Ages ago, when Eliannah was still a baby, I made my own laundry soap and did my laundry at the laundrymat -all 15 loads a week in one 5-6 hr period with 2 toddlers and an infant. If you wonder what hell is like .... The recipe I had called for grating up bars of hard soap with a cheese grater and mixing it with some other things. For some reason I don't have very rosey memories of home made laundry soap.
Here are the reasons I stopped:
It took too much time
It didn't work very well
You can't use it in HE machines (the kind we have now)
I could never easily find the ingredients
Today I made my own laundry soap and it took 3 min. vs. the 20 or so minutes it would take me to go to Walmart, avoid buying junk, wrangling a herd of toddlers that happen to grow extra arms every time I stray from the exact center of the aisle.
I happen to have all the ingredients at home, which made it super easy. All it took was:
3 tablesppoons Super Washing Soda (I can't find this at a store anymore but everyday cheapskate says you can buy Soda Ash at a pool supply store and I just happened to have 3 T left in the box I had purchased last time I made the soap)
3 tablespoons borax
2 tablespoons blue Dawn (this is the kind I use for dishes so I happened to have it hanging around the house anyway)
Fully instruction here
I've been using white vinegar instead of fabric softener for a while so maybe I'll save some money on laundry soap for awhile and see how that works. I'd be real curious to know what other moms use for laundry soap alternatives.