I have been thinking about a return to haomemade laundry soap for awhile. I used to make a "liquid" form when the kids were younger and in diapers and I had lots of laundry to do, because I needed to squeeze wvery penny until it shrieked for mercy. Eventually I got lazy though when our income improved I started buying laundry detergents again. I know! I'm an idiot!! I didn't realise that with all the unknown ingredients store bought detergents contain, even those marked phosphate free, I was not doing the environment any favours.
I found simple POWDERED versions of laundry soap online and I will share here what I am going to do. Using equal amounts of the following:
Pure Soap Flakes (take bars of pure soap and grate them..voila ..soap flakes..I will use Marseilles soap which is olive oil based)because I have ahuge block of it. Try to choose a soap that doesn't use petroleum products. In the past I used bath sized bars of Ivory and really liked the clean smell of our laundry and it was the least expensive soap I could find. Dial, Dove, etc are not PURE soaps.
Borax: disinfects, deodorizes, helps with stains, softens water...Google it.
Washing Soda:(Sodium CARBONATE...not baking soda) deodorises, softens water, helps with stains.
As always when handling anything caustic, care should be taken to avoid skin contact and inhalation.
Grate the soap by hand or with the grating blade in a food processor. Then in the food processor (if you have one), using the chopping blade, mix all 3 ingredients together until its a fine powder. Be careful not to breathe in any when you open the processor. Store in an airtight container. Amount to use will vary with the hardness of your water so the range is 1 Tbsp to 1/2 cup per wash load. With my front loading HE I will start with 1 Tbsp. This laundry product doesn't suds up so don't keep adding more and more looking for suds. The plus side to this feature is that it will take less water to rinse. I usually use TWO rinses and still can here that crackly soapy noise in my clothes. Obviously I use too much.
Mixing some of this with water can be used as a stain pretreat but using a bar of soap would be pretty easy and effective as well. I swear by The Soap Works laundry bar for stains. http://puresoapworks.com/laundrybar.htm I cut/break the bar and store the unsused pieces in a wee paper sack, keeping one bit out for use. This way the whole bar doesn't get all wet and nasty and wasted. One bar lasts a LONG time this way.