The answer to that was 'yes!' I don't know why I had not tried making a liquid version earlier. :) It is so easy to make, easy to use, works well, and smells good, too! It uses the same ingredients as the powdered version only with the addition of water and optional essential oil . . .
The three basic ingredients
Let's get started! First grate a bar of Fels-Naptha (we use a cheese grater for this) . . .
Next, put four cups of hot water into a saucepan. Add your grated soap, heat over medium-high heat, and stir until all of the soap melts (approximately 10 minutes) . . .
Set mixture aside. Fill a five gallon bucket half full with hot water (the bathtub works great for this!)
Add in your melted soap mixture and give it a quick stir. Stir in 1 cup of the Borax and 1 cup of the Washing Soda.
Add 1/2 to 1 oz of desired essential oil (I didn't measure mine so I am not sure how much I used. I would guess it to be around 1/2 an ounce.) I chose sweet orange essential oil for our soap because not only is it one of the less expensive oils, citrus scents also smell so clean!
Stir again. Fill up the bucket with warm water within an inch or two of the top . . .
Stir together. If you do not have something long enough to stir with, simply put on waterproof gloves of some type (I used nitrile gloves which I have for soap making) and stir that way.
Next, put on the lid and let it set for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, mine looked like this . . .
A quick stir incorporated it all together. I had read that sometimes it gels and sometimes it doesn't, but either way it works just as well!
I put our bucket next to our washer and then use a cup per regular load. Mine tends to separate a bit after it sets so I just give it a quick swirl with the measuring cup prior to measuring out what I need.
It's pretty simple, isn't it?
And better yet, is the approximate cost breakdown per 5 gallon batch:
- Borax: $0.33
- Washing Soda: $0.54
- Bar of Fels Naptha: $0.97
- Orange Essential Oil: $0.39
As the recipe makes enough for approximately 72 regular loads, the total per load is around $0.03 which is much less than commercial detergents and much safer and better for your skin as well!
If you try the recipe, have fun making it, and I hope it works as well for you as it has for us!