Tina, Christchurch.

I make my own washing liquid for the laundry which has saved our family of seven a fortune over the years. Use 1 cup Lux Soap Flakes (you can grate a bar of soap but I like the flakes) 1/2 cup washing soda (do not confuse with baking soda!). Bring 2 litres of water to the boil, drop in 1 cup Lux flakes and stir gently till melted. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup washing soda and stir until melted. Use a large lidded bucket that easily contains 10 litres and fill with 8 litres of hot tap water. Pour the soap mixture into the bucket and stir. You can add drops of essential oil of your choice to this mixture. It will thicken on cooling. I use a very long soup paddle and mix it up several times and use 1/2 cup for a normal sized load. Keep this mixture locked up and well away from young children.