What to use:
1 55 ounce box washing soda -- I used Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 76 ounce box of Borax -- I used 20 Mule Team, which seems to be the only brand around
10 bars of bar soap -- I used Fels Naptha a bar soap made specifically for laundry but Ivory or pretty much any bar soap you want to use on your laundry is fine too
How to use it:
grate the bar soap. I used a box grater and Daughter thought it was cheese. That was a nice tantrum when I wouldn't let her eat soap cheese, I'll tell you.
Mix all three ingredients together. (you'll need something roughly the size of a 5 gallon bucket)
in small batches (about a cup to a cup and a half at a time) put the mix in a blender and blend it until fine. VERY fine. If the bar soap isn't fine, it runs the risk of not dissolving in the wash thus not rinsing off your clothes properly.
I made the mistake of trying to blend JUST the soap so I could mix it when it was fine, but that didn't work. having the borax and washing soda WITH the bar soap worked fabulous. I also found if I put for than a cup and a half in the blender at a time, it got bogged down. so blend more at your own risk ... or risk to your blender.
For storage, I'm using a five gallon bucket with a tight lid. I'm sure you could also use zip lock bags or a myriad of other things you can think of that seals tightly.
You only need to use between one to two tablespoons per load, depending on the size and dirt of the load. Luckily, I have a scoop that is two tablespoons and marks the one tablespoon mark. [from my Allen's Naturally detergent that I use on the cloth diapers]
Where's it the cheapest:
Publix on the laundry detergent aisle. You can buy all three ingredients for under $20 at Publix.
other places to find the ingredients:
I've heard Wal-mart, but my local one only had the borax
Ace Hardware. (you can also order from their website and have it delivered free to a store)
Amazon or where ever else you buy your online things-its and whats-its.
I wash in hot and cold water and the detergent works great in both.
Have an HE washer?
you can still use it. The only thing 'special' or different about HE detergent is that it produces very low suds in the wash [yes, it's true.] This detergent produces low suds too. It's safe.
p.s. I really love Fels Naptha. I have an extra bar that I'm using as a pre treater. and it smells pretty fabulous. my laundry room has never smelled better
while I found various websites, with various recipes this is the only one that's exactly like the one I used. I'm going to try their homemade dish washing detergent soon.