I often use my handmade lard soap to make my own laundry detergent. It works great, it’s cheap, and I don’t have to worry that it will irritate my skin.
There are many recipes for both liquid and powdered laundry detergent on the web, but almost all use three basic ingredients. They are: soap, borax, and washing soda. Borax is found with laundry and cleaning supplies. I’ve found most grocery stores carry it. Washing soda is also with the laundry detergents, although it can be harder to find. My local Kroger store does keep it in stock.
For the soap, you can use a commercial laundry soap, but I prefer to use my handmade soap. When choosing a soap, you’ll want to look for a firm bar. Lard soaps work really well. My favorite to use is my Simply Soap Lard Soap. I can usually get 2-3 cups of grated soap per bar. If you’d prefer to use a vegetable-based bar, bars high in coconut and/or palm oil are a good choice.
The recipe I use is for powdered detergent. It calls for 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda for every 2 cups of grated soap. Simply grate your soap with a cheese grater, add the borax and washing soda and mix. If you’d like to add scent, you can include your choice of essential oil a few drops at a time until you get the scent you want. Store the detergent in an airtight container. I use an old coffee can.
To use the detergent, add 2 tablespoons per load. It’s best to add the detergent first, let it dissolve and then add the clothes.
For other laundry detergent recipes, check out this site: http://tipnut.com/10-homemade-laundry-soap-detergent-recipes/