In effort to save a buck, I began looking for homemade cleaning products and found this recipe a few months ago. I've used it through two batches now and it costs, according to the website listed below, one cent per load! I've gotten about 64 loads from each batch, and found this quite a savings from store bought detergents. Scented oils can be added if you like but I've not done so. Seems to clean just as well as store bought detergent, and with just this little bit of effort I feel I am contributing to maintaining our budget!
1/3 bar Fels Naptha which can be found in the laundry detergent aisle
½ cup washing soda
½ cup borax powder
~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~
Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use ½ cup per load.
**A few things to note about the soap**
~The finished soap will not be a solid gel. It will be more of a watery gel that has been accurately described as an "egg noodle soup" look.
~The soap is a low sudsing soap. So if you don’t see suds, that is ok. Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.
recipe found at http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm