1 cup Borax
Ok, so the only "work" you really need to do for the recipe is to grate the soap. Yeah...that was a pain. See that little cheese grater? See that big bar of soap? Ugh! Nap time only lasts so long, so I cheated after about 10 minutes of hand grating.
No, those aren't cheese puffs, and they aren't sweet and sour chicken either. Those, dear friends, are chunks of fels naptha soap after being microwaved for a minute. Yes!
Forget about all that hand grating or food processing. Cut up your soap in about 1 inch squares, nuke for a minute, let them cool completely, then put in a zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin. At first they seem to just flatten, but then they crumble into a powder. Ha! Take that cheese grater!
Now, the only problem is that the recipe calls for 2 cups of finely grated soap, and we have made powder instead, which is much finer, so it measures out as less than it would if it were grated. No worries, luckily this isn't an exact science. I used the whole bar, which was about a cup and a half of powder. On the bright side, smaller soap pieces means they dissolve easier. Woohoo!
Moving right along, dump your soap powder into whatever container you intend to use (I recruited a recycled formula canister for the job), then measure out the borax and washing soda, and mix.
Hmm. For being 50% yellow soap and 50% borax and washing soda, it looked awfully soap heavy. My solution? Add more washing soda and borax. I wasn't sure how much of the bar of soap was equal to 2 cups grated, but after seeing the soap to white powder ratio, I was guessing it was roughly half a bar. That being the case, I doubled the other ingredients, mixed again, and voila!
Here's my adjusted powder laundry detergent recipe:
1 bar fels naptha soap, powdered
2 c. Borax
2. c. Washing Soda
In case you're wondering, this is enough to wash about 45 loads, and it cost about $8.50 for all of the ingredients, with tons of Borax and washing soda left over for more batches. FYI, we use this in our HE front loader washing machine without issue since it is a low sudsing detergent.
Note: If you are concerned about the presence of that yucky naphthalene in the fels naptha, good news! Fels Naptha does not contain naphthalene any longer. If I'm not mistaken, I think it even says so on the package. Whew, Good thing!
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