This recipe is adapted from the one here. Most homemade laundry soaps call for Washing Soda, which is not found around here, so I chose to use this one that does not use it. It is much cheaper than the detergents you find in the store, but more importantly to me, I know what is in it.
1 bar of soap, grated with a cheese grater. Fels-Naptha is good for stains, but I use whatever I have on hand. In the picture is Dial.
2 gallons of water
2 cups Borax
2 cups Baking Soda
Essential Oils; use Teatree Oil for its antibacterial qualities
A pot large enough to hold 2 gallons or the largest pot you have and a bucket that will hold 3 gallons
2 large empty laundry jugs; this is not necessary if your bucket has a lid.
I have a large soup pot I use for this. Use your largest pot and put in as much water as you can and comfortable stir, but make sure you measure it. I can put all 2 gallons of water in, so I do. If you can only put a quart in, that is fine. You will add the other 3 quarts later then. Put the grated soap in the pot. On medium heat, heat the water until all the soap has melted. It takes a little while. I usually do this while I am cleaning the kitchen in general, so it doesn't seem that long that way. Once the soap has melted, add your borax and baking soda and stir until dissolved. If you could not fit all 2 gallons in your pot, then you will need to transfer the soap mixture to a bucket and add whatever remaining water you need to in order to make the 2 gallons of water. This additional water can be cold. Add essential oils and stir. Using a funnel and a large measuring cup transfer the laundry soap to your jugs, or if you are keeping the laundry soap in the bucket, put a lid on it.
Use 1/2 cup per load or 1 cup for large or heavily stained loads. Stir or shake before pouring out as it tends to separate.