I have been making my own laundry soap since 2008, when I discovered Soaps Gone By
this is the ingredients and directions for a large amount (almost 5 gallons)
1 bar grated (1 cup grated)
5 gallon bucket
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
4 1/2 gallons water
Put grated Fels Napha in saucepan and cover with enough water to cover the soap.
Heat on low until it dissolves. (once it starts to dissolve I find a long whisk is best for stirring ..as it melts it gets thick and creamy with the whisk)
Fill the bucket with hot water (the 4 1/2gal) and add the soap mix
Add the 1cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, and 1 cup Borax, and mix well.
I use a really big Chinese slotted spoon to stir it (that's the biggest problems-finding something long enough to stir.)
As it cools it thickens....but you can use it immediately. 1/2 to 1 cup per laundry load.
Smaller batches can be made. I use and old tea type cup ..I guess it is about 6oz and not always filled. This takes the grime and grease out of my oldest's clothes and it takes the smell out, but leaves clothes soft..I never use softener any more, but if I have too, I put some vinegar in the rinse water. (the clothes never smell like vinegar...)
As far as the smell, you can add fragrance if you like but they come out, just as is, smelling..well....clean....like fresh air....and even better when the laundry is dried out on the line in the sun...
The reason I like the Soaps Gone by website's kit is the soap is already grated. They give you a bag of it grated plus 2 extra bars, and whole boxes of the borax and washing soda ...which can be hard to find these days.....enough for plenty of batches and good for many many loads...plus they give you a whole bunch of recipes for powder detergent, the liquid detergent above, and basic cleaner and disinfectant...there are also other recipes on the site. It takes about 15 to 20 mintues to make and it's fun.
Stir it now and then, until it sets. It gels over night and sometimes when you try to stir it is separates, and you can't seem to mix it together but I use it that way anyway, and it works fine...
See you later,