I have read a few things here and there about homemade laundry detergent, shampoo, and conditioner. I finally decided to try it out. Here is the laundry detergent recipe I found
Powdered Laundry Detergent – Recipe #4
2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated – you could also try the other bar soaps listed at the top)
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
■Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
■Use 2 tablespoons per full load.
I used Ivory bar soap instead of Fels Naptha. One bar equals 2 cups grated. I used the cheese grater for this first batch and it worked well. I was afraid it would be a hard clean up but it wasn't. I did a small batch at first just in case I didn't like it or Coby was allergic to it. He had sensitive skin. I learned never to buy anything new like this in big batch after I bought the Sam's size of new deodorant for him (6 sticks) during our first month or so of marriage. He used it once and completely broke out up and down his arm and side! For the second batch I used the food processor to chop up the soap. This was faster but not as good as the grater. It caused the detergent to be more clumpy.
This detergent has worked great so far. It has not caused my machined to overflow with soap (a legit fear of mine) or left any residue on the clothes, and they smell good and clean. Not to mention how much cheaper it is. This whole batch (about 32 cups = 512 tablespoons = 256 loads) was about $20 (A&H Super Washing Soda = $6, Borax = $8, Ivory Soap $6) and I still have 2 bars of soap and 1/4 box of borax left over. All this equals out to about $.08 per load! Compared to my regular Tide Laundry Detergent, $11 for 80 loads. Which equals to about $.14 per load. (Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a mathematician.) This might not sound like a lot but it's so easy to make, works well, does so many more loads, and knowing what exactly is in the detergent makes it all worth it. I just bought a cheap tupperware tub with and a cheap measuring tablespoon for storage and measuring. (Not sure how this does in a HE washer, mines an oldy.)
There is a lot of ideas out there surrounding the shampoo/conditioner subject. I first heard about it from Kat. And from there she links to others reviews and reasonings for making the switch. I could not agree with her review more. Since I have been using this regimen, about a month, my hair has been so much more manageable. And not kidding, I have received so many more compliments on how shiny it it. It doesn't get as greasy so easily. It frizzes WAY less, but it does seem to look a little more split endded. This could be attributed to my much needed hair cut. This route, again, is cheaper. My hair is that type that always did better with the skipped shampoo day. But the day that was being skipped was ugly! Now every day is like the day after nasty hair!
I use the recipe of 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 cup of water for shampoo (a little more for a sweaty/greasy day), and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water for conditioner (it will smell strong in the shower but I promise the smell rinses out). So far the best way I have found for application is spray bottles. Let me know if you have any other ideas.