I have to give credit for this one to Trent from The Simple Dollar.
What is needed:
5 gallon bucket
1 bar of your favorite soap (we use Irish Spring - nice scent)
Washing Soda (I have used Baking Soda as well)
Grate the soap into a pile of shavings and melt it on the stove in 4 cups of boiling water.
Fill the five gallon bucket with about 3 and 1/2 gallons of HOT water.
Pour the melted soapy water in the bucket and stir.
Add 1 cup of Washing Soda and stir.
Add 1/2 cup of Borax and stir.
Let cool overnight and you are ready to wash clothes. You will need to experiment with how much to use. We use roughly the same amount we would use if we were using commercial detergent. The amount prepared above lasts my wife and I (no kids) for about 6 months and literally costs pennies to make. The last time we bought detergent was a year and a half ago AND we still have Borax and Baking Soda left from our original purchase.
Works great! Give it a try and save some cash to help with survival preparations.
EDIT: This will not adversely affect your washing machine in any way that I know of. It contains almost the same ingredients as commercial detergent.
...that is all.
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