A specific soap to wash clothing dates back as far as records go.  Usually made up of animal fats and ashes.  However, laundry detergent is not soap and has only been around since the 1940’s.  A detergent works differently than a soap, by suspending dirt particles in water.  It was developed as the inner workings of washing machines are sensitive to soaps corrosive powers.

I have here a recipe and method for making the most basic of laundry powders.  It is the foundation of more complex recipes and DIY liquid detergent.  To make all recipes you need washing soda.  This can be bought, but it can also be made very easily by heating baking soda. 

You will also need a bar of laundry soap.  There are many on the market.  Most recipes call for Fels Naptha, but I use Zote.  I’m sure they all work fine and at less that $1 a bar, its not expensive to experiment!

The final ingredient is borax powder.  This is available at most large department stores in America including Target and Walmart, but is hard to find in the UK.  It is available there through Amazon and Boots also has a history of stocking it. 

So for your basic washing powder...