Here are a few links to various things I make. Two of them have been written by the same guy. I haven't subscribed to his blog, but it seems I should since he has given me all my great cheap-o recipes. All credit goes to Mr. Jabs for these:
And, from another source:
homemade laundry soap
Now, if anyone reading is going to Mexico, or knows someone who is going to Mexico, could you please have them pick up a couple bars of blue Zote soap for me? I'm a big fan of color, and I'd love to make blue laundry soap.
Here are a few tips for these recipes:
citric acid -- buy it at the wine store. You can use the kool aid recommended in his recipe, but I really recommend using citric acid. The guy at the store will inevitably ask you if you are making cheese or soap.
washing soda -- Be careful on this one. I went to the laundry aisle in a big box store and thought I hit paydirt with my big box of washing soda for less than $3. Nope. They tricked me. It was baking soda. I use it for scouring the tub and sinks anyway, so it wasn't money lost, but it was time lost. Find the real deal in the laundry aisle at Festival.
bar soap -- Yup, you can use Ivory, if you like. Also good are Fels-Naptha, Kirk's Castile, and Zote. The first two are easy to find in the soap department at your grocery store. The latter can be found at the local Mexican grocery store. I love that place anyway, but finding cheap laundry soap -- and more than one kind of it -- is always a day-maker.
shredding the soap -- I use my box grater. Tried with my food processor, but she no likey. I've seen online that people use those parmesan cheese graters, which would be fab if I could score one at Goodwill or Savers. I've read that ye olde salad shooter works well, also. Just haven't found one for cheap at the previously mentioned stores. My mom has this ancient, industrial strength, hand crank, glorified coleslaw shredder that she uses. That thing is slick! Best part: kids fight over who gets to turn the crank.
If you decide to try these, I wish you good luck. The laundry soap especially provides a great mini science lab type opportunity for any young geeklings you might be raising in your home. We cut the recipe in half so it goes in the 2.5 gal containers that you can buy at Weaver's. The last batch lasted 4+ months, including a quart for Grandma.