I recently found a recipe for powdered laundry detergent. Thought I'd give it a try, so I got the materials, thinking that if it didn't work, I could sprinkle the borax in some of the places I'd seen bugs coming in.
It worked. It worked better than the commercial liquid soap I'd been using for years. Fairly inexpensive, to make, too. About a third of the cost per load of the soap we'd been getting. And it doesn't break me out like some soaps can do.
1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap, grated**
2 c washing soda
2 c borax
1. Grate the soap. This step will take the longest if your food processor doesn't do it for you. 2. Mix soap, soda, and borax. 3. (optional, but advised) Run the powder through a blender or food processor to turn it into powder fine enough to dissolve in cold water.
You'll need about 2 T of powder per soiled load of laundry. Depending on how soiled, you may need a bit less, for less dirty, or a bit more for really nasty clothes.
One batch of homemade detergent will do about 40 loads. But each box of washing soda and borax will make three or four (or more) batches.
The interesting thing is that it works better to get whites really clean, when you do a warm cycle with nothing but, than the commercial detergent does.
*This link is to a kit on Amazon that is a bit more expensive, but will show you exactly what you're looking for. You can probably find the same things at your local Walmart or grocery store for a lot less.
**Or you can substitute Ivory.
6 minutes ago