I really dislike the scented, chemical-filled cleaners that are out there, and since I have sensitive skin, it makes sense to use something that is milder. We still buy laundry detergent for those especially tough jobs and for my husband's sweaty clothes. He finds that this homemade version does not always get the smell out of his clothes. I disagree. To compromise, though, we mostly use this recipe and every once in a while wash his clothes with a stronger soap to make him feel better. :)
I really like this soap for washing towels, socks, underwear, and my gentle-wash clothes. I find it keeps the whites white, and doesn't leave residue or too much scent on the clean clothes.
So, without further ado, here is the recipe:
1 bar shaved bar soap (I use original Ivory)
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
lavender leaves or essential oils to choice
Super simple, right? Normally I make about 5-6 batches at once to make it last a long time. Here's how you do it:
Gather all your ingredients. You can find borax and washing soda at the cleaning isles of your local grocery store. I think each box is about $5-6, which makes this recipe extremely affordable.
Grate the bars of soap into a large mixing bowl. I use my cheese grater and a pair of rubber gloves (for grip). After, just be sure to rinse the grater very well and throw it through a load in the dishwasher to get rid of the soap residue.
Store it in an airtight container. Usually I put mine into a 4 litre ice cream bucket and then divide it out into jars as needed.
For laundry, use 1-2 Tbsp per load. The great thing is, it works just fine on HE washers too and doesn't leave any residue in the machine. The laundry comes out feeling and smelling fresh...Mmm!