In looking up homesteading, I came across a simple recipe to make laundry detergent (check out the original recipe here). It just so happens that I'm on the last few drops of our regular liquid detergent and won't be able to buy it any more. It's from one of those club things and we're discontinuing our membership. Anyway, it sounded pretty simple, so today I went ahead and bought the supplies.
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 (grated) bar of Ivory soap
Supposedly just two tablespoons per load will wash your clothes and leave them smelling fresh. There are 16 tablespoons in a cup, so each "batch" will do roughly 32 loads of laundry. To start I made up an entire plastic bin of this mix - 4 batches. That should equal 128 loads of laundry, and I still have 6 bars of soap, half a container of Borax and about 1/3 box of the washing soda! If it works like they suggest, this could save us a lot of money. We do so much laundry that it adds up fast. Once we use it a few times, I will write up a post about how well it works (or doesn't work). Of course the best part perhaps is that when we finished, the grater needed only to be rinsed in hot water and it was clean and ready for next time! No scrubbing or soaking required.