Using Soulemama's recipe as a guide, I finally tried making my own laundry powder. Why, oh why, did I wait so long?! It was incredibly easy to do, works remarkably well, saves a ton of money, makes us more self-sufficient, and (saving the best for last here), actually makes laundry day exciting!
The recipe is basically 2 parts castile soap to 1 part everything else (borax, washing soda, and baking soda). Based on my research, I'm not sure the baking soda is really necessary, but we have hard well water here, so I left it in. Plus, I think it might help deodorize the clothes. And, really, what isn't baking soda good for?
I used Dr. Bronner's peppermint bar soap as suggested in the recipe, and it smells just perfect for the holiday washing I'm doing. That was the most expensive part of making this at home, so in the future I will likely try making my own bar soap too. I finely grated enough soap for 1 Cup, and put the remaining nub by the sink to use as hand soap.
I added everything to a wide mouth mason jar, stirred it up with a wooden spoon, and put the lid on to store it.
1 Tablespoon per full load of laundry is working very well, even on the cloth diapers. I have one of those fancy water-saver, high-efficiency, front-loading machines, and to be honest, I wasn't sure it was getting things all that clean. But, truly, this soap made all the difference, and I now think it was the store-bought natural citrus based laundry liquid I previously used that just wasn't up to snuff. Drying the laundry in the sun on the outside line helps with stains and freshening up, too.
I love opening up the jar and smelling the freshness of the powder. It just makes washing a more cheerful, beautiful chore for me. It's simple, but it makes all the difference. Do you make your own laundry soap, too?
**Edited to add: Check out my updated formula HERE.