I met a family in the hospital a while back that made their own laundry detergent. Their recipe sounded like a lot of work. They told me that it saved them a lot of money. Their clothes looked great so, I decided to check into it. I searched several sites but the one I like the best is http://www.thefrugalshopper.com/. It gave a recipe for a powdered detergent that was less messy and time consuming to make. I haven't tried it out yet. I'm still trying to find the ingredients. If anyone knows where I can find these products please let me know. By using these recipes it will only cost pennies per load.
Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 cup grated bar of Ivory Soap (you may try other types as well)
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (don't confuse with baking soda. They're different)
1/2 cup Borax
Store in an air tight container like rubbermaid
For a light load use 1 Tbsp
For a heavy load use 2 Tbsp
*There will be no suds when you use this
Homemade Fabric Softener
2 cups White Vinegar
2 cups Baking Soda
4 cups Water
Combine and pour into a plastic bottle.
Use 1/4 cup in the final rinse or put it in a Downy Ball