I promised I'd post this today, so here is my "new and improved" homemade laundry detergent recipe.
This recipe now includes OxiClean because I really like the stuff and a cup of it over 10 gallons of laundry detergent is a cost-effective way to use the product.
First, here are the ingredients as I use them:
1 (5 1/2-oz.) bar Fels-Naptha soap
1 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team borax
1 cup granulated OxiClean stain product
Now, here's what I do...after years of tweaking and tweaking and tweaking. Part of my final solution came from realizing that many people don't have the space or ability to work with 5-gallon buckets, lots of boiling water and storing gallon bottles of detergent.
First, drag out your trusty old knuckle grater (box grater) and grate up the bar soap. In the future it will be easier to grate if, when you bring it home from the store, you unwrap it and store it on an open shelf. This allows the soap to dry out a bit and it becomes a bit harder. I do this with all our bar soap. It lasts longer, especially in the shower.
After the Fells is all grated up, put it in the large bowl of a food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Whiz the bejeepers out of it until it is fine, fine, fine. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a blender but you will have to do the whizzing in smaller batches and, then, whisk to evenly combine the batches together.
I use my digital kitchen scale and divide the powdered mixture into 10 equal, or as equal portions as I can get, and put into zipperlock plastic bags, then store in a large FoodSaver canister that I vacuum seal. If you don't have a kitchen scale, you can measure out, to the best of your ability, 10 portions.
When I need a gallon of detergent, I empty a packet of powder into an 8-cup, or larger, measuring bowl/mixing bowl and pour about 6 cups of boiling water over and whisk with a wire whisk until the powder is dissolved. Doesn't take too long.
I let it cool. It will gel. Then I get a gallon jug (I use a Gatorade one because they're strong.) and add several more cups of the hottest tap water to the detergent concentrate. Whisk again to break up the gel and to get a silky liquid and pour into the jug. Put the top on the jug and shake, shake, shake. Let the foam/bubbles dissipate and add more hot water to achieve a full gallon capacity. Shake some more.
I've always shaken my detergent bottle before measuring out into my washer and find this is a good thing to do because the detergent has a tendency to thicken a bit. Nothing to get concerned about. That's just the me
I've been following this plan for a long, long while and have not found any difficulties or flaws with it. The pluses are that the mixing has been brought down to next to nothing and no large buckets or jugs have to be stored. I simply make sure to have 2 one-gallon containers. One filled with the detergent I am using and one to prepare another "recipe" before the first one is empty.
If you have one of those new high-efficiency washers, you can use this product because you need very little and it does not suds up. It's also great for cleaning upholstery.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I welcome any questions. Love this stuff and I used to be a dipped-and-dyed liquid Tide user.