My hippie sister did this and I doubted it. How could anything made AT HOME for less than $5 be as good as what Tide can do?

I am so brainwashed.

Madison Avenue literally jizzes at the thought of me.

My sister gave my mother a bottle of her made at home from items you can get at Walmart in an old fabric softener bottle. She removed the label from the bottle and drew a steaming pile of poop on it and named her detergent “Clean as Shit”.

I said she was a hippie – I didn’t say she wasn’t fantastic and hilarious.

Since my mom kept her gifted detergent in my laundry room I stared at this (brilliantly marketed) soap for a week before I could not resist trying it for myself.

I washed (in my front loading high efficiency washer – perfectly safe, I checked) a load of grimy worked in by my husband whites. I used a small dose in a full size load, I used cold/cold like I always do.

Those whites did indeed come out of the washer as advertised. Clean as shit.

I bought a Costco size jug from my sister for $10 (I offered the cash, seemed worth it – it was twice as good as that which costs twice as much at the store).

I used the whole jug.

I bought another jug.

I have used that whole jug.

So today, while at Walmart, in the laundry aisle getting baking soda (really sweaty clothes and sour towels from the pool can still benefit from a little Arm and Hammer baking soda boost now and again) I decided to just go for it!

And I looked up this recipe on my little smart phone:

all the stuff
1 cup washing soda (I use Arm & Hammer) ***** NOT BAKING SODA. It’s right next to the baking soda. I still use baking soda as an addition. This is WASHING SODA****

Washing Soda

1/2 cup borax ( 20 Mule Team)

1 bar soap (I am using Lever 2000)

Lever 2000
Approximately 3 gallons water

You’ll also need a container of some sort to store this in (I use a five gallon bucket with a lid),

and something to stir it (a large wooden spoon), another pot to boil soapy water in , and something to cut up the soap (BIG cheese grater).

Instructions via The Simple Dollar:

First thing, put about four cups of water into the pan and put it on the stove on high until it’s at boiling, then lower the heat until it’s simmering.

While it’s heating up, take a bar of soap and cut it up into little bits. I found a lot of success using our box grater, which resulted in a ton of little soap curls.

When the water is boiling, start throwing in the soap. I recommend just doing a bit at a time, then stirring it until it’s dissolved.

Stir the soapy water with a spoon until all of the soap is dissolved. Eventually, the water will take on the color of the soap you added, albeit paler. I used Pure & Natural soap for this, which was a white soap that looked a lot like a bar of Ivory.

In the end, you’ll have some very warm soap soup:

Next, get out your large container and add three gallons of warm tap water to it. I’m using a bright orange five gallon bucket that I had lying around:

To this bucket add a cup of the washing soda and the soap solution you made and stir. The borax is optional – some people say that it’s too harsh, but I’ve always found that it did a good job getting clothes clean and fresh smelling, so I recommend adding a half cup of borax to the mix.

After stirring, you’ll have a bucket full of vaguely soapy water:

Don’t worry if your batch doesn’t match the color of my own – it varies depending on what kind of soap you use. I made a batch with Lever 2000 in the past and it had a greenish tint to it, and I’ve heard reports of all kinds of different colors from other people who have tried this.

At this point, let the soap sit for 24 hours, preferably with a lid on it. I just took our bucket to the laundry room.

When you take off the lid, you’ll find any number of things, depending on the type of soap you used and the water you used. It might be firm, like Jello; it might be very watery; it might even be like liquid laundry detergent. Just stir it up a bit and it’s ready to be used.