What hubby thought was just another case of me being cheap (which is kinda, sorta true... but I prefer 'frugal') turned into five minutes of work that is saving us oodles of money and getting our clothes cleaner than the brand name detergents were. I am kicking myself that I didn't try this one sooner!
With very few items, you can make a huge amount of detergent. I had a 5-gallon ice cream bucket to work with (because it was free!), so my recipe revolves around that. As far as the bar soap goes, I used the Sunlight Pure bar soap, which is found in the laundry aisle at the supermarket.
The first thing you need to do is grate one bar of pure soap. While you are doing that, put a large pot on the stove and bring two litres of water to a boil (or close to it).
When the water is hot, add in the grated soap and stir... trying not to get it as foamy as I did (for cosmetic purposes only). When the grated soap is dissolved, take off the heat and set aside.
In my clean 5-gallon (ice cream) bucket, I measured one cup of Borax,
and 1 cup of washing soda (not baking soda, or detergent, washing soda).
Then I poured the hot, dissolved soap over the dry ingredients and stirred them to dissolve... it starts to gel quickly! I then added more water to fill the pail. My foamy soap water gave me white clumpy bits on top, but I just stirred it in when it was completely cooled and fully gelled.
Enjoy (the freshness)!