internets. Over a period of time I assembled the key ingredients: Powdered Washing Soda, Powdered Borax and Fels Naphtha bar soap. Funnily enough it didn't mix itself, so ended up setting around for several months. Finally after shearing at the end of April, I had some time and set out to make some soap.
Really it took probably only about a half hour to mix up. Shaving the Fels into hot boiling water was what took the most time. Once I mixed it all up, it made about three or four gallons of a soap mixture. It stays the consistency of soft jello, unless it is really warm out, then it becomes more liquid like.
I wash from 5-6 loads of laundry a week this time of year, I'm not a compulsive clothes washer, so I try to get several wears out of my chore clothes and such. However this is a messy time of the year! I've been doing allot of dog bedding washing too. I mixed up the batch around April 20th and have about two and half more gallons or so left now. The total cost of the initial ingredients were about $6.00 to $7.00 dollars.
As far as cleaning, it does just fine. It does not suds up like the commercial stuff, but does clean well. You don't get a strong soapy smell like the commerical stuff. The only problem I've encountered, is when I had some damp wash cloths piled up and forgot to wash them right away. They developed that nasty sour-mildewy smell, and the soap didn't cut the smell. Adding a little bleach to the whites/towels etc has taken care of that problem.
I also add a little Orange essential oil to the mixture so it smells purty. You have to shake it all up in the bottle before use, but I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. I'll probably do it again. This time I'll only need to buy the Fels Naphtha since I have the washing soda and Borax left from the first batch.