I make my own laundry soap. Here is the recipe, at this thread:
**I keep this soap on hand all the time. It takes a few days to set up but it's really easy to make and works well in soft water. People with hard water will want to have it softened with borax or washing soda before adding soap.
1 gallon heavy plastic or glass container with wide mouth
1/2 gallon cold water
2.25 ounces lye, by weight
1 lb lard, melted
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax (up this to 1 cup if you can't find the washing soda)
Fragrance oil or essential oil of your choice (optional)
Hot water to fill the container
Add cold water to container.
Add lye; stir well (this barely gets warm because lye is so diluted)
Add lard, washing soda, borax, fragrance oil.
Add hot water to finish filling the container and stir well with a wire whisk.
Whisk 3 times a day or so until set up. Initially, it will start with a glob of soap on top but will set up more each time you whisk it. After three days or so, you will be left with a nice, powdery liquid that you can use in your laundry.
Add 1/2 - 1 cup for a top loading machine. Dissolve in hot water before adding to a very cold wash. Otherwise, just add it while the machine is filling. Use less in a front loader; this one WILL suds if you add too much.**
If you have never made soap before, please do some reading at this site to learn the basics and the SAFETY PRECAUTIONS:
It is important to use white vinegar in the rinse cycle when using real soap as laundry detergent. The vinegar gets the soap out of the clothes and the washing machine.
I also make my own face, bath, and tooth soap, as well as shampoo and dishwashing soap.
A friendly forum for beginning soapmakers here:
I use Milk of Magnesia (the kind without sodium hypochlorite in it, which is bleach) for deodorant. I was using baking soda and cornstarch, but it can be abrasive and doesn't work well for strong odors.
Toothpaste: baking soda or baking soda with sea salt works very well. I had elderly relatives who only ever used baking soda.
Toilet, sink and bathtub cleaning: Borax or baking soda works just fine.
Linoleum mopping: vinegar water works just fine.
Clothes hung outside are disinfected by the sun.
Using scented things to pretend to ourselves that something is clean is very similar to believing that a meal isn't complete without sweets and starches. Clean has no smell.
This is a huge subject. Perhaps this post is long enough.
Hope it's a help to someone.