I have been experimenting with using homemade clothing detergent for awhile now. Every once in a while, I get lazy or overly motivated by a great deal, and use something for the store not made for sensitive skin, and I get a rash (surprise!). So, back to my gallon sized, repurposed vinegar bottle of homemade stuff. This recipe is inspired by Mary Hunt’s Everyday Cheapskate recipe for detergent, however I use Sals Suds instead of Dawn due to ratings on www.ewg.org and reduced the amount of Borax and Super Washing Soda.
I start with an empty gallon sized vinegar jar, a gallon of distilled water (we have really hard water, feel like the hard water fighting properties are already used up before it even hits the washer if I use tap, but tap works just fine if you do not have distilled), Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, Borax, and Dr. Bronner’s Sals Suds (not castille, which is soap, but Sals Suds, which contains detergent).
First, I heat a large pot full of distilled water and add 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup Super Washing Soda. Do you have to heat it? No, but this is the easiest, fastest way I have found to get it all to dissolve in a timely manner. I heat the pot on medium/medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it all dissolves, evident by the milky white solution becoming transparent. I then half fill the empty gallon bottle with cool distilled water, and add the hot solution of dissolved Borax and washing soda. Because the solution is hot and my container is plastic, I feel it is safer to add the hot solution to cool water to keep the temperature moderate inside the bottle.
Next, I almost fill the bottle with distilled water, but leave about 4 inches of emtpy space. Add 1 cup of Sals Suds. Carefully fill the bottle the best you can with any remaining water. Cap, and gently rock back and forth to mix. Done!
I use 1/4 cup of this detergent mixture for full loads in my high effeciency machine. I still use vinegar as softener. Notice that I have all this written with Sharpie on the bottle, because I am just that person. Happy laundering!