My mother in law gifted me a jug of her "homemade blend" to try after a recent visit. I used it and had to admit that I was very impressed. Curious, I googled 'homemade laundry detergent' and found there to be many recipes and variations to choose from. I decided on the recipe below as it was the quickest. Basically the time it takes to boil water.
Boil 5 cups of water
4TBsp Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
4 TBsp Borax
4 TBsp Dawn dish detergent
If you need a more powerful detergent you can add 1 TBsp more of each ingredient to the same amount of water.
Place ingredients in heat safe bowl and dissolve borax and washing soda with boiling water. Add 5 cups of COLD water. Add the Dawn now. Make sure it cools completely before placing it in the storage container. Don't buy a special container, reuse one from your previous detergent purchase. Put on the lid and shake. Done.
My mother in laws' recipe was similar except she used about 1/2 of a Fels Neptha bar instead of the Dawn. You grate the bar up and melt it in with the other ingredients. It smelled so good, not like a manufactured fragrance. The smell is just clean. I usually keep a bar of this handy as it is quite an inexpensive yet highly effective laundry necessity. The Fels Neptha is quite a steal about $1.50 a bar. This bar has gotten out grass, oil, and blood stains. I soaked a white cycling jersey in it and the results were fantastic. The stains came out and my dirty, dingy jersey was white again.
This concoction works! And it smells good. We are six months in on our supply and I have half of each box left, which leads me to think I will get a solid year out of them. The Borax and Washing Soda run about $4 each. I buy Dawn at Walgreens when it is on sale for $1.
Spending $9 on detergent instead of $9 a month = $99 savings a year.