I posted about making my own detergent here, but did not provide the recipe that I used.  Silly me.  There are many variations on this recipe and if you simply Google it, you will find a ton.  Mine actually came from a post on my number 1 favorite site, Hip2Save during You in Bloom month.  After using this detergent for quite a few loads of laundry, I can say that I really do like it.

There are powder versions of this is that is what you prefer to use, but I will be providing the recipe for the liquid version only since it is the only one I have tried.  In order to make this, you will be purchasing a lot more Borax and Washing Soda than you need, but since they are great laundry additives anyway, they will likely get used.  And surely they store well, so they will be there when you are ready for your next batch!  The ingredients cost me about $7.00 total… I would say that the cost is easily under $2.oo per batch of detergent.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

High efficiency machines use 1/8 cup per load, therefore, one batch does about 640 loads.
Top load machines use 3/4 cup per load, so one batch does about 180 loads.

1-bar Fels-Naptha soap (I found mine at Kroger)
1 cup Borax (I bought mine at Target, but I think this is pretty easy to find)
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (I finally found this at Meijer)
Hot tap water
5 gallon bucket with lid
2 gallon plastic beverage dispenser (optional)
Light colored essential oils (optional)

Grate bar of soap with a cheese grater. Fill the 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full with hot tap water. Melt the grated soap slowly over med-low heat in a large saucepan with 2.5 cups of water. Once the soap is completely melted, add this to the water in the five gallon bucket. Now add the Borax and the Super Washing Soda and stir. Now top the bucket off with more hot tap water. Loosely put the lid on the bucket and leave over night to thicken.

Fill dispenser half full with soap and top off with water.
You can add 15 – 20 drops of essential oils to this if you like. (Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, etc.)

It is essential that it be shaken up a bit before each use to ensure that you are using detergent and not just slightly soapy water.  This recipe will make 10 gallons of detergent, but the most you will be storing at a time is just over 5 gallons as you add 50% water each time you fill your desired dispenser.  Again, I used a 2-gallon beverage dispenser (shown in original post) and it works really well.  It is one way to ensure that I have shaken the detergent enough because it will not dispense properly if it is too gloppy.  I did not use the essential oils.  Without them, the detergent smells like the Fels-Naptha soap, but a bit milder.