Here is the recipe that I used:
1/3 bar grated Fels Naptha soap
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
1 5 gallon bucket
Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. Stir and add 1 more gallon of water. You use ½ cup per load.
Well, at first I really liked it. I liked that I spent only $.99 for the Fels Naptha soap, and I already had the washing soda and Borax in my science closet.
Then after a couple of weeks of using the detergent, I realized that our clothes were really not getting that clean. We have really dirty, smelly clothes, and they were not coming out smelling or looking fresh. Between our sweaty running clothes and Clay's soot covered clothes from blacksmithing, I guess our clothes are just too dirty for homemade laundry detergent.
If anyone has a different recipe or any suggestions for how I can make my detergent work better, please advise me. One thing I could have done is to not add that gallon of water the next morning after the detergent gelled, but it's done now!