Into a large bucket with a lid (I use the Tidy Cats large bright yellow bucket with a fold-back plastic blue lid and handle, works perfectly.), add:
- equal amounts of washing soda (not baking soda) and borax, I think the ratio I used was 3 boxes of washing soda to 2 boxes of borax, to make it equal.
- 2 cups of baking soda
- 4 bars of grated Fels Naptha (a hand grater or food processor) soap
- drops of essential oil (I use a combination of cedarwood, lavender, eucalyptus, pine, spruce, and tea tree)
Mix all well with a large spoon, or close lid, and shake like I do.
I use one of those tiny scoops that I think came with protein powder, it's about 1/8 cup per load. You won't have suds at all, but grimy water almost instantly. I found by increasing the Fels Naptha to "four" bars for my ratio, it gets all the clothes, even my cleaning cloths and dishrags super clean. It smells lovely and very fresh.
I am shocked how clean it gets my clothes and towels, case in point. I used a former popular liquid detergent known for it's great smell. However, it never got the bathroom face towels (mascara, makeup, etc.) completely clean. With this, it's fantastic. I label the top of the container with the date made, so far it's been a month. I should be able to get another 4-5 months out of this batch. Should work well in Hi-efficiency washers too, since it's practically suds less.
1/8 cup works well. I use it with my homemade fabric softener (2 cups vinegar, 2 cups baking soda, 4 cups warm water, plus essential oils) and my clothes look and smell fantastic and I do about two loads a day with three kids under 8!