Thought I'd share this - I found this recipe for homemade laundry detergent quite a while ago on ALS, and finally decided to give it a go.
My motivaton is that I don't like the chemical cocktail that goes into commercial powders, for any of us, but our son especially gets skin irritations from some of them, and the couple that are OK for sensitive skin cost a fortune.
So here is the recipe for my 'gloop' - makes 10 litres ----
1 cup Lux pure soap flakes
1/2 cup washing soda
Melt the soap flakes in 1 1/2 litres water, in a big pot over medium heat.
When dissolved add the soda, mix until thickens.
Remove from heat and pour into a bucket (normal 9-10 litre size) and top up with hot tap water.
Can add essential oils at this stage if you wish.
Leave overnight to thicken and it should come out as a thick gel consistency (called 'gloop' in our house!)
I have been using it for a couple of weeks now and it is great! I use 1-2 scoops in our top-loader for a full load, and considering we have 2 active 3 year-olds I am very impressed with the results.
The equivalent amount of laundry liquid (10 litres) would cost us around $50. These ingredients cost around $2 to make the same amount, and cleans at least as well without the nasties.
The only thing I would change next time is I will look for non-perfumed soap, as lux smells very 'soapy', (though less when its made up) and I will add eucalyptus oil which also acts a softener. Oh, and a bucket with a lid would be better!