it's surprisingly easy. And of course fun, because I am a nerd.
I am very happy Nadine has started to embrace her inner homemade nerd-dom! She decided one day that it would be fun to make laundry detergent, and reap the benefit of the fact that it costs a fraction of the price of the stuff we usually buy (Earth Choice).
I'll write the recipe here - she found it online somewhere, and I reckon it's pretty generic, but if it's yours give us a yell and I'll take it down.
Makes enough for 160 washes
1 bar of soap, grated (you can use any kind, just the average size)
1/2 cup washing soda*
1/2 cup borax**
Combine water and grated soap in a saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until soap is dissolved.
Add the washing soda and borax and stir until thickened.
Pour into a 10L bucket or container with lid and fill with hot tap water and stir.
You can add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance if you like :) We used eucalyptus.
Use 1/4 cup per wash, or less if you like! We keep it in a plastic storage container, and decant it into a recycled Earth choice detergent bottle.
*Washing soda is sodium carbonate. you can buy it in crystal form at Woolworths but I think you can also get it as a powder. (1kg for $5)
**I found borax at Bunnings once for 1kg = $6. Nadine has recently seen borax at Woolies though.
Nadine says this detergent has made our clothes particularly soft! I hate to say this but I don't know because I don't do the laundry very often!