I first read about this recipe from the Duggar family a few years ago when their tv show first came on but have only recently attempted to make it. Now that I have though, I have no intentions of ever not making my own! It's very easy to make, ridiculously inexpensive, the scents are customizable to whatever you like (or omit oils altogether), and I've noticed no performance difference at all!
you will need:
a bar of naptha fels
1 cup oxiclean (or washing soda)
1/2 cup borax
4-5 drops of preferred essential oil like orange, peppermint, or tea tree oil (optional)
first i got a bar of naptha fels. i thought it would be hard to find since i had never heard of it but nope, it was perched right on the top shelf in the detergent aisle.
i popped it into the food processor and grated it into the tiniest of bits.
then add the cup of oxiclean
& then the borax and tea tree oil. i love tea tree oil. it is antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal - it's so multipurpose i put it in almost every homemade cleaning product i use! just don't drink it :) i've also recently started using peppermint oil for like towels and such. the scent is inviggorating! and more calming oils on things like sheets and what not.
this recipe makes about 3 cups of detergent but you only need about 1-2 tbsp per load of laundry. i've been using it about 2 months now and i see no difference in performance from this homemade detergent and the conventionally made kind. i highly recommend grating the soap up as tiny as you can. the first batches i made, i was a little lax about making the soap bits teeny tiny and it left a small amount of residue. also this recipe is really low sud so i bet it would be just fine in a HE washer