So... here's the recipe I use for liquid laundry detergent.
I have a 2.5 gallon stockpot which is the perfect size for this recipe, but you could also do the stove part in a regular saucepan, and dump it into a bucket.
HOMEMADE LAUNDRY DETERGENT
In a stockpot over medium heat whisk together until completely melted and incorporated:
2 quarts water
1/2 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap, grated
(or 1 whole bar of bath soap, like Ivory)
Remove from heat and whisk in until completely incorporated and slightly thickened:
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda (not baking soda!)
Fill to 2.5 gallons total with hot tap water, stir to mix. If desired add:
1/2 -1 oz. essential oil
Let sit overnight undisturbed. In the morning your detergent will be cool, thick, and slimy. Hooray!
Use 1/4 cup per load.
Really- that's all you need. It's super concentrated.
This is not foaming detergent, so it's good for both top and front loader machines.
It's really thick, and we keep it in a big plastic bin with a 1/4 cup measure, but if you were to keep it in a pump or pouring type of container you might want to loosen it up with the stick blender. It doesn't seem to thicken up again if you do that.
And if you're in a hurry or just like powder better:
HOMEMADE POWDER LAUNDRY DETERGENT
In a food processor (or by hand) grate:
1/2 bar Fels Naptha
(or a whole bar of Ivory)
Pour into a container and add:
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda (not baking soda)
Cover and shake to mix.
Use 2 Tablespoons per load.
add 1/2 cup white vinegar to your rinse cycle.
It really does work, it's super cheap, helps your clothes rinse really clean, and the smell leaves as the clothes dry.