This recipe has saved me absurd amounts of money. I was first inspired by a blog on the News & Observer about living thriftily (the original post is here and also includes a recipe for foaming hand soap (1 1/2 tablespoons liquid hand soap in the bottom of a foaming soap container that you’ve already used up; add a couple drops of food coloring if you want for funsies and fill up with water).)
But anyway, now I use this scaled-down recipe. It may not look quite as fancy as the store-bought type, but it gets my clothes plenty clean and it smells legit. There are a million recipes online; I am using this one.
Here’s what you need:
Grate the bar of soap on a metal cheese grater. The original recipe stresses that metal implements are less likely to get soap odor imbued in them. This may be more important if you are using essential oils…I haven’t had any problem with this and I haven’t always used metal every things (shh, don’t tell on me.)
Heat the grated soap in a stainless steel saucepan on the stove with 4 cups of warm water until melted. (Obviously I am breaking the stainless steel rule, but my marinara sauce tasted OK the next week. Follow my example at your own risk.)
Pour 4 gallons of warm water into the large bucket and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir in well!
When dissolved, add the melted soap and stir around until mixed nicely.
At this point you would add the essential oil if so inclined.
Cover the mix and let sit overnight. The next day it will magically have gelled up. Stir it around with a spoon and marvel at how goopy it is.
Using a handy ladle and funnel, fill up your empty bottles and get washin’! Then, wipe up the soap that spilled on the floor and marvel at how clean your floor is now!