I know that there are many, many recipes on the internet for homemade laundry soap.
Here in the Texas panhandle, though, I am not able to use homemade laundry soap. The water is awful and everything ends up gray after a few weeks of use. I DO NOT blame the laundry soap, I know for sure it is our water.
I have tried the powder (dry) one on a couple of occasions and liked it just fine.
Then last summer, once I moved into this little place, I tried the liquid(aka: gel) recipe used by Michelle Duggar. Her recipe is here. I really liked how far the liquid formula makes the ingredients last.
When I was home in Leesville, LA a couple of weeks ago, I was telling my oldest sister about it. She wasn't certain about the washing soda (NOT baking soda) so I told her I would send her photos. So instead, I am doing this post for her :-)
I often see comments that Zote works equally well, if you cannot find the Fels-Naptha.
I took these photos at W*lmart. All four locations here in Amarillo carry these items now. I guess there was finally enough requests for them. Hopefully all locations nationwide now carry them.
Some add O*yClean or other whiteners or boosters. I have never added them. One of my main reasons for using homemade laundry soap is to save money. By adding those extra items, it drives up the cost of ingredients.
If you plan to use the liquid recipe, if you cannot locate a 5gal. bucket for free at a food establishment, W*lmart has them (be sure to grab the lid) in the paint department for around $4.00.
For rinsing, I use *gulg* of vinegar in each rinse. How much is a glug, you ask? I would estimate about 1/3 cup or so. I love how the laundry feels and is soft using vinegar (and there is NO VINEGAR SMELL on the clothes at the end of the rinse/spin cycle). Either white or apple cider is fine.
I plan to return to using the homemade laundry soap very soon.