Well don't worry, I recently discovered how to make my own laundry soap and fabric softener and I couldn't be happier. This soap smells clean, works fantastic and will save you a lot of money. I can't believe how expensive Laundry Soap has gotten, and I for one would rather spend money on flowers than laundry soap.
Here's what you'll need
2-4 cups of Oxy Clean (depending on how dirty your family gets :)
3 Pounds of Baking soda
1 box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
3 Bars of Fels Naptha, Zote, or other laundry bar soap
1 Box of 20 Mule Team Borax
A big tub, I used a 5 gallon tub with a lid to store the leftover
Here's what Fels-Naptha looks like. Believe it or not, I've always kept a bar around because it's recommended for vintage linens (like the on you see it resting on in the photo :) You will need to grate this. I used a cheese grater, but I think next time I'll try my food processor to save some time. Your grating soap, so just throw everything in the dishwasher when your done.
Here it is all grated. This soap can be used in HE washers as well as top load washers. You only need one Tablespoon per load. I bought a canister at Pier One that has a chalkboard label and marked it "Laundry Soap". I keep a Tablespoon in the canister next to the washing machine (even my kids can't mess this up :)
Here it is all mixed up in the bucket. This way I can take enough to fill the canister and keep this stored in a dry cool place (my basement) when I'm not using it.
The results, clean, fresh, clothes that I can be proud to wear and enough money saved to buy some extra clothes with the money I saved, win-win :)
Now for the Fabric Softener
You will need
6 Cups of water (if you have hard water, use filtered or distilled water)
3 Cups of White Vinegar
2 Cups of Sauve Conditioner, I used Aloe & Waterlily, you should pick the fragrance you like the best.
A 1 Gallon bottle with lid (I used a washed out milk bottle)
I whisked together the conditioner and vinegar in a glass bowl (to mix it up a little) and then added the water. I suggest using warm water to help the ingredients emulsify better. You don't want to shake this too much or it will get very foamy. Use this the same way you use your regular liquid fabric softener or spray some on a washcloth and use it like a dryer sheet. I really loved this fabric softener because it doesn't leave marks on my clothes (especially the dark's) the way some fabric softener do.
So Happy Spring, and happy Spring Cleaning, I know I'm a little happier having saved a lot of money. If you like this post, let me know if you'd like more cleaning recipes. It's a great way to be green and save money.