You want to grate up 1/2 cup into small bits.... Bigger bits take forever to melt down. If you grate up more you can store it in a jar so you have it already to use for next time, and it looks kinda nice in the glass jar!
So stick the grated soap into a large pot over heat..... Today mine was done on the wood heater, where i have my kettle sitting during the winter months, to save using any electricity. Add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water and stir the soap flakes until they are dissolved. If they are not properly dissolved then your liquid will separate later. Once completely dissolved, add 1/2 cup each of washing soda and borax. (Now if you have a grey water system set up going out to the veggies, then omit the borax).
Add another cup and a half of boiling water and keep on stirring until its all dissolved. Now we are ready to pour this mixture into 1 large, or equally into 2 smaller buckets to which we add hot water (from the tap). To make up to 9litres in total.
At this stage I like to put my buckets aside to cool down and begin the setting process ( today, that means out in the cold LOL ). If use more soap, or less water, you will get a thicker gel. Just remember that if you plan on being able to pour the liquid from the bottles, you don't want a really thick gel (but you do use a little more in each wash). In other words, the thicker the gel, the lesser amount you use in the load of washing.
Before they cool down I like to add some essential oil to give a nice smell to my washing....today it happens to be lemon. Usually I like to use apple, but apparently I'm all out of apple, so lemon it is! When you are happy with the consistency, you are ready to bottle it up. Using a funnel helps with the bottling process and don't forget to label your bottles so everybody knows what it is AND how much to use. For this recipe I find 1/4 cup works well, but add more for heavier loads.
I leave a bit of room at the top of each of my bottles so I can give it a good shake before using. Now that works out to less than $1 per bottle, and I know exactly what is in it!!! Print this out and stick it in your binder. Now im off to do a bit of crochet! Hugs, Sharm