I've been meaning to post this recipe for a while but kept forgetting to do so. Making your own laundry soap is easy and very economical. The ingredients I buy to make the soap cost me $7.00 at first, but will last me at least 6 months or more. This is not my recipe but you can find different ones online.
Here is what I do:
1 gal of water, 1 bar of soap (ivory, felth napthta or Zote are the most commonly used, but I have used Yardley as well...soaps with tallowate (animal fat) work best!) 1/4 cup washing soda (not baking soda), 1/4 cup of Borax.
optional: lavender or orange essential oil.
The recipes you will see online usually call for double the ingredients, but since I don't have the storage for 5 gal of water, I make smaller batches.
Cut a bar soap in half. Boil 1 gal of water in a large pot and grate the half of bar of soap into the water.
Once all the pieces have melted, I add my 1/4 cup of baking soda and borax.
I stir for about 2 minutes until the mixture is dissolved.
I turn off the stove and let it sit to cool. As it begins to cool, It will start to look like jello...this is normal.
I usually add 5 drops of orange EO to the mixture and 4 drops of tea tree oil.
I pour my mixture into a used empty laundry detergent bottle. You may fill up two laundry soap bottles. Note: Shake before each use since the consistency will be like Jello. I usually use one cap full from the laundry detergent bottle. This soap will not sud but it will clean. My husband is in the military and his clothe always comes out clean and smelling fresh. I have a top loader washer and it works great for me. If you have a front loader, you may need less. I have also heard some people using 1 cup of white vinegar per load before the rinse cycle, to remove residue if you have really hard water. You will not need a fabric softener since vinegar works to this. I usually don't use vinegar at all, but some people do.
You can find pictures and more instructions on this site:
I usually just take the leftover tiny broken pieces from my bar soaps and put the pieces into an empty dish soap bottle with water. The soaps that you collect from hotels also work great for this. The soap dissolves and creates nice dish soap for me. Even if dish soap is cheap, I still do this just to use up my pieces of soap. Plus I find that soaps like Ivory, are better for the environment. There are plenty of dish soap recipes online, but this is simple and works for me. I've tried using castile soap but it doesn't cut grease as well and leaves a residue.